December 31, 2012

101 Dalmations.

I know, that's a really lame post title.

My Grandma passed away today. New Years Eve. It's appropriate, I think. It's been a very long year, and now, at the end of the year, she finished her race. And won.

Tomorrow is a new beginning. My attitude has already shifted a bit from yesterday's gloom. I still really have no idea what the year holds. I don't have any major plans, or ways to fulfill the plans that I DO have.

I have one big commitment in May. That's all I know of right now.

I want to read a lot this year. I have so many book on my shelf that I've never read, and then my aunt gave me a big stack of books for Christmas, none of which I have read.

I love books. I want to read more. I don't really have anything to write about. I just thought that it would be right to state my Grandma's passing here.

2013 is going to be different. Now that Grandma isn't here, the whole dynamic of our home has changed. This whole year, it has been a place to take care of her. Now it's just...the place where we live. It's going to be very interesting to see what thing year brings. Like I said before, it's an empty journal. Each day is a new entry, no matter how dull it might be.

Happy New Year to you all. Thanks for following along with me this year. I've shared a lot with you guys. Writing this blog has really helped me discover myself, and I'm thankful for it. I really love the place that I'm in when it comes to my individuality. I'm so different. This year...I know that it has changed me in so many ways.

A girl that I don't know very well, but admire very much - her name is Arielle - wrote a blog post about her "Favorites from 2012." Music was a big part of her favorites, and I like the idea of it, but my year, as I think about it, was really jam-packed. I did a lot this year. It was...hoo boy.

2012 was quite literally a roller coaster ride. Quite literally.

But I wouldn't change it. I'm thankful for every tear, every laugh, every scream, every failure, every experience. I'm thankful for 2012. It was a very big year.

December 30, 2012


Well, this is it. My 100th post. Officially, anyway. Some of the posts are private, so you can't see them in the count on the side over there -->

It's still the 100th post.

I wish I was writing on a happier note. For some reason, I feel depressed today. I've been feeling kind of depressed since Christmas. I don't want to get out of bed in the morning - but not in a "OMG I LOVE MY BED SO MUCH" kind of way. In a hopeless way. I don't want to do anything. I don't want to go to the gym, I don't want to go to the cafe, I don't want to go to church, I don't want to do anything that has previously brought me pleasure. I just want to stay in bed. And do nothing.

I know it sounds like I'm just being lazy, but I know when I'm being lazy. This is different. I don't want to see people. I don't want to talk to people.

It's weird. Maybe it's stress. Stress would make a lot of sense.

I have no idea. I don't know if I've ever really felt this way before. I know I have, but I've always had this underlying sense of hope and anticipation about what the future holds.

I was excited about the new year. But now I'm afraid of the unknowns. I don't want to face the future. I was excited about being a single woman, but now it terrifies me. I'm content with it, but I'm not excited.

Something I've really been wanting this past week was a partner. Someone that I could physically lean on, and exchange energy with, as it were. Someone to face it all with. I know, I have parents. I have God. but this is different. I'm sure it's normal. We're created to be partners. And yeah, I've wanted to fall in love with someone for a long time, but this is a different feeling.

I am not called to be single. I ache too much for someone to complete me.

And don't get all on your "Blah blah, you don't need a man to complete you" soap box. It's not true. I don't need a man to comfort my insecurities. But the Bible says that the man and the woman become one flesh. It doesn't say that they stay individuals. They join, and become one.

That's what I'm missing. I'm content as an individual. I like myself. I'm secure with who I am. I know what to do to make myself a better version of myself. I have confidence.

Anyway. I'm sorry that this post is such a downer. I'm sure you understand.

December 29, 2012


I grew up in a Christian home. When you grow up in a Christian home, the tendency is to believe what you're told about Jesus, God, the Devil, Heaven, Hell, etc. You know it in your head, and you believe it because there's really no reason not to.

For me, I didn't realize that I was just "knowing" these things until I went to Bible college. I remember in my first year suddenly having a deep understanding of God's omniscience. It was literally radical. I was SO excited about it. I was like, "OH EM GEE GOD KNOWS LITERALLY EVERYTHING FROM THE LITERALLY BEGINNING TIL THE VERY END OH EM GEE."

Something like that. Then, in my second year, like I shared in a previous post, I had a life-changing understanding of God's love.

I don't remember what God taught me in my third year. I'm sure it was great. Probably trust or something.

Anyway, all my life, I've known about Heaven. It's where the Believer goes when he/she dies. The streets are paved with gold, we become like Christ, and there's no crying or sickness. Awesome. Sounds good to me.

I never really understood it beyond that. I never got really excited about going to just...was the inevitable end for me. No big deal, really. Friends would be like, "I just want to go to heaven because life is so terrible." I'd be like, "But it's life...why want to shut down now? You'll get through it. I mean, I know heaven is great, but...I dunno."

My Grandma is sick. The reality is that she's more likely than not, going to pass away.

I'm okay with that. Not because of how hard taking care of her has been at times. Not because I'm secretly evil and hate old people. But because I believe in heaven.

Only now, I understand Heaven in a very different way. It happened gradually, my understanding. However, watching my Grandma's like unfold the way that it has, being so intimately connected to it helps me see.

It's not JUST that there is no sickness or pain in heaven. It's not JUST walking on streets of gold.

When my Grandma goes to Heaven, (just imagining it now brings me to tears because it's so incredible, and TRUE) she will be able to walk. With straight legs. For all my life, my Grandma has walked with a cane. She's had a crooked leg. Her knee is out of joint. When I came home from college, she went from sometimes using a cane or a walker, to always using a walker. The fact that she was able to do any walking period was a miracle. She's broken a hip, AND bones in both of her legs.

My Grandma will be able to WALK on the streets of gold. With JESUS. He won't have to hold her up because she'll be perfectly capable of supporting herself. She won't have a disconnected knee. Her knee won't be bulging out. It's going to be perfect. 

When my Grandma goes to Heaven, she'll be able to remember everything she has ever forgotten. Everything that old age, dementia, and strokes have wiped from her mind will be restored. Everything that frustrated her because she couldn't remember will no longer frustrate her. She will have a clear mind.

She'll be able to speak perfectly clear. She won't mix up words. She won't speak gibberish. She'll be able to speak clearly. With JESUS. When my Grandma goes to Heaven, she's going to have REAL LIFE conversations with God! It won't be a matter of praying with faith that He hears, she'll KNOW because she's going to SEE HIM FACE TO FACE.

When my Grandma goes to Heaven, she's going to be reunited with all the people that's she been missing for so long. Family, friends, my grandpa. She's going to see them all. And she's going to rejoice with them. She's going to be able to sing, and dance. DANCE. 

When my Grandma goes to Heaven, she won't complain about her hand being numb because it's not going to BE numb. She'll be able to write (I don't know what you'd write in Heaven, but she can do it if she wanted to!)

When my Grandma goes to Heaven, she's going to be in the presence of God. FOREVER. She's going to STAND before His throne and praise Him. She's going to be completely unhindered by illness, and fatigue, and pain.

When my Grandma goes to Heaven, she's not going to be in pain. Pain will be distant memory. She will never feel pain again.

Knowing all of this in my head...and then seeing it for my Grandma. I SEE it for her. I'm so excited for her. I can't WAIT for her to be able to be with JESUS. The Man who died for HER will be there to welcome her with open arms. And she will run to Him, and be able to thank Him the way she always wished she could.

She will be with Jesus. For real. His presence won't be something she has to accept by faith. Her faith will be rewarded with sight.

When my Grandma goes to Heaven, she'll be told, by God Himself, that she was a FAITHFUL servant. She'll be able to see how many hundreds of lives she touched. People she maybe never met. She'll be given her crown, full of precious jewels. She will be honored by all of Heaven as she walks in.

She will welcomed into a place that we can only dream of, here on earth. But she will BE there. And she's going to love it. And she'll be in eternal peace. She will have eternal rest.

I love that she gets to go to heaven. I love that when she takes her last breath, she doesn't have to wait. She'll be there. Instantly. 

It's going to be amazing. It blows my mind every time I think about it. In the end, she wins.

December 27, 2012


I only have a couple more posts to write before I hit 100 by the end of the year! I love feeling any sense of accomplishment, and even though 100 posts in 365 days is hardly worthy of any applause, I am not ashamed of applauding myself.

After I write two more blog posts.

Anyhow, today, I'm still getting over a mild, but intrusive chest cold. I haven't been to the gym very consistently in a few weeks, and I am just feeling really out of wack. I think it's all the wheat I've been consuming the past couple weeks.

My parents and I stopped eating wheat a couple months ago. My mom and I have noticed a significant difference when we don't eat wheat as opposed to when we do. My dad noticed a little bit of a difference, but not as much.

It's insane!! I gained five fast pounds in a week and a half just from bringing wheat back into my diet - no other changes. It affects everything, though. I amd 95% positive that it's the reason I've been feeling so needlessly tired, and lazy. Today is the first day that I haven't had any wheat, and I already feel better. Totally bizarre, and legitimate. If I was a gym beast, it might be different, but I'm not, so it's irrelevant.

Speaking of being gone forever, I feel like coming up with some New Years Resolutions. I know it's fairly early yet for them, but hey. I don't care.

1a) Don't eat wheat. Now that I am officially convinced of it's evils, and that it hates me, I am no longer going to partake willy-nilly. The only time will resign this resolution is when I go to Paris, other literally once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and once-in-a-blue-moon connolis (I love them too much.) Otherwise, no. I know it soulds like I'm giving myself a lot of wiggle room, buwhen you consider how many things contain wheat, I'm really not.

1b) Be more committed in general to my overall health and fitness.

1c)Buy new running shoes.

2) Pay off the last $45 dollars of my Mt. Zion debt, resulting in getting my certificate, and having access to my official transcripts.

3) Complete a FAFSA and get started on continuing my education.

4) Pursue being more involved in my church.

5) Read more classic literature, including all of Shakespeare's work.

6) See Anberlin when they are in Boston in March (That's not really a resolution...but I'm fairly resolved to do it.)

7) Get a job, and save money.

8) Make a greater effort to keep in touch with my friends.

9) Get a handle on Boston and the T system.

10) Start learning the guitar again.

EDIT: 11) find a pottery class to take!

Enough for now.

December 26, 2012

Making Christmas, making Christmas, LA LA LA.

If you are a Nightmare Before Christmas fan, you can sing that, and it makes sense.

Well, yesterday was Christmas! It was a nice day. My parents and I had a nice afternoon. I woke up first (as usual,) and went to Starbucks to buy us some Christmas blend for the day. We had a bet that if I could keep my room clean for a week, loser buys Christmas morning coffee. I obviously lost. It's kind of embarrassing, but I blame the fact that my room got bombarded with Christmas gifts and stuff. I'm making excuses.

Anyway, we had our traditional coffee and cinnamon rolls, and opened our stockings first.

I GOT THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. That's all that matters. It's a fancy shpancy two disc special edition which is amaaaazinggggg. I would have been this excited about the regular dvd. She also got me a little Batman figurine, which I got way too excited about. She told me that she almost got me a cape and mask, but decided against it because she knew I would wear it.

The best line of the day was probably, "It be shopping in the BOY section..because it said very clearly, 'BOY' I pretended I was shopping for my little son, not my...21 year old daughter." Ahhhhh, me. I told my mom that I think I'm making up for all the time that I didn't dress up and pretend to be a princess or something.

So, now, as I make up for lost time, I'm Batman. >_>

That's the only gift I'm going to talk about. Everything, really, was great, but I feel weird listing out what I got. It's silly. However, I will brag on what my aunt Joy gave me. She gave me a lithograph print of a Van Gogh painting. It's gorgeous. It's incredible. It's hanging above my bed. I looked up what the lithograph printing process is, and it's really intense. Really.

So, Batman and Van Gogh. Two vastly different things that make me equally happy.

I'm a closet materialist. I don't really like talking about things people give me. Things that I purchase for myself, it's different somehow. But I do love being given things, and I love enjoying them.

I'm looking forward to New Years. I love fresh starts. Fresh, new years are no exception, It's like a gigantic empty, journal of life that you know is full of potential. I love looking at journals. You can buy fun ones, pretty ones, simple know it's a great journal, but you have no idea what you'll write inside of it. That is all to come.

I like that. I'll write another post about my "resolutions."

In other news, I'm thinking of trying to approach Starbucks again. I had such a great interview in Newburyport, I might try one more time. We'll see. Because now I'm more confident in my ability to learn the machines and drink recipes. I can actually sell myself a little bit.


I can trust Him.

December 21, 2012


How's THAT for eye-grabbing? Yeahhh.

I'm stressed these days. Last night I had a complete emotional breakdown, complete with those asphyxiating kind of sobs.

I guess at some point, I need to turn to the Lord when I'm so blatantly faced with the terror of my own humanity. I'm really a terrible human being. I don't deserve anything nice, and yet I'm blessed with so much. Open doors into work that I sincerely love, a small amount of friends, all of whom mean so much to me, a car that manages to have a full tank at some point every week, parents that are sincerely there for me and support me, and tolerate with a genuine smile my ridiculous side. I've come to a place of loving myself, and being comfortable in my own skin. I have a church. I have a small group. I've been working out for free for over a year.

I'm exceedingly blessed and I deserve none of it. I'm horrible.

In my second year of Bible college, I did something that, to me, was just the peak of any bad that I could do. I disobeyed a big rule of the college, and in doing so went against my own personal standards, and in turn, caused pain for people that I loved the most (geez, could that part have been any more dramatic? It's true, though.)

I felt so terrible. I had lied to, and betrayed one of my girlfriends. It was the worst charade I've ever been a part of. It really was. I completely blame myself because in retrospect, I had been so manipulative of other people involved, and it was something that haunted me for about a year.

During that time of feeling like I was the worst person on earth, I realized that I didn't have a personal understanding of God's love for me. I knew it in my head, but I didn't know it in my heart. It's impossible to believe the promises of God with just our head. They have to be real inside our hearts, or else we will crumble.

I knew that Romans 8 was the "God's Love and Not Being Bound to Sin" chapter, so that's what I read to try and understand His love. I read it over, and over, and over again. Romans was so confusing to me. I didn't get it. I asked the Lord to make it real to me. I kept reading Romans 8 over and over again. And then suddenly, one day, it clicked into place. Like doing a puzzle and trying to find that one piece and you try to stick so many other pieces into the spot, and then fits. Perfectly. It makes the picture a little more clear.

I got it. I wrote a sermon for class on it. I believed it. I knew it was real, and I knew that it was true for me and everyone else around me. It revolutionized my relationship with God and how I saw Him. He wasn't sitting up in heaven glaring down at me for being selfish and disobedient. He was loving me, and being patient with me, and giving me another chance to repent and become more like Him, and to make things right.

Things did go right, eventually. It took a long time, but I'm still friends with the people involved.

And now, I'm faced with the Love of God again. I've changed a lot since my second year. Mostly for the better, but the past few months have been a season of personal rebellion, and though I've made it right with the Lord, and my heart is to honor Him, truly, I'm dealing with the consequences of rebellion. There's habits that I fell into that I need to get out of only with help from the Spirit. There's attitudes that I embraced that I really need to stop defaulting to because they're negative attitudes that no one wants to be around, and they benefit no one.

There are lessons to learn. Unfortunately, I tend to be someone who is willing to learn them the more difficult way. There are some that I'm not willing to learn the hard way, but man..I'm crazy. It's like I weigh my options of "badness" and go for it if it doesn't seem like it'll be too big of a deal. It's a terrible attitude to have. I need to mature. Spiritually, emotionally.

We all do, but dang, I am lacking.

In other news, Grandma is home..well, she's not inside yet, but the ambulance just got here. Cookie packing is tomorrow. Thankfully more people have committed to helping, which is great. I'm nervous about heading it alone, but it'll be okay. As long as cookies and candy get packed up, we'll be good.

December 17, 2012

I had an idea for a post.

I'll try to rememe...oh wait, I remember.

First, this is my 94th post. I'm going to try to hit 100 by New Years Eve. It shouldn't be too hard. This is a busy time of year, plenty to talk about.

Alright, well, to catch up.

My time at the Cafe has been amazing. I love it. Unfortunately, it's coming to an end soon. I'm actually legitimately disheartened by this. It's not for any bad reason, but when I proposed the idea, I think I came across as wanting to get a little bit of experience so that I could find a job, or know how to get my own business off the ground.

Well, this is true to a point, but I really just want to make coffee for people. If I have to make it for free, then I'm okay with that. Anyway, this past Thursday, when I was getting ready to leave, Mohammad was talking to me and saying that he thinks I'm doing really well, and I'll probably need two or three more days and I can move on.

I'm kind of hoping that what feels like a sudden dismissal isn't because it's "come out" (for lack of a better phrase,) that I'm an inexperienced, floundering Bible college graduate who's dad is the Prison Chaplain. I'm 90% sure that I'm just being paranoid, but I am 10% sure that I may be onto something.

I know that I haven't done anything to push my beliefs around, so..I'm just paranoid. Oh well.

Anyway, more proof that I'm paranoid, it didn't all end badly. He told me that he wants to extend the store hours sometime soon, and after he builds up the shift a little bit, he'd give me a call.

However, he might just be making me feel better >_> I'M SO PARANOID. I need to stop. The Lord brought me to this point, and it all happened the way that it has for a reason. Things will work out the way that they're supposed to, I just can't let my insecurity and fear screw me up.

But I really love being at the Cafe. I love it so much. I'm sad about being done, even though I'm not done yet. I've gotten to chat with some of the other guys that work there, and it's been nice. Each of them, John and Nouredeen, kind of did that same thing I'm doing. John was studying business management, and came to the cafe to do an internship kind of thing so that he could open his own business, and the manager at the time was looking to hire, so he ended up getting a job there. That was about four years ago, I think. Nouredeen, Mohammad's brother, was in Morocco before coming here, and for a week before he left, he went to a restraunt to train in the indsutry, as it were.

So, I guess since I have no idea what to do with myself after this, I feel kind of like I've been tossed out into the ocean of the world and though left with some good advice (John said that NECC has a good business program, which is good to know,) I'm just a girl who doesn't know what going on! And I'm poor!

*deep breath* I'm okay. I'm way too dramatic, and too easily excited, whether in a good way or a bad way. It'll be fine. I still have a few days. Anything could happen.

Moving on! It's a week until Christmas! We've already had one Christmas outreach, at the Middleton facility, and it was great! So many guys came out, and nothing went wrong. Even the Officers that were there were amazed. We were all walking out just laughing and having a great time.

We had more than enough bags, which is great because we can give them to guys at halfway houses and discipleship groups and stuff.

This week is busy. Getting ready for the Christmas Eve service at the FARM. All kinds of stuff going on. I have to make some Christmas gifts. I don't even have gifts for some people. It kind of stinks. I either have no idea what to get them, or I'm too poor to get them anything.

Next Christmas. I always feel bad at Christmas time. I know it's not about gifts, really, but I love giving gifts, and I always feel bad when I come up with a lot of ideas for one person, and the other person almost nothing. And I get gifts.

CHRISTMAS IS UNFAIR. MERRR. I need to collaborate with my mom. And also $1000.

Anyway, 100 posts before 2013! Yes. (This is really just me being OCD.)

December 9, 2012

I take credit for that.

No, you don't need to know what I'm talking about, but I totally take credit for it. Maybe not all the credit, but definitely some. I definitely played a part.

HAH! Anyway.

Church was great. I love my church. I love that even though socially I feel awkward because I don't really know anyone, and the people I do know go to different services, spiritually, I feel at home. I went up to the altar call today. I was able to have a legitimate altar experience with the Lord. That just...has never happened outside of Bible college. Okay, maybe at some youth rallies and my first year at Church Camp, when I got filled with the Holy Spirit.

I went to their program tonight, which ended up being kind of a kids Christmas craft night, which is fine, but I felt out of place. One of the Pastors was standing up in the foyer, and I met her before slipping out.

My genetic tendency toward being an introvert totally made sense, though. It was all held downstairs in the basement, it was dark, crowded, and again - I didn't know anyone. I just felt stressed out. If I had had a friend, or was more outgoing, it may have gone differently, but I'm glad I left. At least I tried, right? haha

I'm almost done with Christmas shopping.

I'm not sure why I'm blogging. I need to go to sleep. I have a long day tomorrow.

This post has no point. I just love my church. I am content. I am hopeful. I am a little manic. It's okay. I'm still sane.

December 7, 2012


I'm going nuts. My mind is going crazy. I'm not even confused, I'm just in a whirl. I need to be distracted. Every time I sit down and I'm left with my thoughts, I think and think and think and I'm just....feeling like I'm going crazy.

And it's like, I don't feel like I need to spew out all of my feelings, and try to convince anyone of anything, I'm okay keeping it inside, and to myself, and trusting the Lord with all, but I feel CRAZY. I feel like I want to be spontaneous and just go do something to get my mind off of THIS.

Cleaning doesn't help. Watching a movie in my room doesn't help. Reading doesn't help. On this particular day, EVERYTHING is a trigger.

Literally everything.

Maybe I have mental problems. Maybe I'm clinically insane. Maybe this is what schizophrenia is like. I hope not. Maybe I believe too much. Maybe I'm believing so much today that my brain just can't handle it all.

I am a thinker. I'm an over-thinker. But I'm not even over-thinking. I'm going through everything that is real, and has actually happened. Just over and over and over again.

I'm not imagining things that COULD happen. Well, okay. That's a lie. Maybe a little bit. But...UHHGGG. It's like, I know that I'm being completely rational about my life and I know the reality of my life, and then there's THIS.

*deep exhale*

I'm fine. Thanks for asking. I'll be okay. I just need to remind myself of things, and become stoic again. I'll be fine. I'll just go back into denial and maybe my head will calm down.

I'm not a mess. I have myself together. I'm fine. I'M JUST _____ __ ____.

I didn't say that. See? You can't see what I said. Or didn't say.

BUHHHHHH. Okay. I'm done. I just need to get out this energy.  My fingers aren't typing fast enough for this.

I'm fine. I'm just over-excited about working at the Cafe. Yeah. That's it.

Yeah. Denial. That's all I need. It's fine. It's good. I'm just a regular person who makes everyone think she's a nutcase by blogging like a crazy person.

Please don't judge me. Just continue to accept me for the girl you are friends with and love for all her quirks.


December 5, 2012

So, I was talking to my mom...

Back in college, the only person I really made phone calls to was my mom. More often than not we went over the allotted thirty minutes. Anyhow, when talking to friends, I'd very frequently start sentences with "So, I was talking to my mom..." and then went on from there.

Well, I talk to my mom a lot. A few months ago, while I was in the pit of despair and rebellion, I was crying and venting to her about how "Blah, blah, I want a job, blah, I hate the world." something to that extent. She would be nice, and then she would say, "Hannah, I think you should be going into the prison with your father. I don't know why, and I could be wrong, but I really think you should start doing that again."

This made me mad. Like, angry. I didn't WANT to go into the prison. I didn't WANT to wake up at the crack of dawn to take a shower because chances were good that dad would still be in the shower, and I would have to wait, and be sleepy, and cold, and then have no time to get ready.

And yet, deep down, I knew that she was right, and that if I went into prison, everything would probably begin to sort itself out. However, I wanted to do it the hard way. I didn't want to start going inside because I knew that it would magically fix my life. I figured that was somehow making God a magician.

I'm really stubborn. I like to ignore good advice and wait until I'm good and ready to do things the way they are suggested to me. I have to come to that point on my own. Which is funny, because I usually try to force people to see the light about things. IT'S SO OBVIOUS THAT THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE DUH. I've changed a lot, and I don't do that as much as I used to, but I was an oxymoron. Emphasis on moron, I think :P

Instead, I think it in my head, and say to myself, "It's ok. Everyone has to learn their own way." Because really, you just can't change anyone. I can only do my part to live out the truth that needs to be seen by others. In spiritual, and practical ways.

WELL. One day, after my trip to New York to visit with Ashley and Allix, where God met me in church and I began to truly believe that I was going to be okay, I felt ready to go back into the prison with my dad. My problem was also, I think, seeing it like I was being forced into ministry. I didn't want to be on call to randomly speak something spiritual in chapel. But now, I saw it as helping my dad, not being forced into ministry.

So, I went in with my dad. I do go in with my dad, rather. I might have to make some schedule changes now, because of Wicked Big, but I still go in with him.

Okay. So, here's where it get's funny. Since I've gone into the prison, my life has gotten better.

Mmhmm. Just like I knew deep down that it would. Sure, it's not all peaches and cream, but the things that I longed for? Getting them, slowly but surely. The Lord has opened the door for me to get into the coffee world. That was what I was fighting for for months, but He kept shutting the doors. So I got mad. Relationships are changing for the better. I trust the Lord again. I'm happy. I'm losing weight. I don't wake up angry anymore. I'm busy. I don't make a lot of money, but I make just enough to get through a couple weeks.

So, really. If there's something that you know the Lord wants you to do NOW, just do it. I know, it can take time to feel okay with it. I know, resenting God, and thinking that you aren't getting what you deserve makes it hard to obey.

But believing cliches actually helps. God does truly work things out for those who love him and are called according to HIS purpose, not our own. It could literally be anything. Stop watching that TV show. Stop listening to that music.

Stop resenting God for not following through with what YOU believed for. He isn't a liar, and He doesn't play games with us. Once we stop believing that we know what's best, and accept disappointment (not that that means we stop being disappointed. Life is hard.) But once we accept it, and WORK AT MOVING FORWARD, WITHOUT RESENTING GOD, then things can begin to change. Our heart plays a big part in how God can work in our lives.

Today was my favorite day.

Honestly, from beginning to end, it was just so great.

For starters, although I enjoy going into the prison with my dad, I really didn't want to this morning. I woke up anyway, got dressed, and found out that dad wasn't going until later, and I should just go back to bed. I did not complain. He then ended up not going later, and I woke up with time to get ready to go to Wicked Big. It was mildly stressful, because I forgot to write a "I will take responsibility for anything that happens to me" letter, but dad wrote it for me, and I got there on time. If anything bad DID happen, it was trying to park. Downtown Haverhill is whack when it comes to parking. It's either two hours for free, or you have to pay, or it's for the apartment residents only. I was parallel parking. By the 5th try, and finally getting over all the gangsters judging my bad parking skills, I finally got it.

I then walked into the Cafe. Mohammed read my letter, said it was fine, invited me behind the counter, and then from there is was like a dream come true. Honestly, I had to tell myself to stop grinning so big, because people would think I'm crazy. That's how exciting it was to stand behind the counter and see the espresso machine, and the cups, and the steam wands, and the syrups, and to be so close to the gigantic chalkboard in the back, and know that I am finally going to be a part of it all. It was amazing.

He showed me the machines, how they worked, where to find things, etc. Then, some customers came in, they ordered, and he made the drinks, showing me how to do it and explaining the difference between a latte and a cappuccino. I had no idea what the difference was, but now I do.

I made a few hot chocolates, a few lattes, served some regular coffees...that wasn't hard. Ultimately, I think I have the methods down so far, but I am MESSY. My hands aren't conditioned to the equipment. (Mo asked me, "Oh, are you a lefty?" I said yes, and asked if it was going to wreak havoc. He laughed and said, "Yes.")

So, I pour awkwardly and make messes, and it's a little difficult to get a handle on foam. It's okay, it's just my first day. There are going to be more.

(At this point, I had to stop. I'm picking this up today, Wednesday.)

Speaking of which, when I was getting ready to leave, he just kind of said that I could come in a second day if I wanted to (to which I said, "HECK YEAH." Not quite, but close.) So, after my first day, I am scheduled to come in twice a week. TWICE A WEEK! I'm so freaking excited.

Also exciting, in the same conversation, when he was encouraging me about how doing everything is just a matter of practice, like driving, he was like, "You know, and maybe you'll go and do your own thing, or you could get a job here...just takes practice."

It was almost mumbled, and I thought I misheard him, but I know what I heard. I heard him say that I could get a job there.

I know. It's only been one day. And it was pretty slow. But despite being incapable of pouring, and putting enough foam into a cappuccino, I obviously didn't do too poorly. I don't think I did, for a first time, anyway. But I know I can definitely do better. Once I feel more comfortable with everything, and become more confident in the reality that I can do it.

I know I can. Also fascinating is that I found myself actually asking questions because I sincerely wanted to know the answers. I didn't just stand around like, "Merrrrr....I'm just a weird girl who likes coffee." I mean, I did that too, but I also found myself engaged in everything that was going on. I guess it's on me to be interested, anyway. I am the one who walked in out of the blue and asked to do this.

Also, yesterday, I got talk to a friend of mine, which was great. We've been trying to get a hold of each other for a few days now, and we finally got to talk for a while last night. Like I told him, I think the last time we spoke over the phone was in August. That feels like centuries ago. Like, just in general. August? What? It feels like it's only September, but it's actually December, and August was a long time ago.

I also went to the Young Adult group I've kind of joined..kinda. I don't go to the church, but I enjoy it nonetheless.

It was, all in all, just a really superb day. Between, doing what I love, talking to one of my best friends, and also having a late night craft project with my parents for our Advent calendar, it was just all good.

Today is a little slower. I have a workout later, and I need to do some work around the house. And set up my Christmas village! The Advent item for today is perfect for it.

So, yes. And tomorrow, I will be back at Wicked Big, learning and doing more. So happy.

December 2, 2012

I never catch the whole Mumford & Sons song on the radio.

It's true. I always get there during the "People are probably tired of hearing the chorus over and over, let's stop singing" part.

I also never catch Gangnam Style, or Dynamite. I always get them near the end. Stinks.

Well, this has been a really long week, feels like. I skipped church last Sunday, because I was tired, and running low on gas. I didn't have babysitting on Monday, which was nice because again, I was low on gas. I went to the Prison with dad on Tuesday, and organized reading materials/cleaned up his office some more. I don't know what happened after those two days...I worked at the gym, and had workouts. Things really didn't get going until Friday, because I got paid some monies and could live my life a little bit.


Thursday night, I was washing the dishes, and thinking about what to do the next day. Mom and dad were taking grandma to a doctor appointment, so I figured I'd go out. My plan was to go read at Wicked Big, an indie coffee house in Haverhill that I've always really liked, even before I went inside, but never get to go to as often as I like because their hours are easy to miss. It's tiny, but they're food and coffee are good, and the atmosphere is cozy, and I've been slowly slipping away from my Starbucks craze and falling in love with the independent scene. Don't get me wrong, I frequent Starbucks all the time. I don't have much choice because they're open until 9 pm, not 5 pm. It's easier to hang out there.

Anyway, forgive my rabbit trail. So, I'm washing dishes. Thinking about going to Wicked Big. Suddenly, an idea pops into my head: "I wonder if Wicked Big would let me volunteer as a barista?" The idea is so out of this world that I'm thinking about it more, and figuring how I could ask about it, and if they'd be willing to do that....take someone in and teach them how to make coffee? "They would HAVE to be open to the idea, if they weren't going to pay me..."

Similar to my gym phenomenon, I'm pretty this idea was God-sent. I tell my mom about the idea, and she mulls it over a little bit, and says that she thinks it's a good idea. I mean, the worst that could happen is that they would say no, right? Yeah, pretty much.

So, I'm excited. This could be my in to the coffee world, finally! I go to bed feeling pretty good about it, hoping that I don't lose my nerve to ask in the morning.

When I wake up, a lot is ging through my head. "Should I ask? Should I even go today? What if it's busy? If it's busy I won't ask. What if the manager isn't there? I'll definitely lose my nerve by Monday. No, I have to go. I have to! It's my only chance to ask."

So, go I did. As an answer to prayer, it was not busy, and the manager happened to be the only guy working. I had kind of rehearsed how to present the idea, and when he was free to talk, I kind of just put it out there.

"Have you considered...would you be open to the idea of a..volunteer barista?" His eyebrows raised, interested. I told him about how this is something that I really want to do (which he replied to with a surprised, "Really?"), that I tried to get work at Starbucks, but they wouldn't hire me because I have no experience. I told him that I'd like to have my own coffee shop one day, but I can't do that until I learn how to make coffee and stuff!

He was really nice about it, and to my absolute surprise, he said yes right away! He said that I'd need to write a letter saying that I'd take responsibility for anything that could happen to me, hopefully not, and we discussed when I could come in (Tuesday afternoons.)

I don't think he (his name is Mohammad, by the way,) knows quite how thrilled I am that he's letting me do this. I am THRILLED. I'm so excited that I FINALLY get to do what I've been wanting to do for so long.

My mom swayed me into the fact that technically, I'm not going to be a volunteer. I'm an apprentice, because I'm learning "the trade," as it were. I'm totally cool with that. Who knows what all of this could lead to?? I'm just thrilled to pieces, though.

It's possible, I suppose, that I could end up hating this, and never want to own a business, and never want to make coffee for people, but I don't think so.

I think I would have hated working at Starbucks. I don't think I'm a corporate, "work for the man" kind of girl. I'm happy to benefit from people who do work for the man, though. I dig corporations.

So, thank you, workers of corporate America. Life wouldn't be the same without you.

I've also gotten a good handful of Christmas shopping done this weekend. I'm done shopping for about three people, but I have a couple solid idea for a couple others. My dad, Jill & Kate, and my cousins, Nic and Kyle are who I have no idea for. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. No clue.

I hate that! You'd think after a few years of knowing my dad I'd be able to think of something :P

Oh, well. Maybe I can find old emails with Christmas lists in them...people probably haven't changed too much.

Unfortunately, there aren't any gifts that I'm giving that I'm like, SO EXCITED about. I mean, they're really nice, and I like them, but you know how it feels to be like, "OH EM GEE I CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU TO OPEN YOUR GIFTSSSSS!!!!!!" I love that feeling. I love buying gifts for people, so it's lame sauce when I can't think of anything awesome.

OH! I need to do my advent calendar item for today!

So, things are going well. I did get some surprising, and momentarily unsettling news this week, on Thursday, but since Thursday, things have been such a blur of excitement, that my emotions have settled down about it.

I still have mixed feelings, though.

Anyhow, that's my life. Back to a normal (but new!) schedule this week. It's Christmastime, and I'm really happy about it.