The dreams of a child..

I made a list around seven years old.

I remember making this list several times in my life.

In fact, I still make this list today sometimes.

I found a copy of this list in one of my organizing system’s drawers this afternoon.

I was amused, and quite impressed. I was a very deep-thinking child.

But as I looked at this list I thought it was interesting how similar my view is now.

The list was a list of qualities my “dream guy” would have, and ideally, will have.

25 items were on this list, and to this day, this guy I described seems pretty incredible, but hard to find.

Maybe I was too vague with my list as a child. Or maybe my ‘standards’ have remained pretty high this whole time. I was always told to keep high standards and not to “settle,” and I don’t intend to.

I also thought that it was interesting that all of the items on that list have remained high priority in my heart, but they have also matured along with me.

It’s almost as if our childhood dreams and desires grow old with us.

Is it worth the downs?

I hate how I get carried away.
My heart takes the lead and my head loses its footing and is dragged along.
I dont see the point.
Am I supposed to learn from this? So far its been heartaches and heartbreaks right after another. I don’t see the lesson in it.
Is there a lesson in heartbreak? Is there a lesson in sadness? Is there a lesson at all?

It physically hurts…

And here I thought I was separating myself better! I thought I was finally handling my emotions like I should! Apparently I got caught up in my own lie.

It makes me mad at myself, for being so stupid as to think there could be a chance.

It makes me feel embarrassed to be me regarding these things. I get eager and excited only to be met with heartache.  I hope, only to be let down. I feel better about myself, only to let myself down again.

Again, where is the lesson in it all?

Where does it stop?

Things are bad…very bad…

I am worried. I am worried for the future generations. Everyone says we need to just love and forgive and be tolerant…

We need to be ignorant, in more truthful words.

I feel that we are missing so much of who Jesus is, and so much of what God wants us to do.

Jesus is a prophet, priest, and a king. This is the Jesus I know and that i am learning to know better. He calls us out on our sin and tells us what is wrong with the world. He loves us and forgives us. He supports us through the struggle of sin. He rules over everything in our lives. Because of his steadfast love, he desires our devotion. Because of his sacrifice, he desires us to give him every part of our lives.

Yes. Love others. Good. Excellent. Great job.

You got one down.

But there is much more.

The parts we don’t like to get into because they can get messy.

We need to call them out when they sin. We need to hold each other accountable.

(Any confusion on what a sin really is: look it up.. its clearly written in the Bible..everywhere.)

Help them through the struggle, pray, supprt each other.

Don’t just let these things slide. There is too much at stake. We have to stand up for what is actually right and true and holy.

I fear that we are already becoming numb to all of this. I believe that nothing good will come of our unwillingness to do the right and holy thing.

Things are bad. They have been bad. And they are getting much, much worse.

As christians, we need to stop and re-evaluate what we’re doing. We have to stand up for the right and holy thing.

This rant isn’t completely over.

Second Decade Comforts

It’s the feeling I get when I’m between big milestones and events.

It’s the feeling I get when I learn that I have a cool gift coming in the mail.

It’s the feeling I get when I realize that I’m going to travel to a completely unfamiliar city for about five days.

It’s the feeling I get when I travel by train, or even think about traveling by train. Anywhere.

Anticipation. Anxiety.

It’s terrifyingly exciting.

This whole lot more to it than I realized as a child.

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Now that my twentieth birthday is in the past, I have reached a new decade, and I have joined a new (to me) group of the generation.

The “twentysomethings.” 

This is apparently a time of discovery and starting new things and thinking about going out on my own into the world.

Ideally, at least.

This is also a very confusing and stressful time for many. Why is that?

What are we scared of out there?

Are we afraid to go it alone?

Are we afraid of failing and having to start over?

Are we afraid that we have no idea what we’re doing?

Are we afraid that we don’t know ourselves and our world as well as we thought?

I think it’s a yes to most of these for some of us.

Frankly, I’m terrified about the time after college. Excited and terrified, because I have no idea what will happen.

Will I succeed? Will I be where God wants me? Will I be moving? Will I be sticking around here for a few years?

So many questions. And no way to answer any of them. I don’t even know what the next few weeks will possibly hold.

I never seem to be able to plan far ahead for anything.

…I think that’s the beauty of learning to trust God.

That’s the beauty of learning to take His promises for our lives on faith.

We are, honestly, completely clueless, but God isn’t! 

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I am currently in the midst of a very scary situation concerning the health and future of some family members, at home, and across the country. I don’t know what will happen. I’m scared, terrified more often than not.

However, I know that God is right here with me. Feeling everything I feel, and understanding exactly what I’m thinking. I find comfort in that. He knows what’s going on, and He is never going to leave our sides.

He will step in and carry us when we can’t move.

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I know it’s temping to tell yourself that you are alone and no one understands.

I know it’s also tempting to tell yourself that you have to grasp onto and control everything in your life because you can’t trust anyone with it, because you’ve been hurt, you’ve been let down, and you’ve been tricked.

This is life. It’s rough. Sometimes it seems impossible. Sometimes we just don’t want to put ourselves out there.

But I have been learning recently how present God really is in our lives. He is in us. Literally in us.

Do you think He doesn’t know what it’s like? Do you think He doesn’t feel exactly what you feel?

He did it first.

And guess what?

 He would do it all over again if He had to.

And why is that?

Because He Loves.

Old Camel Knees. 9 parts.

I needed this tonight. I’ve been struggling with prayer a lot recently and I have felt stuck and confused, as well as unstable and distanced from God’s heart. Which is not where I want to be. And that’s not where God wants me either. I’ve been so distracted and consumed with my own agenda and life that I haven’t thought to be still and wait on God. Maybe the wait for God will make this waiting game in my life easier to bare. Maybe He will enable me to handle this if I simply shut up and listen.

HANNAH BRENCHER

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Part 1.

We prayed for three hours.

Three hours. That is worth repeating once more: three hours.

There is little that I do for three hours. In fact, there is currently a list— a very short list— of things I am capable of doing for three-hours blocks of time. Those things include:

Reading a good book.

Eating copious amounts of nachos.

Watching anything Bradley Cooper related.

That’s about it. It’s a pretty short list. Prayer has never made the cut.

Still, in spite of me, we prayed for three hours. This is all because I found myself stumbling into a small chapel on Saturday. It was instantly myself and four students of a ministry in Atlanta. I didn’t know a single one. Sprawled out across chairs in a small chapel, tucked in the back of a white brick building, I eyed the plain walls covered in Sharpie marker prayers.

“We’re…

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Waiting…

The Waiting – A Girl Like Me

Boom.

Another one.

They’re everywhere now.

My most recent re-blogging about my impatience and knowing what to do and how to handle this difficult place in life, the place between so many paths, and the uncertainty that goes with this place… this is a theme, apparently.

This post puts a lot of what I feel into words. For a long time I’ve been so confused and anxious about all of this. I’ve been completely unsure of what I should do about my situation. God’s been trying to tell me something. Something about learning why I am on this waiting list… something about how I should take this time…something about what I need to take away from this.

I need to learn to find peace and joy in the waiting, knowing that God is taking care of everything.

It’s not up to me to control this.

He’s got this.

I need to let go of it and completely trust Him. It’s hard to relinquish control… it just is. But it’s what I have to do.

I feel like there’s a process I have yet to fully experience. First, letting go and letting God take control and trust Him completely. Then, learning how to enjoy that waiting period and anticipation, and not let my own fears and doubts destroy me. And then maybe, once I’ve learned that, and applied it to my life, just maybe, things will fall into place how God intends them to.

We’ll see… and I’ll keep updating, because I know I’m not alone in this difficult place… I know some of you are in the same spot, will be, or have been recently.

But none of us have to go it alone.

There is hope, even though we may not see it right now.

Death of a game player.

There are a few spots in this that really made me think..

1} Cravings that I don’t want to admit, but know that I must.
“There was something inside of me that craved attention far more than real love…”
While I do want real love one day, lately this statement has rung true, much to my distaste. I have been playing games. I haven’t been taking this thing as seriously as I should. I have been expecting too much of situations that I have no control over. I have been wanting to control every aspect of it. I haven’t wanted things to just flow, because that’s unpredictable and I’m afraid. Afraid of what exactly? Being hurt again. Failing. Losing. Crying like that again. (I can’t even put that experience into words, but some of you know what I mean.) It’s not something I’m eager to put myself through again… ever again, if I have any say.
But I don’t, do I? I can’t control these things, as much as I’d like to. It’s impossible for me to handle that much. My weak little heart couldn’t take it.

Maybe God is showing me something.

Maybe He wants to change my heart this year.

2} Hard places…
“I remember that summer specifically because I was trying to forge a road between what I wanted for myself and what I thought God wanted for my life. The two always seemed to look different back then.”
This is exactly where I am right now. Stuck. I have constantly been finding myself torn between so many different options, and there is a war inside me every single day. I’m confused, anxious, and doubtful.
See, I have this terrible habit of doubting myself, and questioning everything and almost every situation that may potentially go against my plan, or even go along with that wimpy plan that I’ve worked out so carefully in my heart. Makes a lot of sense, right? But you know the war I’m talking about, don’t you?
The rapid-fire of questions and doubts and shutdowns is overwhelming to say the least.
“…Should I run with this? Should I wait? Should I move on completely? Is it up to me at all? is it entirely up to me to decide how to go about this? Does God want something totally different? Does He want this? What if I mess it up? What if I miss something? What if I should have done this instead?…What if…?”
What if, indeed.
It’s a mess! But, oh, friend… it gets worse.. I then begin to wonder what worth I have to God, to other people, what would anyone see in this, in me? Why would that work out with me as opposed to so and so? What would make me so worth that? Who would, ever, find me at all interesting?.. etc, etc, blah, blah, blah. It’s bad, right? I tend to be really hard on myself for everything. That’s just the rut that I’m in, day in and day out. I know that I have to break my own destructive patterns, but it’s really hard to, isn’t it?

3} A belief I have a hard time living by every day..
“So I had to believe God had good for my life…”
And to add to that… Patience…
Okay, so I KNOW that God has good for my life. I do, I know that. However, whether or not I believe it wholeheartedly all the time is another thing. As I said before, I have a bad tendency to doubt a lot. Not that I doubt God and his love and capabilities… But I’m very impatient about these things.. and I tend to doubt myself even more because of it.
So there is this vicious loop in which I always find myself trapped and confused, and I never know how to get out of it. As much as I hate to admit this, too… I often trust the the lies, instead of the truth about what God has in store for me. I tend to believe the lies quicker and more easily, because I’m so used to believing them already. It’s much simpler and less painful to just keep on believing the lies because it’s what I know. It serves as a cushion in some ways, because I don’t want to be exposing myself to a chance of being hurt again and again. So I try to control it. I doubt. I lie to myself. I let others lie to me. I hear the truth and accept the lies…because it’s “easier.” (Brilliant strategy, isn’t it?)

God doesn’t want me to live like this.

He wants us to find happiness in our lives.

He does want us to experience Godly, human love…because it’s one of His many gifts to us.

However…it’s hard, when you’re in this place, to see that future.

It’s hard to believe those truths.

It’s hard to accept them.

Maybe this is all a sign that I’m maturing more in some way, and that God’s point is finally coming through to my scattered mind…

Maybe God is simply opening my eyes to something he’s been trying to reveal for months.

Maybe He wants me to stop trying so hard…

…Could that be…?

HANNAH BRENCHER

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It was two summers ago. 2013.

I would have told you, in a nonchalant tone of voice, that I was “keeping my options open.”

He and I, we weren’t official. We weren’t much of anything at all besides a few dinners and a person to report back to at the end of the night. I knew that if we talked about it then the consensus would be mutual: This won’t go too far. And it’s okay if there are other people you talk to at night.

He was sweet though. Schooled me in enchilada-eating competitions. Took my hand at the movies. Sang (out of pitch and out of tune) right along side me in the car.

You could have thought the world of him. You could have told me he was certainly “it” but my conclusions were certain and drawn already: I knew I wasn’t going to date him long-term.

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It’s a new year..

It’s a new year…

So what are you gonna do?

Are you going to make the cliche resolutions that people rarely follow though on?

Try to be different and come up with your own resolution that only you understand?

Try to better yourself, or the area around you?

Try to tackle the small flaws, and handle your tasks one at a time for this year?

Try something completely new? Try to find a new hobby?

Try a new style of music? Try a new movie or book genre?

Try a new wardrobe? Try a new hairstyle?

The key thing here is “try.”

What are you going to try this year?

We tend to want to do things. We feel inspired. We see the problem and we want it fixed. We want to be the ones to fix it.

But how often do we truly give our all and try our hardest to achieve these things?

Granted, many of us do try for the big things, but what about the small things?

The things within ourselves. The things in our daily lives that we just accept in the end. What about those? Do we try to work on those as much as we do on the big projects that overwhelm us? I’d venture a no on that.

I know so many people who talk about the things that they want to do or fix, but we rarely go for it because other things are in the way and seem way more important. I know I face this. I want to improve various skills, build portfolios, finish my personal projects, and work on some personal flaws, but there never seems to be enough time. Why’s that?

I feel that, in my case, there are many things that draw the bulk of my attention away from those. I tend to put those desires on the back-burner for years at a time because I feel pressed for time and like all of my effort should go to the things that seem more important. The big things take so much energy, that by the time I can work on the little things, I don’t feel inspired or energized enough to work on them, which is partly why they end up being put on hold for so long. I find myself aching to be more skillful in several areas, but not motivated enough to get there most of the time.

So here’s to the new year! A time to try new things, put more things on hold, and stare at more walls in complete and utter exhaustion!!

I kid, I kid.

In fact, I hope that each of you gets to rest longer this holiday, build up enough energy, and re-inspire yourselves.

I hope you get to tackle the things you want to do.

I hope you don’t overwork yourself on the bigger, seemingly more important things.

I hope you have enough time and inspiration to work on your own desires for once.

I hope you make it a great year and try your best.

I hope that if you fail for any reason, you get back up, try again and don’t feel defeated.

I hope that instead of relying on external factors to improve your year, you find it within yourself to make your year the best it can be.

Good luck out there!

Happy New Year, everyone!