10/18/2018

Fearlessly Faithful and Faithfully Fearless

This small town blogger got to study ballet with the American Ballet Theatre in New York City this past summer! I packed my bags and lived the NYC dancer life for three wonderful, tiring, exciting weeks. Weeks I won't soon forget, Weeks I will treasure forever.



And in those weeks of intense living, God pressed a strong theme into my soul- be fearlessly faithful and faithfully fearless. 




I went into the intensive with so much fear. I feared making the wrong choice. I feared deciding what I wanted to do with my life. I feared that I would make a fool of myself as a dancer. I feared wasting money. I feared a lot of things.




Oh, but God knew what He was doing.




On the flight to NYC, I started reading Louie Giglio's book, Goliath Must Fall. In the book, he discusses specifically how fear must fall in our lives. 

Let's talk about timing here.




"Fear grips us whenever we believe that apart from, or in spite of, our best efforts, something undesirable is going to happen and we can't stop it." (page 54)

Then, to top it off, God did something fun. As I sat reading in Bryant Park, eyeing the Empire State Building every now and then, the book mentioned something very familiar. Louie Giglio started to tell a story, and the story was set in none other than the LaGuardia Airport, where I was just hours ago.




It was as if God waved His arms and said, pay attention to this. I am going to use it in your life. 

"We understand that we must hear Jesus and we must see Jesus. We must keep the focus of our hearts on him. That's because hearing Jesus and seeing Jesus and focusing on Jesus builds up our faith, and faith is the antidote to fear. The opposite of fear is not being bold and courageous. The opposite of fear is faith. And faith begins by us saying, 'I have confidence in God that he is bigger than this giant.'" (page 56, emphasis mine)




That's when it began to click. If the opposite of fear is faith, then we are called to be fearless faithful and faithfully fearless.

We are invited to live fearlessly faithful lives. For although faith is the antidote to fear, it takes a little fearlessness to be faithful. It takes guts to trust God. It's not easy to be faithful when the world tells us to fearfully cling to all of our rights and pleasures.



To be fearlessly faithful is to trust God with a scary amount of faith. However, we don't fear trusting God, because we know that He is faithful. His faithfulness invites us to have faith in Him without fear. To be fearlessly faithful is trust that Jesus is worthy of all of our lives: every act of obedience, every heartfelt prayer, and every step along the way. It is courageous faith, but not faith in courage.




We are not only called to be fearlessly faithful; we are also called to be faithfully fearless. We are called to a life that is, for lack of a better word, scary. It is true that God provide for us a shelter from the storm. Sometimes, though, He tells us to go out upon the waters and have faith that He won't let us drown. Sometimes, we have to get a little wet.




We need to use faith in order to do fearless things. If not, fear will crush us before we even step outside. Jesus has given us a great commandment, a wonderful mission. It is about time that we faithfully pursued fearlessness for the sake of the kingdom of God.




The real test of faith for me in NYC came on my first Monday, the placement class, the fearful day that would determine the rest of the program. It was one of the biggest things that I feared, but that morning I began to see what being fearlessly faithful and faithfully fearless truly meant.




I walked into that placement class and actually had fun. Joy filled my heart and replaced competition with compassion and comparison with confidence. Suddenly, I felt free. Faith grew in my heart that day.




And the next day.



And the next day.



Faithfulness isn't a one day decision or a seasonal activity. It is an every day, step-by-step kind of lifestyle. Oh, how I need daily reminders to be faithful. 




So this is my reminder for myself and maybe for you, too, dear reader. Will we accept the challenge to live fearlessly faithful and faithfully fearless? Will we be courageous with the amount of faith we place in trustworthy Jesus? Will we live boldly because of our faith in Jesus?




Let's grab faith and one hand and fearlessness in the other and dance on forward. I don't think that we will look back from this kind of life.

Much love,

Princess Hannah

10/02/2018

Fighting for Contentment




"But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content"

1 Timothy 6:6-8


Contentment is hard. 


It is hard to be content when we have such big dreams. It's hard to be content when we've seen great things. It's hard to be content, for goodness sake, when Instagram reminds us daily how much we don't have. 


We don't have a boyfriend. We don't have that dream closet. We don't have that amazing testimony. We don't have those spectacular experiences. 


When I look back at this year (especially last spring), I see a lot of discontentment. 


Why? 


Because I wanted to be back in Disney. I wanted to be off on the next adventure off to NYC or Europe. I wanted to be somewhere else.


Oh, so very badly. 




And so, to numb the discontentment, I pursued aimlessness. Pursue is too strong of a verb. I resorted to aimlessness.


I think that I mistook that aimlessness, that complacency, for contentment. I deceived myself into contentment, not because I found my contentment in something greater than Disney or adventures, but because I ignored my troubles and blocked out the discontent thoughts with media, busyness, and temporary fixes. 


 settled. Settled for a dulled soul and distracted mind. Instead of facing my disappointment and shortcomings, I went on Instagram and browsed pictures of Disney. Instead of puzzling out my thoughts and talking to God, I planned the future and dwelt on what might come. 


That's not contentment, not godly contentment. 




What is godly contentment, then? 


I believe godly contentment to be satisfaction in Jesus, untainted by our circumstances. Contentment is to find joy in Jesus in times of excitement, plenty, normality, or struggles. Contentment is much more about Jesus than it is about what we do or do not have. 


I also find that contentment leads to action. Because contentment focuses on the sufficiency of Christ, it will lead us to follow Christ's ways and kingdom. Contentment isn't sitting still and feeling good about our place in life. Contentment is standing up, no matter how hard it is, and living in a way that worships Jesus. It is a life of action, not reaction. 


"Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith."


1 Timothy 6:11-12




I can't help but think of the scene in The Incredibles where Helen realizes that Bob is not on a business trip. She assumes that he's off with some other women and starts to melt in tears and self-pity.

Edna Mode, then, hits Helen on the head with a rolled up newspaper.

"Go, confront the problem. Fight! Win!"


Related image


Let's channel our inner Edna Mode and slap our discontentment on the head with the Word of God. Let's roll up our sleeves and start to fight with Christ the envy, laziness, and selfishness lurking in our hearts. With our hearts firmly planted in the love of God, let His power grow us in joy, purpose, and contentment. For we will find in Him far more than anything we discontently long for. 

Much love,

Princess Hannah

9/26/2018

The Cutest Mew in the World


Welcome to my day in Notting Hill, London.


It was absolutely brilliant.


After taking the tube for way too long, my good friend Stephanie and I ventured into the Instagram forest of Notting Hill.


First stop, coffee.


With scones, jam, and clotted cream, of course.


Next stop, the cutest mew in London.


Take that back. The cutest mew in the world.


What's a "mew," you might ask.


In Britain, "mews" were once stables that opened up into a small ally. Now, they are often residential and quite cute.


A perfect spot for a ballet photoshoot, don't you think?


And so, after some backbending labor...


...and many smiles...


...Stephanie and I mastered the fine are of Mew Photography. 


But mostly, we had fun...


...enjoyed the beautiful city of London...


...twirled around a bit...


... and kept on exploring. 



MUCH THANKS goes to Stephanie and her AMAZING photography skills! She was incredibly diligent on not only capturing the perfect moment but understanding why it was good ballet. She is so passionate for Jesus, dedicated to photography, and inspiring in her life. Please go give her Facebook page a follow to see more of her photography. 

What is something beautiful that has captured your eye lately? 

Princess Hannah

9/04/2018

Jesus is the Grandest Adventure

Adventure is out there.

That's what we've always heard. That's what we grew up thinking and dreaming. We dream of far off places and fantastic experiences. We dream of getting away and finding something truly spectacular.

Adventure is out there. 

But where is there?



During the past year, I've spent a considerable amount of time where most people would consider there is. Five months in Disney. One month in London. Three weeks in NYC. Two weeks in Ireland, Germany, and France. I guess you could say that I've been there this past year.



The funny thing about there is that if feels an awful more like here than I expected. I'm still the same person there as I am here. My body still needs sleep and food. I still struggled with the same things.

My adventures delighted me, but they weren't in and of themselves life giving. They were actually rather draining. I came back from each one tired physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And even after traveling much this year, I'm still searching for there. 




I think that though my mind and heart had adventured away during the past year, my soul had been a little abandoned. The quest for adventure isn't just a heart and mind thing. It is most fundamentally a soul thing. I think that God created our souls to long for adventure.

Where, then, is this adventure that our souls long for?

It is in Jesus, my friends.

Jesus is the grandest adventure. God is the journey that our souls long for.



Jesus is the epic story of love and loss, battles and victory. God is the glorious beauty to behold; He is indeed the Creator and definition of true beauty. Jesus is the driving purpose and excitement of our lives. In God is a rich history, splendid present, and promising future. He is ever unfolding to us more of Himself for us to discover.

That's the truly exciting part. You see, I got to go to some pretty cool places. I saw Buckingham Palace, the Harry Potter Studios in London, the Eiffel Tower, and so much more. However, I didn't go to these places as a participant but as a spectator. I didn't visit these cities as a citizen but as a tourist.



God, though, gives us a place in the adventure. He gives us citizenship in His kingdom. Suddenly, this adventure becomes more than just a stop in our life but becomes our life itself. It is an adventure that doesn't end. It doesn't leave us dry and wanting more.



Following Jesus is the grandest adventure of our existence, not because it is filled with excitement and love and purpose (which is it) but because it is centered around God. And God is with us. Immanuel. And God is for us. Our cups overflows.

I may have come home from a year of traveling, but the real adventure, the grandest adventure, is only just beginning.



So I guess adventure isn't out there after all. Immanuel changed all of that when He brought adventure right here with us.

Jesus, thank you for taking us on this adventure. May we follow. May we worship. May You be glorified.



It's been a while! Perhaps, because this crazy year has settled down, this blog will get some more attention. Please comment below your recent adventures with Jesus and around the earth.

More posts to come about my travels!

Princess Hannah

1/24/2018

Capturing Magical Moments


"Once upon a time, there was a Magic Kingdom made of hopes and childhood fantasies. A timeless place where every land was filled with wonder. A place where everyone who entered its gates would be given the gift of the young at heart."

(Julie Andrews)


I love Magic Kingdom with all of my heart. Naturally, I did a photoshoot in my favorite nooks and crannies with my amazing and beautiful roommate, Hannah. From the little alcove in Main Street, to the outer rim of the castle courtyard in Fantasyland, we hit almost all of my favorite spots (excluding Rapunzel's tower, of course, but that will be for a future blog post). 


It was a truly magical day filled with iPhone pictures. Seriously, we took almost 800 pictures. I've chosen my favorite 30, though, to share today. Major photo creds goes to Hannah, who did such an excellent job! 


One of my favorite things to do in Magic Kingdom, and really any park, is to find the out of the way spots, the little spaces where you can really see and experience the magic in a personal way. These places shown are some of the best spots to savor the magic.

The door shown in the beginning is on the left side of Main Street as you walk in, in the middle of The Emporium. The light post and flower pictures are in the little alcove on Main Street in between the jewelry store and the collectibles store. 


Shirt (similar): Target

Skirt: Target

Cardigan (similar): Old Navy

Jeans: Kohls


And what's a Magic Kingdom picture without the elusive rose gold ears? I always told guests that they were a mythical Disney creature with a disappearing act because they are so hard to find!


Mickey bars and the castle. It's a classic.






This little beauty is on the right side of the castle coming from Main Street. It has a great view!



I love this area! It's by Philharmagic.







These little arches in the courtyard of Fantasyland, behind the castle, are great places to take pictures. You can also see the Fairy Godmother and the Step Sisters around here sometimes. 










This is one of my favorite sunset spots! It's in front of the Crystal Palace




As I like to say, have a magical day! Comment below a magical moment you recently experienced. Thank you all bunches <3 p="">

Princess Hannah