5/30/2016

21 Favorite Things

There's a lull in the conversation, when someone decides to ask: "So, what's your favorite..."

Uh oh, favorites.

Some may view favorites as trivial questions. Others approach them as stressful troubles that they feel obliged to figure out. I think of them as little window into my personality. Not everything in life deserves or needs a favorite, but sometimes figuring out favorites forces me to chose what I like and helps me discover who I am.

I don't know why I value favorites so highly. Maybe it's because my mind is composed of lists, and there can't very well be five items in the first bullet point. There's a No. 1 and a No. 2, etc. Maybe I like to determine my favorite because it allows me to think of all of the good things in life. Rather than discredit the items that don't make top choice, choosing a favorite helps me to enjoy them all even more because I am thinking critically about them and appreciating the joys that all things bring to my life.

So I think about my favorites. And I ask people about their favorites. And right now, I'm going to tell you way more favorites than you want to know.

Favorite... 

Fiction Book: Anne of Green Gables. This timeless tale of whimsy and tragic mistakes holds a dear place in my heart. I got a collectors edition recently and I must go back and read it yet again this summer!

Buy it from Rifle Paper Co
Non-Fiction Book (aside from the Bible): Simply Tuesday. A review is coming soon, I promise!

Book of the Bible: Romans. (With Colossians as a cloooose second.)

Chapter of the Bible: Ephesians 2

Verse of the Bible: Okay, this one I can't answer. There are wayyyy too many verses that I love.

Movie: Tangled. This is the easiest favorite I've decided so far.



TV Show: Daredevil. (I even wrote five reasons why I love Daredevil for my most recent Odyssey article!)

Musician: Ben Rector. His songs are so realistically adorable and fun! He even has a song dedicated to his taxi drivers and one for the man he sat next to on the plane.

Song: "Here Now" by Hillsong United. This song stills my heart to see God more clearly. It's even more powerful in person!

Article of Clothing: Dresses! (And my favorite dress that I own is my senior prom dress)

See the full post here
Dinner: Thanksgiving dinner. Or breakfast food. I mean, there's ham+dressing or waffles+pancakes. The struggle!

Dessert: Warm brownies and ice cream. Add some peanut butter, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and Reese's and it's kinda like heaven on earth.

Day of the Week: Sunday. A day of rest, family, and most of all, prolonged time with Jesus!

Number: Seven. I really liked being seven.

Color: Did I even ask myself that question??? *looks around blog* *looks around bedroom*

Actress: Audrey Hepburn. The class, beauty, and skills she possesses make me so happy!



Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch. HE IS SO STINKING TALENTED!!!

Avenger: My future husband, Captain America. (See his presidential campaign written by yours truly.)

Social Media: Instagram. I love the pictures, the meaningful posts, and the artistic liberty that Instagram provides! Follow me at @princesshannah_p

Animal: CATS!!!! Especially my furry babies.

Candy: Chocolate. Dark chocolate.



Now it's your turn! Choose one (or more) of these categories and comment below your favorite! Do you value favorites or do they stress you out? Feel free to even do a blog post about your favorite things. I can't wait to see if we have any similar favorites!

Princess Hannah

5/22/2016

The Pinterest Challenge


Pinterest.

It's a blessing and a curse, an organisational tool and a method of procrastination that prevents us from organizing our lives. It makes us laugh and learn, get fat and then workout. On this website we find inspiration, ideas, and projects. We see it, we like it, and we pin it. Simple.

But 8,733 pins, 34 boards, and countless hours later, what do I have? What happens to those ideas? Where do those projects go?

The Great Chasm of Forgotten Pins. 



Yes, my friends, this Chasm exists. It collects the thousands of pins that we carelessly throw into our numerous boards. It welcomes the DIY projects that we will never make. It gives a home to those recipes that will never again tempt our appetites.

The Great Chasm of Forgotten Pins has claimed many a pin of ours, but let's reclaim what is rightfully ours. Let's win back the pins that we once held dear and actually (are you sitting right now?) do them. 

But how?

I present to you the Pinterest Challenge.

Do not fear. The Pinterest Challenge will not take away the fun of Pinterest but it will actually increase your enjoyment of this site.

What is it? Glad you asked.

The Challenge: for every time that you go on Pinterest in the next 21 days (or for any 21 day period in the future), do one thing that you pin or have pinned in the past. 

This doesn't have to be making a table out of old lawn chairs or anything. It can be as simple as applying a quote or doing a five minute yoga sequence. Try baking something, putting to practice those tips on creativity, or capturing photos inspired by the images on Pinterst.

It also doesn't have to be something that you see on Pinterest that day. In fact, I recommend stalking yourself for inspiration. Do the things that you saw three years ago and promptly threw into the Great Chasm of Forgotten Pins.

How to Participate: first I need you to promise your first child to me as a guarantee of your agreement... Wait, I'm not Rumplestiltskin? Nope, definitely not. So maybe we can work out another deal for this magical challenge (because we all know that magic always comes with a price).

If you want to transform the way you use Pinterest, I only ask that you do three things:

1. Do It
Only use Pinterest if you will do or already have done something inspired by Pinterest that day.

2. Say It
After you do said something, change the description on the pin that you used, adding a note that explains how it went. This not only help you to remember your experience but it helps others to know that you personally tried out the pin.

3. Share It
Join the group board I will link below and then pin the pin you use each day onto that board, complete with your personal comment. You do not have to join the board to participate, but it will make it more fun for all of us to see each other's progress in the realm of Pinterest.

The Pinterest Challenge Board

I want to use Pinterest to better my life and inspire me in more ways that just glancing at an image. I want to take these pins in the Great Chasm of Forgotten Pins and bring them back to the surface of reality. If you feel the same way, join me in this Pinterest Challenge and let's transform the way that we use Pinterest!

Comment below if you are interested in participating in the challenge either now or some other time, because that is the great thing about the Pinterest Challenge, you can do it any time! And comment if you'd like to be invited to the Pinterest Challenge board.

Have a beautiful end of school year/beginning of summer

Princess Hannah

5/17/2016

Beauty Makes an Ugly God- My Struggle With Body Image

What time is it? 
IT'S SUMMER TIME!  
(it's our vacation)
Guys, I am so excited about summer! With it comes reading mornings, crazy sleepovers, and sunny days by the water. But with summer time also comes something many dread: swimsuit season. 
In case you haven't noticed, some of the most popular personal resolutions center around health and fitness. We want to exercise more, eat better, and make our skin glow. No more sugar! No more elevators! No more french fries! We are on a mission, and this summer we will finally get it.
Fitwirr
But I must ask this question, what is it? Will we be happy on the other side?
I've struggled (who am I kidding, I'm still struggling) with the tricky balance of healthy living and body image for a while now. It is not a pretty story. It holds shame and mistakes. I'm afraid of what you will think of me. So this post sat in my draft box for almost half a year now, waiting. What changed my mind? Well, even more than that fear, I need to tell you this story, because I don't want it to be your story. Will you listen as I warn you that a bikini body will not give you what you want?
Let's start at the beginning: I've always been skinny.
I remember when I was young how my Mom would brag on my long and lean limbs and how I felt special because I possessed the body everyone seemed to want. My thighs didn't touch and I could wrap my tiny hand around my arms. Even better, I could eat frozen pizza and ice cream every day and nothing would change! (That's a pretty great bonus.) 
The benefits of my body shone brighter in respect to ballet, for I have what people call a "ballet body." Every time someone would tell me these things, I smiled. Little did I know how these well-intended comments would seep into my soul and provide a platform for Satan to tempt me into one of the biggest struggles of my life.
Then puberty started coming, and my body, the body I loved and felt special in, started to change. Now don't overestimate the effects of puberty on me. I am not a curvy girl. But my thighs neared each other. In little ways, my body began to change from that of a little girl to that of a young woman, which is a good thing.
But I feared losing what I learned to love. I feared that this slender, long body wouldn't be the slenderest or the longest. I feared fat. I feared un-toned muscles. I feared. And in fear, I didn't trust God, and so I took things into my own hands. I started eating healthier, exercising more, and thinking too much about what I looked like. 
The mirror became a standard, one which could elevate or destroy in one moment, but one which didn't show the whole truth.
Here comes the part that I don't like to talk about, but I will anyway. It is the time when the lies grew the loudest, late 2014. The lies masqueraded themselves as a healthy lifestyle, but it was not completely healthy. Underneath it all, I think I just wanted to see if I could attain this impossible image of beauty that I believed would make me the most desirable in both ballet and culture.
I didn't make super horrible decisions, and for many people, what I did would be fine. I ate less carbs and more produce. I cut out soda and restricted sugar. I worked out more on the weekends. But I obsessed over it all. I didn't realize this at first, but I wasn't eating enough. The foods that I ate didn't contain enough calories, even though they filled me up.
And so I lost weight.
This picture captures me during the time that I lost weight
Again, for many people, this wouldn't mean unhealthy things, but I already bordered on underweight, so this harmed me. But I didn't want it to stop, not all of the way. Finally, I felt like I achieved the ideal I sought for. I was a shade over one hundred pounds at five foot seven.
But the rest of me felt ashamed. I still didn't love my body, for it only reminded me of my sin. I looked like what I thought the world wanted me to look like, finally going to the other side of the fence, but I didn't feel happier or more content.
How did I let this get so out of hand? Why did I believe these lies? What could I do, for these insecurities seemed inescapable?
I realized that I idolized what I looked like. I worshipped skinny instead of God. And with tears streaming down my face, I repented. Confessed. Daily I confess these struggles to God, and the cross is enough to forgive me. The shame is taken away, and a new way of life presents itself before me.
This way of life eats lots of peanut butter. It keeps many of the good habits, like lots of fruits and veggies, but it recognizes that carbs aren't bad. Fat is necessary. And food should be fun, not an obstacle. My worth is more than how I look in a swimsuit or a leotard. My worth is in my identity as God's daughter, a Princess. 

This way isn't easy. I still struggle with the temptation to idolize outward appearance, and, more than not, I fall. I probably could still gain some more weight and definitely need to change some more thoughts on health and fitness. But I'm never going back. This summer, I want to love my identity in Christ.
Who am I to draw with a Rosa Art crayon on top of a masterpiece? God made me a certain way and instead of seeking the perfect bikini body, I want to embrace my worth as God's creation. I want to live a healthy, secure, and joyful life in Christ's mission as His beloved daughter.
Dear sisters in Christ, as the world tells us to work hard for the perfect bikini body, keep in mind that not all that appears healthy glorifies God. Please, please, don't let health, fitness, or beauty become your god. They make for pretty lousy gods. Trust me, a bikini body won't satisfy, that's God's job. So let's start to live, worshipping God for the gifts He's given us through our physical bodies.
If you want ideas about what this living in inner beauty looks like, check out my newest Odyssey article. 

5 Things to Seek More Than a Bikini Body
Have you struggled with worshipping the ugly god of beauty? What have you learned through that process? How can I pray with you? Do you still have that HSM2 song stuck in your head? 
Princess Hannah

5/13/2016

The Hopes, Lists, and Fears of Summer

Summer is finally here! Can you smell the sunscreen, lawn clippings, and chlorine? Can you taste the ocean water, watermelon, and iced tea? Can you hear the pool splashing, the book pages turning, and the people laughing? 



Oh, how I love summer! I have big hopes for the rest that summer will bring. I made long lists of the goals that summer will complete. 

But why do I also fear summer? 

I fear that the relaxation that summer brings will not be enough. I fear that the lists I made will go largely unchecked. I feel the pressure of not doing everything and the desire to simply do nothing. 

How can I live this summer, with these hopes and lists, if I walk around in fear that summer simply won't be enough

The answer: make Jesus my enough. 

"For I am convinced that neither life nor death, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Roman 8:38-39)



The truth is, whatever happens this summer, be it long trips, sun-filled afternoons, or more work than anticipated, Jesus' love is enough for us. 

Enough. 

Before we've crossed off any of the activities on our lists or completed any of our goals, before we've met with any of our friends or staffed any summer camps, before we've done anything this summer, Jesus has made it sufficient because He is sufficient. This summer is already saturated in the love of Jesus, and what more could we ask for? 

"Who then is the one that condemns? Christ Jesus who died-- more than that, who was raised to life-- is at the right hand of the throne of God and is also interceding for us. Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or the sword?" (Roman 8:35)

So as we enter into this fabulous time of year, let us not let our hopes and lists get in the way of living in the love of Christ. Let's us plan our days with the full assurance that the love of God has made this summer satisfied, saturated, and sufficient. 



What are your plans for the summer? I want to hear all about them! 

As for me, I am working as a student intern at my church's youth ministry! I am STOKED for this opportunity to encourage and disciple the students this year even as God encourages and disciples me. I'm also teaching a summer intensive ballet program at my studio and training at the studio myself. And I want to grow this little blog and get to know y'all even more (expect an email sometime in the future). Oh, and I'm EIC of the local Odyssey team (see my post about that here). And I want to bake, craft, decorate, travel, read, write, watch television, take a clep test, plan for the upcoming school year, and rest. (whew)

As you can see, I have many hopes and lists for the summer, but I cling to these words from 1 John 4:16:

"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them." 

Princess Hannah

5/03/2016

The Power of Words

via
It's the verse that you cling to when the world seems wrong 
It's the line in a poem, lyric in a song
It's the passing comment that lightens your day
It's the conversation that makes life okay

What if we treasured the things that we said
Treated them as alive and not as stone dead
What if we looked for the ways that words danced
And stared at their show till they left us entranced

It's words
It's the way that we communicate
connect
correct
It's words
It's the way we can enrich
encourage
enlighten

It's words
They hold power
prestige
prejudice
It's words
They give life
love
laughter

It's words
Let's embrace them 

via

The Text Tag

The ever-lovely and anicentic (more on that later) Grace from Totally Graced tagged me in the text tag forever and ever ago, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite things, words! 

Guidelines:
i. Thank the person who nominated you and give a link to their blog
ii. Answer the original 6 text-themed questions
iii. Add a typography/word related question of your own for those you tagged to answer
iv. Tag 6+ bloggers and let them know
v. Include these rules in your post

i. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet?

Probably the letter "L." I'm not sure why, but I love how "L" looks like in cursive. Plus, love, live, laugh, lovely, lilting, and light. 

ii. What are three words that you love?

THERE ARE SO MANY THAT THIS IS SO HARD FOR ME!!! But I feel like it is important to know my three favorite words. 

Take a breath, Hannah. You can do this. 

The winners are........... 

Grace, soul, and fantabulous

iii. What are three words that you hate?

Hate, good, and like

iv. If you were to create a word, what would it be, and what would it describe?

Anicentia 
From the latin words anima (soul) and magnificentia (splendor)
Meaning beauty of the soul

v. What are your three favorite punctuation marks?

Um, this is such an odd question. I've never thought about punctuation marks much, but *, ~ and {} are my favorites! They are so swirly and different!

vi. What are three of your favorite fonts?

I love watercolor fonts, calligraphy, and skinny fonts like Quicksand. 

What is one word that means a lot to you? 

Princess. For obvious reasons. 

My Question: Which book inspires you to speak differently and incorporate new words into your vocabulary? 

My Nominees: 






via
I am soooo sorry for the absence as of late. With Recital, finals, and the other random things that fill up my life, I have missed y'all! My schedule doesn't overwhelm me or sink me in a mess of assignments, but I also didn't want to add much more and in doing so forget to live. 

Speaking of living, I love life. 

I love living. 

Leaning into Jesus and getting to know Him more through Romans. 

Laughing with my sisters as we have a pillow fight in the hotel room. 

Learning about the way the modern world works in college. 

Loving my little girls at ballet and my responsibility at the studio. 

Listening to the beauty of the world as the moments come alive. 

How have you been living lately? What words speak to your soul? How are you going to use the power of words to do something fantabulous today? 

Princess Hannah