4/19/2016

Writerly Adventures

I love to write. Y'all know this already, of course, but I now share my writing with a bit more of the world through writing in The Odyssey. The Odyssey is an online newspaper of sorts for colleges around the country. I write once a week for their platform and share my articles on social media. The local article with the most views and shares receives $20, but I don't plan on writing on order to make money. (Not to say I wouldn't enjoy 20 bucks.) 


Much debating about this opportunity occurred before I made this decision. My first priority in writing for The Odyssey was that this blog in no way decreases in quality and regularity. And then I wanted to make sure my sanity in no way decreased in quality or quantity. Both important things if you ask me. 

Then I went through the interview process. Got in. Wrote my first article! The chance to share my writing to such a broad and extensive audience thrills me! I pray that God uses me to further His kingdom though these articles that I will write. 



Even though I can't directly post on Grace in Everything the articles that I post on The Odyssey, I plan on linking Odyssey articles to my posts now and then. If you want to keep updated on all of my articles, follow me on Twitter and I will keep you updated. (On a side note, Twitter slowly makes a place in my social media rhythms. Y'all, sometimes I am funny, and it surprises me every time.)

Here is my first ever article for The Odyssey! I write about how to not let the stress and weariness of the home stretch of the school year wear us down so that we forget about the moments. For "it is when we forget about the moments that we forget to live." This piece constantly challenges me to live what I preach, because choosing to live proves difficult when living gets hard. 




My most recent post describes and defines ballet. Ballet claims an important part of my life, but defining it creates a dilemma. Is it a sport? An art? A performing art? I dive deep into the essence of ballet as "the place where the heart meets the body." 




Hopefully that you enjoy the articles! Comment below your thoughts on this new adventure I embark upon! Also comment the exciting and non-exciting adventures life is taking you!

Writing for The Odyssey actually increases my excitement to continue to provide innovative and unique posts for Grace in Everything. Thank you for making my life a bit sunnier and more encouraging! 

Princess Hannah 

4/11/2016

Be Thou My Vision

via Hannah Rose Beasley
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my Wisdom, and thou my true Word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.



via 

When learning how to balance for ballet, my teacher would always try and make things harder. She would tell us to close our eyes. At first, this seems simple. After all, our eye muscles aren't supporting our balance. Closing our eyes shouldn't change a thing. 

But once we close our eyes, we begin to lose our balance. We struggle to maintain the desired position without a stabilizing focal point. Any change in weight or outside forces causes us to wobble. Shake. Struggle. And then fall. 

This hymn has repeated in my heart for the past few weeks, especially as life tried to take my vision off of Jesus and onto the pressing matters at hard. But when I close my eyes to Jesus, I start to fall at any shift or outside force. It doesn't take much, for it can be a busy week, an upcoming project, a tense relationship, or a desire to please people. 

But in the middle of this distracting life, this challenging life, this joyful life, let's keep our eyes on Jesus. He will stabilize us. He will keep us going in the right direction. In the hurried moments, whisper to yourself the truths in this hymn and keep breathing in the love of Christ! 

Still be my vision, O Ruler of all. 

Princess Hannah 

4/03/2016

Choosing Compassion

A man in his eighties built homes for most of his life. His hands knew the patterns of the tools, and his nose grew accustomed to the smell of freshly cut wood. He was a builder, a fixer, and maker, but little did he know that he would have to tear down his own home in the spring of 2016 due to a flooded dam.

He would watch as several young adults ripped out oak paneling contaminated by mold. Piece by piece, they tore out the cabinets and ridded the walls of sheet-rock. Carefully they removed the custom fireplace that he built and placed the pieces on the deck in hopes that one day he can rebuild his creation.

His home stood bare, hardly recognizable from the plans at which he first made it, lived in it, and cherished it.


I saw this. I helped the man cut his own cabinets out of his kitchen. I smelled the dust, the mold, and the wood that seeped out of this process of dismantling. I helped him to recover from a disaster than I hardly understood but desperately wanted to understand.

Oh how I wanted to understand.

I wanted to understand how to feel compassion. I searched for the moment, that feeling, or some kind of emotional response to the crisis going on around me. What do I say to this man as I take apart his home? How can cutting his walls in two bring about compassion? Why wasn't I crushed, crying, or caring enough?



You see, I thought compassion was simply a feeling, but God showed me as I served on a mission trip this week in Vinton, LA, that compassion is a choice. And it starts with God.

God is compassion, the beginning, source, and definition of it. Just look at how God describes Himself in Exodus 34:6: "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." Look at the healings and miracles of Jesus in Matthew 14:14: "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick."

If God is the source of compassion, then only God's Spirit in us moves us to compassion. It is not something we can force to flow from the goodness in our souls, for without God, there is no goodness in our souls. "For if is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purposes." (Phil. 2:13) We must ask and have faith that God will work compassion in our hearts. "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you." (John 15:7)

But sometimes, after asking for compassion, we get something unexpected.

Work.


As it turns out, it is the same thing.

For I found that compassion is an active choice to follow the ways of Jesus. It is more than a feeling, bigger than a moment, and stronger than an experience. Compassion looks "not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others." (Phil. 2:4) And compassion works hard "as working for the Lord and not for men." (Col. 3:23)


We must decide to "clothe [ourselves] with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." (Col. 3:12) We must remain in Christ that His fruit may grow in us. And this fruit isn't a good-feeling-that-we-can-put-on-Instagram kind of a deal. It is a work-hard-until-sweat-stings-our-eyeballs kind of deal. It is hard work even when we don't feel anything. It is choosing to act in compassion even when we don't feel compassion.

Then, in the process of following Jesus, we met people like that man who builds homes. While our hands are busy in obedience, God is busy in our hearts. Rooting out pride. Growing a genuine love for others that is more than an experience.


This week, I learned a bit more about how to choose compassion. I learned how to work in compassion. And I learned that compassion is more than a feeling. Now the adventure begins. What are we going to choose today? Where are we going to look, serve, and ask?

As you think about compassion today, keep Vinton, LA, and surrounding areas in your prayers. Hundreds of homes were affected by the flooding of the Sabine River, some completely ruined and many without insurance or assistence. Pray for more workers, because "the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matt. 9:37-38)

Comment below your thoughts on compassion. How can I be praying for you this week? How are we going to work for God's kingdom?

Princess Hannah