7/19/2017

You Are in a Superhero Story

Spider-Man: Homecoming. What do I say? It stole my heart, made me laugh, took me by surprise, and got me thinking. Here what I started thinking about: a superhero story is a bit like the life of following Jesus. Take the following synopses for example:

(Most) Superhero stories: A gifted individual fights against a force of evil to save helpless people.

Life: God fights against sin to save us.

Uncanny, right?


Let's break it down, shall we?


God

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God is the hero, and He's pretty super. Superhero. However, unlike the stories we watch in theaters, God is, well, God. He is the most gifted, able, powerful, and knowledgeable being. Ever. There is nothing He cannot do, and there is nothing He has to do. He answers to no one, follows no Socovia Accords, and doesn't have an origin story. Unlike the heroes we create, God doesn't have a weakness or Achilles heal. He doesn't succumb to pride or anger.


Fights against

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I'm not one for the fight scenes. It's not because I'm chicken; it's because I'm bored. Unless well done, fight scenes bore me for one main reason: I already know who wins.

In movies, this may be a bad thing, but in the true Story, this is a beautiful thing. God wins. We don't need to hold our breath in anticipation to see if God will win the battles around us. He already won. He's so powerful and in control that there never was a question of whether or not He would succeed in His mission.


Sin

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Who messed up the world? Who ushered sin into earth to infect our hearts and break apart everything that God just declared "very good"?

We did.

We made a mess, and we've been living in the filth of it ever since. The surprising part of the Story is not that God won the fight, it is that He came down to fight it. He came down to take His own blows against sin. He came down to bear the punishment He issued against our disobedience.


To Save

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When the hero saves the city, country, world, and/or galaxy, it moves us. Things are now right in the world, and the people are safe. For now. However, these superheros save imperfectly. That's why they make so many subsequent stories, because the world keeps needing to be saved.

God saves perfectly, though. His Story doesn't need a sequel. There isn't a God Saves Mankind Vol. 2The first Story is all that we will ever need and more. That doesn't mean that He isn't working to further His Story now, but there is only one Gospel, and it saves completely for all eternity.


Us

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In Spider-Man: Homecoming, was the movie about Peter or about the people Peter saved? Spoiler alert: it wasn't about the people, not really. They had an important role to play, but they got, if any, a few seconds of screen time. Peter got a couple of hours of screen time.

The same applies to God's Story. God's Story is about Him, not us. The central character, the person whose name is in the title, is God. We didn't go to see The People of NYC: Homecoming. We went to see Spider-Man: Homecoming. 

This is humbling for us at first, because it means that, suddenly, the Story isn't about us. Life isn't contingent upon our abilities. After we get rid of pride, though, we can start to live in the freedom of our small role in the huge Story. We are saved from sin, and saved for a purpose, to glorify God.




So, if you ever wanted your life to be more like what you see in superhero movies, look a little closer. Superhero stories mirror God's Story in the world, a Story that we get play a small role in!

Imagine how stocked you would be if you got to be in the crowd of Infinity Wars. If you are anything like me, you would freak out! God's Story is so much bigger and more glorious than any other story (including your favorite superhero story), and we are in it. God has invited us into His Story. Let the freaking out begin.


Do you like superhero stories? Did you see Spider-Man: Homecoming? What do you think about playing a tiny role in the most epic superhero story ever? Comment all of the thoughts and feels below!

Princess Hannah

6/29/2017

The Adventures of a Baby Blue Convertible

Meet Audrey, my new(ish) baby blue convertible bug.


I'm kinda in love with her.


Every time I drive her, I love her a bit more.


Every time I drive her, I feel a bit more fabulous.


Every time I drive her, I smile. A lot.


She plays music oh so nicely.


And when the weather's nice, we have a lot of fun.


She may be small.


She may not be able to fit all of my stuff for Disney this fall.


But Audrey is freedom.


Audrey is classy.


Audrey is messy hair and hands in the air.


She takes a few elegance tips from her namesake, Audrey Hepburn.


She drives like a gentle wave of water. Or a fierce shopaholic after that last pair of shoes.


I'm not one for cleaning cars, but I want to clean Audrey.


I'm not one to like driving, but I like driving Audrey.


So, meet Audrey.


She's kinda the best.


Comment your thoughts on Audrey, and give @emroseimages a follow on Instagram for these AMAZING pictures!

Princess Hannah (and Audrey)

6/21/2017

Chasing Summer

Every summer I make so many plans. I want to hang out with friends and make ice cream and watch movies and write books and read books and go on adventures and learn things and sleep and laugh and the list goes on and on. (There are a lot of "ands" in that sentence!)

In the beginning of the summer, I feel so sure that I can do all of these things. After all, summer is a wide open field for me to run around dancing in like Troy Bolton. 

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The truth is, life isn't a dance number in a Disney Channel movie. It doesn't always turn out sunny and organized. Even summer gets chaotic and crazy. We can forget the steps or trip over our own feet. 

It's time that we let go of our expectation of a perfect summer and started to enjoy it for the normal, messy, wonderful opportunity that it is. 

It's time that we stopped chasing a perfect summer and started living in the time given to us. 

So, instead of chasing a perfectly Instagram-worthy summer, how about we... 

1. Celebrate the small steps

 zac efron vanessa hudgens pbp disneyedit listofdcoms GIF


I cleaned out my closet today. Sure, that's boring and not particularly noteworthy, but I'm celebrating that accomplishment. I've needed to clean out my closet for a while, and it feels good to complete that chore. Thank you, summer, for giving me time to clean my closet. 

2. Do normal things with summer flair

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While you're driving to the grocery store, blast your favorite summer tunes (preferably Ben Rector). Wear a sundress while shopping. Watch your favorite shows while cleaning. (I may or may not have gone through a dozen episodes of Parks and Rec while organizing my closet...) 

3. Prioritize your days

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Let's face it, there are a lot of normal things that can eat away our days. This isn't bad, but it does mean that we have to be intentional on how we want to spend our time, because if not, our time will spend itself. Do you want to throw a summer bash? Make sure that you set aside the time to do that. Want to make a scrapbook? Do it, even if that means you can't do something else. Without placing value on the things that you want to accomplish, they won't get done. 

4. Remember what it's all about



Summer is great, but it only lasts a couple of months. Let's not live our summers in light of our momentary happiness but in light of the eternal joy of God. He has given us this summer to enjoy and use for His kingdom. 

"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all of these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33)

5. Compare less



Your summer will not look like my summer. It won't look like your favorite Instagramer's summer. It will be unique and wonderful, but if you're caught up in the comparison game, you may miss the beauty of your own summer. Look up. See the great gift before you and don't undervalue it because it looks different from someone else's gift.




May this not be a summer of high expectations or busy nothings. May this summer be a summer of joy, productivity, memories, and grace. It's about time that we stopped letting our expectation about summer steal our summer joy. It's time to reclaim the moments that this summer offers to us and enjoy them as what they are, moments.

How are you enjoying your summer so far? What are your summer plans? Do you love HSM 2 as much as I do? Answer in the comments!

Princess Hannah

6/11/2017

The Lesson of Disappointment

I planned on going to NYC this summer to study with American Ballet Theatre, one of the top ballet companies in the world. It was a dream of mine, a wonderful, crazy dream.

When I broke my foot, I stopped dreaming. It hurt too much to anticipate something clouded in uncertainty and pain. I thought it better to not desire this opportunity at all than to desire it and then have it taken away. 

I didn't want to desire something, because to desire something is to face disappointment in the eye. That is a hard battle. 

I lost.

And so, the disappointment of the broken foot claimed yet another dream. 




"Mom," I said a few days ago. "I thought that I already learned my lesson. I missed recital. I went through the pain, complications and inconveniences of breaking my foot. I've learned so much about trusting God. Why couldn't He have let me have this?"

What she said stuck with me. 

"Sometimes, we have to learn the lesson of disappointment." 

When I face a trial, I want to know why. Why did I go through this? There must be some lesson that I need to learn, some person that I am supposed to inspire. I put the pressure on myself to make the suffering worth my while. If I’m going to go through this suffering, I might as well write a book about what I learned through it.

If I’m honest, though, sometimes the lesson learned isn't something big and inspiring.

Sometimes, I have to learn the lesson of disappointment.

I don’t mean to sound pessimistic. I don’t mean to say that life is a pit of sorrow, and we should just give up and watch Netflix all day. What I mean is that on this earth, we will face disappointment. It’s part of sin. It’s part of learning. It’s simply part of life before eternity.

This rhythm of disappointment points us in two directions: pity parties or praise parties.

No one throws a pity party like a disappointed person. Trust me, I know. And the world expects us to throw spectacular pity parties. After all, Adele makes her living off of pity parties!

There is another reaction to disappointment, though. Hope. Praising God in hope.

I don’t mean that we hope that our disappointment will go away. I am talking about a deeper, more secure hope. An eternal one. I am talking about the hope of Jesus.

Jesus comes to us in our disappointment and reminds us that this world is broken, but He has fixed our souls in His grace. He reminds us that this world is fading, but He has built an eternal home for us. He reminds us that our lives are not about us, but He has given us a purpose far bigger than any disappointment.

Jesus comes to us in our disappointment and reminds us of Himself. He gives us the chance to take our eyes off of our disappointments and onto His faithfulness. He takes our desires and holds them carefully, all the while making Himself the chief desire of our soul. (See my Tangled post for more of those thoughts.)

God doesn't promise us a life without disappointments. He does, however, promise strength for the suffering, grace for the hurting, and rest for the weary. He teaches us so much through trials, and sometimes, He teaches us the lesson of disappointment.

The lesson of disappointment is a slow one. It is a humble one. It is a quiet one. You have to really hush down the pity parties to hear it, but when you do, you will find that the disappointments are invitations to let go.

Let go of trying to force everything to be clear. Let go of seeking to understand the lesson in suffering and simply seek Christ in suffering.

That's the beautiful thing about the lesson of disappointment, it points us to Christ. It forces us to lean in faith upon His goodness even when we can hardly see the path beneath our feet, let alone five feet ahead or behind. It shows us just how wonderful He is because the things around us- and even our own selves- seem so frail. 

Emily Freemen’s book Simply Tuesday has a chapter that inspired part of this blog post. On page 178 of her book, she says:

“I confess how disappointed I am that I don’t have clarity. But in the confession, I begin to see Christ. I begin to release my obsession with building my life into something linear, something I can figure out. Instead, I believe that letting go doesn’t mean I’ll be left with nothing. It means I can more fully hold on to Christ and trust the life he is building within me. I sense him inviting me to trust him, not because I’ll finally understand, but because I’ll begin to believe that he understands me.”

Here it goes. Life, a life full of desire and disappointment, lies ahead of us. We could go about it scared. Scared of desires which disappoint. Scared of disappointments which crush our desires. Or, we could live confident in Christ. Confident that He is bigger than any disappointment, even the ones that don’t make sense. We can live with Him as our chief, secure desire and hope.

Have you dealt with disappointment? Are you getting tired of this rather lengthy string of posts about suffering? Tell me your thoughts and experiences in the comments!


Princess Hannah

5/25/2017

14 Years Ago- My Story of Adoption

14 years ago, I came alive.

After Mom and Dad put me to bed, 5-year-old me opened my eyes and prayed for the eyes of my heart to be opened. I guess I saved important decisions for bedtime thinking. Not much has changed.

I don't remember what led me to this decision. I don't remember many of the thoughts leading up to the night I prayed on my bed in the dark. God called my soul, though, and I answered.


I didn't stop at the ABCs of faith. I don't think that I even went over those steps. I simply recognized that without Jesus, I am dead. Without God's grace, I will struggle and struggle without true life. I wanted to do life with God.

14 years ago, God adopted me into His family. He took away all of my sins (sins like stealing candy every day while Mom slept) and clothed me with his goodness. He claimed me forever as a loved daughter of God. He is still claiming me.

What makes my heart smile even more is what I prayed after I received new life. I prayed that God would come and change every aspect of my little life. I realized that being God's princess meant that I would live differently. I would obey Him with all I am.

I prayed over everything in my 5-year-old life including obedience to my parents, love for my sisters, faithfulness (aka, not complaining) in school and dance, and joy in church. I don't distinctly remember everything, but I remember that the prayer lasted for, what seemed to me then as, eternity.

I treasure these fragments of memories. They remind me that nothing has changed. Every day, God still challenges me (and you) to surrender everything we have to Him, not because of some meaningless rule-book but because WE HAVE NEW LIFE IN CHRIST. Won't we want to walk step-in-step with Him?

14 years later, I prayed again. I rejoiced in how far God has brought me. Oh, He has done marvelous things! I surrendered the things in my 19-year-old life to Him. He is trustworthy. He is the Life-Giver. He is worthy.



Step by step, let us surrender to His will and ways, not because of guilt or routine but because of His life that shine in every aspect of our being. Let us, in light of our adoption into God's family, rejoice in how we can live grace in everything.

I guess the theme of this blog started 14 years ago where I prayed for the first time to live out grace in everything. Let us not give up.

Princess Hannah

5/18/2017

How Sweet it Is to Trust in God

God is trustworthy.  He never fails to deserve our complete and joyful trust. His ways are perfect; there is no flaw in them.

I can't see those truths clearly now, but I see them clearer than before.

As I reflected upon this past school year, I realized that trusting God united all of the lessons I learned



I faced the truth that my future won't necessarily involve marriage/dating, at least not in my preferred timeline. 

I realized that the career I'm set upon isn't set in stone. God could call me elsewhere, and I would be joyful in that. 

I realized that trusting God means not being in control. Like breaking my foot. 

In all of these things, I see God's Spirit in me, leading me toward a greater joy in trusting God. He wants to lead You in this trust as well. Isn't that exciting?

Join with me in this prayer, a prayer inspired by a Bible study I did on trusting God. Say it out loud if you can. Investigate scripture that speaks truth into your worries about the future. Start with Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 16:1-4, Matthew 6:19-34, Romans 15:13, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Philippians 4:4-7, Hebrews 13:8, and 1 John 3:2-3.




Father, 

You are all-knowing. Nothing takes You by surprise or catches You off guard. You have written out the Story of the world, including my small part. You have taken time to plan every day of mine before I took a breath in this world. You plan it perfectly, too. Not like I would.

Oh, how good You are and worthy of trust. 

Oh, how good it is for me to trust You. 

But this is hard. I like to know, to control. I like neat lists and a good five year plan. In the moment, I am prone to worry about every little thing. I worry about my body, friendships, schooling, career, family, and even the weather and how it will change my daily schedule. 

What would it look like, though, if I followed Your ways and didn't worry? What if I walked into the storm confidently obeying You and trusting You to either provide an umbrella or teach me to dance in the rain? What if I took every chance I got to bear Your fruit and have joy in Your Spirit?



Thank You for being You, a good, loving, all-knowing Author of the greatest Story ever. Thank You for never changing. Thank You for Your Spirit who is helping me to walk in trust and live with courage. 

May Your name shine in my life, wherever You lead me, 

Your Princess




What has God been teaching (or challenging) you about trust? 

Princess Hannah

5/03/2017

Trusting God in Times of Stress: An Infographic

It's that time of year again. Finals. Big projects. Late nights. Empty coffee cups piling up.

Who is our companion during this time?

Stress.

It's simply assumed that we students will be stressed during the end of the school year. We go into this season expecting anxiety and all-nighters. We don't always fight the approaching worries. Instead we tweet about them and complain to our friends.

What if I told you that we didn't need to be stressed? What if this year we didn't give into overwhelming anxiety or nervousness?

What if this year we kicked stress in the butt and completely trusted in God? 

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6-7

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today."

Matthew 6:33-34

These are familiar verses to many of us, but what if we lived like they were true and trustworthy? How would we go into this last stretch of the school year if we based our lives off of those verses and God's trustworthiness?

I made a little infographic to help illustrate how we can approach stress differently as children of God.





How will you go into finals? What truths will you cling to? What verses will guide you? Will your response to stress be the same as the world or set apart?

Princess Hannah

4/29/2017

10 Ways to Feel Beautiful (Even When You Don't)

Some days, you feel like a movie star. Your hair is put together, someone complimented your outfit, and you seem to radiate confidence and beauty. 

Most of the time, however, you don't feel that way. You feel gross. Unattractive. Messy. Most definitely not beautiful. 

The key word here is feel.

The truth is, we are beautiful whether we feel it or not, but we often don't believe that we are beautiful because we don't feel beautiful.

Stop right now and remind yourself that feelings aren't truth.  They are wonderful and helpful, but they are not to rule over us. God is to rule over our feelings.

Here are 10 ways to embrace your beauty even when you don't feel it:


1. Pray


Talk to God about your feelings of inadequacy. He cares for you. More than that, His Spirit will guide you to live in His way of love. Give Him thanks instead of comparing yourself to others. Praise His name instead of wallowing in a pity party. 


2. Smile


I know this sounds cheesy, but a smile is the best makeup a girl can wear and is even scientifically proven to lighten up moods. Enjoy life, and you will find beauty everywhere. 




3. Stand Up Straight


Don’t shrink back from life because you don’t feel beautiful. Stand up straight and start doing the beautiful work of God! Be confident in the grace of God and the beauty He gives you.





4. Remember God's Word


The best methods I’ve discovered to stop body image insecurity is to replace it with the truth. 1 Samuel 16:7 is my favorite verse for this because it reminds me how to see things as God sees them: 




5. Give Someone a Compliment


You are not the only one who feels un-beautiful sometimes. By helping someone else remember that they are beautiful, you remind yourself what truly is beautiful- love. Nothing is more encouraging than giving encouragement. 


5. Eat Something Healthy


Sometimes you need to put something beautiful in to feel beautiful out. Eating fruit always lifts my spirits and has me feeling ready to take on the day beautifully. Here are five other healthy snack foods!


6. Wear Something Special


This doesn’t mean that you should only feel beautiful in beautiful clothes, but sometimes a new dress or nice necklace helps! Know which clothes fit you best and complement your beauty.




7. Do Something Beautiful


Beauty is, as we all know, found on the inside more than on the outside. Don’t let outward beauty steal our inward beauty!

Instead, focus on doing beautiful things. Give someone a ride and encourage them. Bake cookies for your neighbor for no reason. Make a note for your pastor. Do the dishes for your sister. There are so many beautiful things in the world, most of them in disguise.


8. Give Media a Break


Media fills you with lies. “You should look like her.” “You should own these things.” “Your life should look like this.” I’m not saying that we should avoid media. However, you should know when you are susceptible to believe the lies and not the truth.


9. Don't Give the Lies Thought


Sometimes you get so focused on trying to fix your thoughts about beauty that you get stuck in a thought-loop where you don’t stop thinking about your failures and problems. Sometimes the best thing to do is to simply think about something else and not give those lies another thought.


10. Use Your Gifts


Beauty is more than skin deep. It is also more your abilities to do everything. You are given specific gifts and talents from God. You are meant to use those gifts and talents and should never let insecurity stop you from giving glory to God through the gifts He has given you.



You might not feel beautiful right now, but dear sister, you are beautiful. Isn’t time that you started living beautifully? Isn’t it time that you started believing the truth that you are beautiful no matter what, not because of who you are but because of who God is?

Let us not forget.

Comment your ways to feel beautiful!


Princess Hannah

4/26/2017

When Suffering Comes


So, I broke my foot.

Six weeks ago I slipped during pointe class and fractured my fifth metatarsal (commonly known as the "dancer's fracture"). The little crack in one of my 26 bones in my left foot changed the following weeks in more ways than I anticipated. 



Even though a broken foot hardly qualifies as intense suffering, it is a consequence of the fall. It is suffering, even if on a smaller scale. It was especially hard because it meant that I couldn't dance for six plus weeks, including the week of my studio's recital. 

But who says that we can't learn big lessons from small things like missed recitals and broken feet? I've learned a lot about suffering through this ordeal. I've learned about hope. Patience. Joy. Sorrow. Let's just say it's been a crazy few weeks. 

Here are a few things that I learned about suffering that might help you too when (not if) suffering comes:

(Try listening to Hillsong's "Even When It Hurts" while reading this.)




1. Remind yourself of the truth

Suffering likes to take over our entire lives. 

Don't let it. 


Don't give into the temptation to view all of life through your suffering. Sure, I broke my foot. That doesn't mean that my family, friendships, and grades are broken too. Sure, you are really stressed. That doesn't mean that you are a failure at relationships. Sure, you're lonely, but that doesn't mean that all of your life is gloomy. 

The victim mindset is dangerous. It is a slippery slope of pity party days and hopeless nights. 

We can't let that happen. 

Instead, we must step back and remind ourselves of the truth; we are loved. Treasured. Bought. We have a purpose. We are given skills. We have some family and friends that love us. We have learned things in the past and we are learning things right now. Not everything is underneath the filter of suffering unless we want to view it that way.


2. Don't go through it alone


Satan best attacks our souls during suffering if we isolate ourselves. I know this from experience. 

When I broke my foot, I stopped hanging out with my friends. I stopped connecting via social media. I stopped texting people. Something about breaking my foot made me feel like no one understood me. It made me feel so alone. 


We must remind ourselves of the truth, though. Most people relate to our suffering more than we think that they can. Our loved ones care for us, even when we are going though a hard time. We just have to let ourselves be vulnerable and available. 

It is worth the effort to reach out to others for help and encouragement, even if that means hobbling on one foot to see them. It is also worth the effort to encourage others. There is no better way to find purpose and encouragement than to serve others and give encouragement.


3. Chose a specific Bible verse or passage to guide you


Immediately after I broke my foot and started down this road of injury, I knew that I would need a Bible passage to cling to. Somehow I stumbled across Romans 5, and I knew that I had found the one. 

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, though whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. As we boast in the hope of the glory of God. No only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts though the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." 

Romans 5:1-5




"Tribulation worketh patience, not in and of itself, but the powerful grace of God working in and with the tribulation." 

Matthew Henry on Romans 5:1-5

This passage helped me to give the lies and sorrows of suffering to God. They reminded me that what I see now is preparing me for more kingdom work. They reminded me that true life points to the glory of God, not to my own comfort or dreams. I kept these verses close and even wrote them on my cast! 



These tips are by no means three ways to ease your suffering. They won't fix your problems in three easy steps. They are rather ways to fully embrace the lessons that suffering can give you. They are ideas on how to cling to truth even when it hurts.

I know that this is a heavier topic, but it is something that I've obviously thought a lot about lately. Comment below ways that you grow through suffering.

Princess Hannah


P.S. After writing this post, I went to the orthopedist. I AM NOW FREE!!! No more boot. Let the prepping for dancing begin. 

4/12/2017

Before Sunday Comes- Prepare Your Heart for Easter

Jesus is calling our hearts closer. He is summoning us to follow Him in His every movement. He pours onto our lives abundant life, endless grace, and He is with us through it all.

All because of the gospel. All because of the coming, the crucifixion, and the resurrection.

The Story of the world hangs on this moment in time, this great climax.

Where He died. Where the world lived in darkness, in defeat, for all of Saturday. Where He defeated the forces of darkness and rose to life, winning the victory of the Story and bringing with Him life eternal.

What a glorious day! Oh, what a glorious day.

Sometimes, however, the busyness of life and the smallness with which the world views Easter can prevent us from seeing clearly how glorious Easter is and how much it means to the Story of God. We get caught up in the end of the school year, in buying new dresses, and in seeing family. These things aren't bad at all, but, man, do they pale in comparison to Jesus RISEN FROM THE GRAVE.

So I'm challenging myself to prepare my heart, mind, soul, and even body for Easter. I want to focus on this marvelous grace and incomparable power. I want to see the gospel through the eyes of the Spirit.

Come, prepare your heart for Easter with me.

To help me, and anyone else who wants to join with me, do that, I've created a list of resources that do a great job of showing different truths of Easter. Check out these posts, videos, and songs throughout the next few days as we prepare our hearts for Easter.


1. Amanda with Scattered Journal Pages. 

Amanda has this wonderful habit of speaking so much truth to my soul, so of course I went to her blog to check out her previous Easter posts. This one is about something that God started to reveal to me last Sunday, so it was very timely:

Why Do You Seek the Living Among the Dead?


But really, you should probably check out all of her Easter posts.


2. Children's Eater Videos

On the lighter side of things, I found some hilarious but simplistically truthful videos of children explaining Easter.









3. "For the Cross" Music Video 

This video, compiled from clips of History Channel's "The Bible," reminded me how real Jesus was. He laughed, cried, smiled, and cringed. The joy was real. The pain was real. The love is real. 




4. Beth Moore

Beth Moore walks us through the anticipation and the glory of the gospel in a powerful, visual way. I watched this short talk twice already today because the Spirit used it to bring my heart closer to the feet of Jesus.




Beth Moore has a blog post that goes very well with this talk, and be sure to read until the end of it!

Glorious Resurrection Day He's Already Up


And just in case you want more of Beth Moore, here's longer talk that she gave on the Friday of Easter week. I plan on watching it on Friday.

It Is Finished- A Message That Might Be Fitting for Holy Week



5. Grace In Everything

I also wrote a couple of Easter posts that I like to reread every year. Two years ago, I wrote a poem of how Easter Sunday changes everything:


Sunday Is Coming


I also wrote a story of Mary Magdalene:

Jesus Calls Us Close


6. Worship Songs


Last but not least on this list of Easter preparation resources is a playlist of songs that lead out hearts to worship the RISEN KING!!! 





With these resources and mainly the Word of God, we have no excuse. It is time to prepare our hearts for Easter and live every day in light of the glorious day where Jesus won the victory and changed history forever.

Soi Deo Gloria,

Princess Hannah

4/05/2017

Redeemed- A Music Video


What has the gospel, beautiful scenery, moving music and splendid acting? MY NEW MUSIC VIDEO!!! 

Well, it's not entirely new. 

Last semester I took a filming and editing class, and I loved it! My favorite part was making this music video. My least favorite part of making the music video, though, had nothing to do with actually filming or editing. It was choosing the song! How could I chose between American Authors, Sleeping At Last, Disney and Ben Rector? What about a good Ellie Goulding or Rend Collective song? 

When I listened to David Crowder's "Back to the Garden," however, I didn't need to hunt anymore. The song stirred something in my heart and soul, a need to create something that boldly told the story of the gospel. 

For the next week, I listened to the song on repeat, going through every scene and shot. Oak trees right by my house caught my attention, but construction right next to them ruined the picture. Bummer. Unless... I then decided to use the construction area as well as the magnificent oak trees to convey my story, a story of redemption and grace, of sin and salvation. I hope that you enjoy! 


In other news, my foot is getting better! (I wrote about the struggle of fracturing my foot on my last post.) I'll have more updates next week. 

Also, where did time go? It's already April, and I'm not sure I even remember March. Comment below your thoughts on the music video, what song you would have chosen and how your spring is going! 

Princess Hannah

3/29/2017

I'm Tired of Being Okay

"I just want to be okay."

"Are you okay?" 

"I'm okay." 

"Okay." 

To be honest, I'm tired of the word "okay." I'm tired of seeking to just be "okay" in life, but that's all our culture excepts us to be, if that. Check out all of the articles on Odyssey on how girls are becoming okay with not being okay. Something is missing here. 

I recently fractured my foot. That's not an okay circumstance by any means, and I struggle with it. I struggle with not dancing. I struggle with worry and frustration and anxiety and loneliness. I struggle to put on my one shoe for goodness sake!

People ask me every day if I'm okay. At first I couldn't answer them affirmatively. My soul felt safe in the hands of God, and I trusted Him more than my mind knew, but I struggled. 

Then I realized just how okay I am in Christ. I realized that He is enough. Even if I can never dance again (that's not a concern, by the way), He is ENOUGH. 

But God showed me something that BLEW. MY. SOUL. 

Listen up, folks, 'cause it could change your soul too. 

God doesn't just make us okay. 

He isn't only enough for us. 

HE MAKES US GREAT. 

HE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH. 

Oh, I'm about to cry right now thinking about the immeasurable grace of the gift of God. Yet we try to sum it up in the words okay or enough. We try to contain the presence of God into something that we can understand and measure.

For we can't imagine what it would be like to be great. After all, we are so sinful and weak and small. We get scared of a broken foot and break down crying. Regularly. We can't manage to even be okay, so why would we expect to be great

Good thing God works on a different level than us. 

"But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!... For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace reign in life through that one man, Jesus Christ."

Romans 5:15, 17, emphasis mine

How much more. 

How much more. 

Are we living the how much more life? Or are we simply seeking to get by, to be okay?

There are points in our lives when seeking to be okay is enough of a battle for our souls. I had to fight to get to a place where I was okay when I fractured my foot. I am not denying that there are times when the knowledge that God is enough for us is all that we can handle.

But do we want to stay in the okay place forever? Do we not want to taste the immeasurable greatness and glory of God? What is waiting for us on the other side of "okay?" What will we find when we beckon the Spirit of God to not simply be enough for us but to overflow in us?

I don't have an answer for you, not yet. But I'm tired of staying in an okay place, not when God offers to us (at great cost) the much more. So I'm praying to the Holy Spirit. I'm leaning into the gift of grace knowing that there is so much more out there than I can imagine.

Will you live the much more life with me?

Princess Hannah

3/22/2017

10 Ways to Celebrate Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast. It's a tale as old as time, a tale of beauty and love, and it has stolen the hearts of true princesses everywhere. But what can a princess do to celebrate this beautiful story?

I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of the Beauty and the Beast spirit, so I found 10 ways to live like my inner Belle. Be careful, or by the end of this post Beauty and the Beast will take over your life as well!



1. Go See It

This one is pretty obvious. If you haven't seen the new release, GO WATCH IT!!! Cancel your plans, drag your best friend to the theater, and sigh with happiness the entire time.

Image result for beauty and the beast
image found here

2. Dress inspired by it

I LOVE wearing clothes inspired by my favorite movies, and Beauty and the Beast is no exception. One of my favorite parts of the costuming was actually a very small detailing: Belle's ear cuff in the ball room scene. Naturally, I found a few designs that are sold in this day and age to make up for the fact that the wardrobe can't dress me for dinner. Check out this rose ear jacket and gold plate ear vine from Etsy.

I also saw a few Beauty and the Beast clothing pieces at Disney World that they also sell online. This long sleeve shirt is so lovely! This rose purse, though, steels the show!

Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Rose Crossbody Bag by Danielle Nicole

If you want to look at more Beauty and the Beast clothing collections, look at JCPenny, Kohls, or Macys!


3. Bake something royal


I bake for every occasion, so of course I found some adorable Beauty and the Beast cupcakes from Cupcake Diaries! I love the two designs she presents- one for Belle and one for the Beast.

No Beauty and the Beast dessert conversation is complete without mentioning the grey stuff (it's delicious!) My mom made this recipe a while back, and it is very good! (Although Disney World does it better. If you have a chance, go to Be Our Guest and try it for yourself!)

Disney World's "Grey Stuff" recipe!! It's so easy to make and so delicious. Tastes just like the recipe from the Be Our Guest restaurant. { lilluna.com } So smooth and made with vanilla and chocolate pudding mix, milk, cool whip, and oreos and topped with sprinkles!!

4. Cook a meal worthy of Lumiere 


Beef ragout
Cheese souffle
Pie and pudding "en flambe"
We'll prepare and serve with flair
A culinary cabaret

Make the feast yourself with these scrumptious looking recipes for beef ragout and cheese souffle.

Beauty and the Beast: Beef Ragout Recipe


5. Host a Sing Along

Share your love for Beauty and the Beast with others by hosting a sing along party. This doesn't have to be anything fancy. Just pop in the original movie, play it with subtitles, and sing with gusto. The grey stuff is optional but highly encouraged. For other party-throwing tips if you want to get fancy, check out this post from Cutesy Crafts with some cheep and east ideas!



6. Read a book

What is a more Belle thing to do than reading? So really, most of us celebrate Beauty and the Beast every day without knowing it! If you want a great Beauty and the Beast retelling, try out these favorites:

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow.  by Jessica Day George. This book is one of my all-time favorites. A must read!
book_sun-and-moon-ice-and-snow_01.jpg
Jessica Day George


Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. This is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles, one of the best series I've ever read!

Beauty by Robin McKinley. I've never read this one, but it comes highly recommended. It's been on my to-read list for a while.

Beastly by Alex Flinn. I'm a bit ashamed to say that I've only watched the movie version of this book, but since the book is almost always better, then I'm sure this book is great because the movie rocked!

Harry Potter. Belle would approve.

7. Drink Tea

Mrs. Potts won't let you forget about her! Make a spot of tea in honor of our favorite tea pot and cup. Even better, drink out of Chip himself! You can make him at home with this Chip DIY from The Sits Girls or buy it from Amazon or Hot Topic

8. Watch inspired YouTube videos

Fangirl with a host of other people by watching fan videos, interviews, and more! I picked a few of my favorites for you to check out! 








9. Make your own video

Better yet, make your own video! I want to see what you think. Maybe a music video? A voice over by your three-year-old cousin? Get creative!

10. Indulge in some merchandise 

Every Disney movie comes with the high price of amazing themed merchandise! As Once Upon a Time says, "All magic comes with a price." My favorite Beauty and the Beast merchandise options are this playful coloring book and exquisite puzzle!

Beauty and the Beast Art of Coloring Book - Live Action Film


BONUS: GO SEE IT!!! 

Really, you must go see this wonderful movie! It truly was a beauty. 



Comment below your thoughts on Beauty and the Beast. Do you want to try out any of these ideas? HOW ABOUT WE FREAK OUT TOGETHER THAT THE MOVIE FINALLY CAME OUT AND IT WAS WONDERFUL?!?!?!

Have a magical rest of your week, and don't forget to try one of these ideas! 

Princess Hannah