3/27/2016

Jesus Calls Us Close

"Mary." 

One word. That is all that it took, and I felt a breath, a light, a freedom that I didn't dare believe. The demons that wrecked my body rushed out at that word, and a new hope filled me, overcame me, poured over me. 

Of course, many people spoke that word to me prior to this moment. It belonged to me, named me, identified me. Mary Magdalene. But when he spoke the word, he made it his own. He made me his own. 

The world around me emerged in new beauty, the sounds, smells, and sights radiating glory. I could hear murmurs of people as they wondered if the crazed woman finally lost it. I could smell sweaty crowds packed together, for everyone chased after this man, this Rabboni. 

"All your sins are forgiven," he said to me. He smiled down at me, and I realized that I had collapsed onto the sandy ground. I bowed down at his feet, his dusty, dirty feet that came closer to me. I wanted to touch them yet didn't dare. I wanted to cry and laugh and yell and hide. 

"Lord," I said, barely a whisper. "I am yours." I felt a calloused hand lift up my chin, elevating my gaze to his face.

"Come, let us go and eat at your house." 

And that is where my life began.



"Mary." 

His whisper hardly carried through the jeers of the soldiers and shouts of the people, but I heard it. I took a step closer to the cross, pushing down the nausea from the rancid smell of death. My core trembled at the sight of the blood that poured down my Lord's face, getting into his eyes and falling into his mouth. How I wanted to go up there and wipe it all away, pry off the nails that hung him on the cross, and mend his broken body. Why would he let this happen? 

"Mary," he repeated as he body shook with pain. "Stay with my disciples. They need you." I nodded through the tears that cascaded down my face. No tears stained his face, though, although his eyes held more sorrow than I could bear to look upon. 

Joanna came to me and supported my failing body, for I hadn't slept the past two days. We clung to each other as the sun vanished, as the sky echoed my own heart. Each rasping breath Jesus took pierced my soul. He was the Messiah, the Savior. He was my life, my hope, my purpose. How could I survive without him? 

"It is finished." 

The world moved about in slow motion as the crowd surged forward in morbid glee and the woman cried out in gut-wrenching sorrow. Jesus bowed down his head. 

He died. And I died with him. 
 


"Mary." 

I hesitated, not daring to believe what I heard. It couldn't be. I saw him die. I came this morning to bury him. He... he...

I turned around. 

Jesus stood before me. Alive. Coming towards me. Alive. 

"Rabboni!" I rushed to him, throwing myself into his arms, his solid, strong, pierced arms. I didn't know how, I didn't know when, but I knew that my Savior lives. He lives! I clung to him, not wanting this moment to end, not wanting to ever let go of the One who had saved my life. I bowed at his feet in worship, for I knew that he was more than a leader, more than a prophet; he ruled over all, even death. 

"Do not hold on to me," Jesus said, holding up my face with tenderness, "for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.'" He helped me up and we locked eyes for that moment. I couldn't bear the thought of leaving, but I knew this wasn't goodbye, rather, this was the new adventure, the new following. 

"Mary," Jesus said, and the word enlightened my soul just as a flash of light filled my eyes. When I opened them again, Jesus was gone. But I knew that I would carry that word with me forever. 

Jesus is alive! And he knows my name. 


"The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep out by name and leads then out. When he had brought out all of his sheep, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep... The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life- only to take it back up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have the authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." (John 10:2-4, 11, 17-18. See also Luke 8:2-3, John 19:25,30, John 20:10-18 for scriptures to back up my fictional retellings of Mary Magdalene's experiences with Jesus.)

He has come close to us, calling us into His ways of grace. He is the Risen King. 

Happy Easter! 

Princess Hannah

3/19/2016

BEST DAY EVER! (Giveaway + Questionnaire)

TODAY MARKS MY ONE YEAR BLOGAVERSARY!!!!!!!

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365 days ago today, I embarked on a journey that changed my life. This journey took time, effort, and several frustrating technological moments, but it also gave me eyes to see the joy, beauty, and grace all around me. For there is so much grace. Grace in everything, I'd say. 

From card making to floral dresses, from training in NYC to starting college, grace surrounds and covers my life, just as it covers your life. It allows us to sit in silence and live in thankfulness. It allows us to laugh and to create, to dance and to cook. This grace is in everything, and in everything may we find grace.

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That is my prayer for this little blog. I don't pray for thousands of followers. I don't pray for fame. I pray that God use these words to breathe grace into your life, grace into your everything. 

This couldn't happen without you, though. You, right there, reading this post, thank you. Thank you for every comment, every read, every share, every like, and every time you saw Jesus a bit more clearly because of my words. Thank you for bringing joy and encouragement into my life through your words, which inspire me to no end. Thank you for making the past 365 the most exciting, challenging, wonderful year yet!

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And to show my appreciation, I want to present you with a gift. Yes, I am hosting my first giveaway!



After spending awhile trying to find the perfect giveaway for y'all, I found this treasure! Not only is it gorgeous, it embodies the theme of my blog, which is living in grace during the day to day parts of life. I hope that whoever receives this journal will fill it up with authentic, grace-filled moments and lists and drawings and whatever is on your heart and personality! (See my tips on journaling.)

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Below is the entry for the giveaway. I've asked you to answer a couple of questions that I will post below, follow along with Grace in Everything, and like the page on Facebook. Of course, I don't want you to do these things just to win a journal, but I know that I oftentimes forget to actually follow my favorite bloggers until I'm entering a giveaway! When the winner is announced on Saturday, March 26, I will email them and then ship the journal directly to their house!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the process of blogging, I've come across many questions, and I will ask five of them to you. It's about time that I stopped posting blind about these things! I am resolved to continue to innovate, improve, and enjoy blogging, and so I thank you so much in advance for assisting me in this!

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1. How did you discover Grace in Everything?

2. How do you keep updated with Grace in Everything? (Do you find out about new posts through google, Bloglovin', Facebook, etc.?)

3. What day of the week and time of the day do you typically read posts?

4. What has been some of your favorite posts from Grace in Everything?

5. What would you like to see in the future?

I have many exciting posts and plans for this little blog and can't wait for one more year of making friends, discovering beauty, and above all, finding God's grace in everything!

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Princess Hannah

3/13/2016

Tea Time with the Dowager Countess

Today is the first Sunday with no Downton Abbey.

*sighs in a British accent and fails*

But the ending of one of the best British sources of sass and drama doesn't mean the ending of our enjoyment of aristocratic entertainment. Rather, I have an idea for us.

Let's have a tea party. An official, pinkies up affair that will leave us all feeling a bit more like the Crawleys.



What do you say? Do you want to learn how to have the best Downton Abbey inspired afternoon of your life? Below, the Dowager Countess and I will instruct you on the proper way to have a post-Downton Abbey Depression Tea Party.

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Step One: Planning

As y'all know, I love to plan things, and the same goes for a tea party. You don't have to think ages in advance, but pick out an afternoon, make sure you have the necessary supplies, and invite your fellow anglophiles! Try shopping at the local thrift and vintage stores to find some decor and tableware for your afternoon tea. If you want to make this official, hand out invitations a week or two in advance. (I made a couple of invitation templates, but I can't figure out how to post them. Please email me at hannahgirl06@gmailcom if you want them!)


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You mustn't make it look like you planned it all, though. The Dowager Countess wouldn't approve.

Step Two- Baking and Cooking

Here's where we role play our favorite servants. Food makes or breaks a party, and so the treats must take priority. I've got you covered, though! Here is a great resource for tea party fun, The Vintage Tea Party. In it you will find a host of ideas on tea, desserts, finger foods, and even beauty tips.

A couple of online recipes that I love for tea parties are The Pioneer Woman's Scone Recipe and Cookies and Cups's Tea Cake Recipe (pictured above). Both of these are simply, scrumptious, and delightful! 

And one can pretend to be healthy as well. Strawberries add that nice pop of color! (Tip: cut them up half an hour beforehand, sprinkle some sugar over them, and wait for deliciously sweet juices to emerge!)

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Step Three- Set the Table

I don't know why, but I really love setting the table. Something about the possibilities makes me excited and kid-like! 

30 Hilarious Dowager Countess Of Grantham GIFs For Every OccasionWhen it comes to setting your table, just have fun. Use what you have, be it wildflowers or your great-grandmother's china. 




Step Four- Play the Part

This is where we bring out our British accents, witty jokes, and proper manners.



You could also do what we've done in the past, where each person acts like a specific British character. Which is basically an excuse for me to live like sassy Elizabeth Bennet for an hour.

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And we can't forget about dressing up. That's the most important part.

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Step Five- Quote the Dowager Countess as Much as Humanly Possible

In case you forgot some of her best lines, I have a few stored up for you:

30 Hilarious Dowager Countess Of Grantham GIFs For Every Occasion
Or, when in doubt, just pull one of the Dowager Countess' looks. If you dare.

30 Hilarious Dowager Countess Of Grantham GIFs For Every Occasion






And this concludes the Dowager and I's tutorial on how to have a tea party. I hope that you follow in the steps of Downton Abbey (even if you don't watch it) and throw yourself a tea party in the near future! Tell me how it goes. Also, comment below your favorite moments of Downton Abbey. What did you think of the series finale? Are you going to miss it tonight as much as me? 

Have a splendid week! 

Princess Hannah

3/07/2016

Poetry for the Soul

Poetry lives.

Some may call it dead, stagnant, a thing of the past. But I call it moving, living, changing. I call it powerful and beautiful. I see it shine a light on life that no other asset of human creativity can.

However, I didn't realize that I loved poetry so much until I took a poetry and drama course this semester. When forced to read dozens of poems, I found the felicity of poetry, the charm of lines and rhymes. It even inspired me to write some poetry of my own, although I wrote most of my poems at midnight, so I don't have much confidence in them. Regardless, I love the little words that filled my nightly journal.

And now those words will dance upon this blog.

I present...

Hannah's Midnight Poems: 

(Accompanied by photographs from a recent prayer walk, which is simply where I walked outside and prayed at the same time. And marveled at tree branches.)


Today was a sunny day,
where bare tree limbs hoped for the sky above, 
not knowing that in their empty stage
they create a beauty unparalleled. 

Today was a moonlit day, 
where the sun felt so far from where I stand
but here in the darkest stage
I see her light slicing through all thoughts. 

Today was a windy day, 
where the breath of the world carried me far off places, 
places I didn't know and couldn't map
but places that fit some far grander plan. 

Today was a day the Lord made. 
I rejoiced and was glad in it. 

More. Much. Move. Mist. 
Prepared for such a time as this. 
Hard. Help. Head. Here. 
New joys will overcome this fear. 


Somehow I feel more
I hear more. 
I see more. 

Like my soul blooms forth. 
It brings change. 
It brings grace. 

This light weighs upon me. 
To hear more. 
To see more. 

But Christ is within me. 
He brings change. 
He brings grace. 

The sun shone through, 
dancing past the clouds and leaves, 
singing away the rainy thoughts, 
showering magic upon the ground. 

I lifted my head, 
catching the life upon my face, 
breathing in grace that God instilled, 
smiling to show the world my joy. 

And time stood still, 
waiting for me to catch the sun, 
pausing for the world to dry its tears, 
hoping in today as the sun shone through.




Embrace words today. Use them to give Christ glory, for Christ created their beauty in the first place.


Now I want to hear your thoughts about poetry. Do you read it? Because I really need recommendations on poets that are lighthearted and beautiful. Do you wish you read more of it? Do you like it? I love y'all and pray for you to have a joyful week!

Princess Hannah