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Life is Peachy by Hanna, “Hanna’s Happenings”

Have you ever looked at a piece of fruit and thought, “wow, this is beautiful.”?

I’m guessing probably not. I know I haven’t.

But then, it happened.

I was sitting at my kitchen table enjoying a peach that I had picked up earlier in the week from the grocery store. With it being winter, I knew this peach would have some imperfections but I chose to look past them and satisfy my craving. While eating the peach I looked at it closely and made the crazy comparison that perhaps this finite, sunset colored peach was like life. In all of its imperfections it was still sweet to the taste.

Life is like a piece of fruit. When I looked at it closely it was bruised, but when I chose to see it from a different perspective that small peach suddenly became perfect. It was as if in that moment my entire being was within that peach. I felt that God was looking at me, telling me that my walk with Him is perfect, despite the flaws I see in myself, and the burdens I carry. God never said that life would be easy. He knew there would be bumps along the way, but to God we are perfect.

In the summertime it’s easy to take that ripe peach for granted. Summertime fruit is always the ripest and most satisfying. The sweet taste of it on our lips can become ordinary and we can skip over the meaning it holds. However, whenever winter rolls around that peach starts to look a little more bruised. For some reason we always seem to notice the peach and its imperfections when life isn’t going the way we want it to. This life gives us so many reasons to only notice the bruises.

When life knocks us down we have two choices: either dwell on the imperfections of this sinful world, or to enjoy the little things that go unnoticed by most. If you really think about it, anything that exists in itself is extravagant! This is because everything was made by God! God is the definition of extravagance. “This is the day the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalms 118:24 NLT).

I have been working on finding joy in things I wouldn’t normally notice. When you have this mindset life can be pretty peachy! Each day there are so many beautiful things and as Christians we have the opportunity to see life the way God intended. No matter what happens to us, the sun will always rise the next day, and fruit will always grow on the trees He planted within the rich soil. How amazing is that? How precious are the infinite details that God has woven into each and every day!

This week I have really noticed how truly blessed I am by the little things. Sometimes a peach can really make Hanna's Happeningsyou listen. Taking the time to notice beautiful imperfections in moments of trial and misunderstanding show me how my life truly is; a little bruised and a little unripe, but perfect in the eyes of my God.

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Make Him Climb for You; My Big Brother’s Dating Advice

Whatever-Girls-ButtonOriginally written for the Whatever Girls, By Hanna “Hanna’s Happenings”

Growing up with an older brother had its challenges, but it also turned out to be one the most rewarding things in my life. Though we would argue and bicker about pointless mishaps and pretend we didn’t know each other in elementary school, I always knew that he had my back and would protect me from anyone who tried to mess with me. When high school finally came around, we realized that it was just the two of us against the world and not each other. We decided to make a pact to never fight again and since then, we have been inseparable.967138_10200954591854499_1093920128_o

There was one piece of advice he gave me one afternoon while we sat in the kitchen after school. I remember it clearly because I was having “boy issues.” Frustrated and confused I started venting to my big brother about how boys were “lame” and I didn’t understand why I was single. Instead of the usual eye roll and chuckle out of him, he sat down beside me, put his arm around me, and began to tell me about climbing the apple tree. He told me that us girls were like a gigantic tree. I had no idea what where he was going with this, so I hid my laughter and kept listening for a punch line. But then he got serious, and began to explain something to me that I will never forget. He told me that when a guy seeks a girl for the wrong reasons, he goes for the apples on the bottom of the tree because they are easier to reach. They never want to climb the tree and seek out the apples at the very top because those ones are too much work. So they keep going back for the ones closer to the ground, and eventually the apples on the top of tree start to think that maybe there is something wrong with them because they have not yet been picked. However one day, a brave man will come along and take the daring climb to the top of the tree and he will seek the apples for the right reasons, and know that God has called him to make the climb. “That is what you need to wait for.” he told me.

“Wait for the man who will make the climb and don’t worry about being at the top of tree. That only means that you respect yourself enough to not throw yourself to any boy.”

919763_10200876317137680_920390084_oWho would have known that one talk about an apple tree would change my perspective forever? I hope that every young girl knows that she does not always need to be dating someone. Sometimes we have to wait until God sends the right guy up the ladder.

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Don’t Water It Down.

LB50ContributorSQOriginally written for Living Better 50 Magazine.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we headed to the pancake feed in Priest Lake, Idaho. With my plate of yummy pancakes in hand I began to fill my cup with orange juice. I thought it might be too sweet so I decided to water it down. I assumed the other beverage choice was water. Wrong! It was milk. What was in my cup was now a cloudy substance that tasted badly.

Often I think we do the same with our relationship with God. We water it down by picking and choosing what best fits our lifestyle and ignore what the Bible calls us to do. Why? Because it doesn’t fit with how we choose to live.

Let me explain. In college I thought I believed in God but I didn’t need to read the Bible or go to church. I believed there was a God but I was going to live with my boyfriend, now my husband. I had to be sure he was the right guy for me. I went to church on Christmas and Easter. I said a prayer only when I needed something. If God was that cup of orange juice, I dumped a whole lot of my selfish desires into it to water it down in order to achieve what tasted good to me.

What I got was nothing close to what God wanted our relationship to look like. I had clouded something that was to be so sweet. Psalm 34:8 says, Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. We are not called to take a tiny taste and mix what we want with it. God wants us to open up and take it all in. That means all His goodness and all His commands. I gave little thought about how it must look to God because I knew what I wanted. I wanted to enjoy whatever liberties I saw fit.

Today I am quick to say, “Please do not do what I did. Wait until you are married. Don’t move in with someone before you get married. Please treat the gift of sex with respect. Save it for your spouse. On my wedding day I mourned the fact that I had not waited.”

I am not trying to pick on anyone because I have my fair share of sin. But over the years I have heard adults who claim to be walking with the Lord, talk about teens with so much disgust because they feel the teen is sleeping around and yet they themselves are sleeping with more than one person outside of marriage. They water down their walk with the Lord by what feels good to them and use their age to justify it. The last time I checked, God did not say sex outside of marriage is okay if you are over a certain age.

Love for money, power, gossip, lust, and slander are just a few of the things we find ourselves adding to our cup because they bring us a temporary feeling of happiness. But in the end we are left with something that tastes way worse than my drink at the pancake feed. Watering down our orange juice to cut the amount of sugar is one thing but we should not be watering down our relationship with the Lord by filling ourselves half way with God and the other half with what is of the world.

Please take a look at your walk with God. If it could be put in a cup would you accept all of what He offers or water it down with what works for you? Choose wisely.

 

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