For the past ten years, though they have been rich and full, I feel like I’ve been looking at the tapestry God is weaving from underneath. It’s been messy and the threads don’t seem to connect - I don’t understand why He works the way He does in my life. My prayer as I entered into this season, was that God would give me even just a glimpse from above at the greater story He’s weaving. And He’s been answering that prayer, but it’s called me to exercise and fight for faith like I never have before. 

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I Am Home

I wrote this reflection four years ago after I had spent a couple of years at school, away from my home in Czech. God used all of that disorientation, to reorient me back to him. And I am clinging to His faithfulness in yet another season of transition.

When I feel suspended, uprooted and nomad-ish (def: someone with no settled home)...

When I am entrusting my future, my relationships, my hopes and my heart to him and just waiting for Him to answer prayer and give me something to let down roots in... 

...He challenges me yet again to redefine "Home" and make my home in Him.

So, this reflection I wrote years ago spoke to me again today. And for those of you finding yourself in a similar season of feeling like a nomad without a concrete and defined "home" - I hope this encourages you, too.

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When "What If" Meets "I AM"

What is your first response when something doesn't go according to plan? or when a problem arises that threatens your security? Mine is to:

  1. Call my dad (he's the best).
  2. Figure out which of my (several) contingency plans to implement.
  3. Pray - once I exhaust all my options and can't figure out what to do (clearly this is disordered)
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A Foundation Worth Building On: The 6(ish) things to look for as you date

When I was in high school and college I was a stone wall. Seriously. If you get told you’re intimidating by guys more than a handful of times over the span of a couple months, that might be something to think about. I was so afraid of being fooled, rejected and hurt because someone might find me lacking, less than or not ____enough. These fears and insecurities led me to be most attracted to the guys who were magnetic - people gravitated towards them, knew them and respected them. I looked for someone I would feel proud to be seen with, someone who had out-of-this-world high potential, and someone who was smooth and articulate in the way they spoke and presented themselves.

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Withholding No Yes

I sat there in a sea of people, on a communist wooden chair with tattered and faded lime green upholstery. But it wasn't the chair that made me restlessly shift in my seat.

"Hannah, are you going to build your kingdom, or are you going to build Mine?"

Tears streamed down my face. His voice was familiar, inviting and full of grace. Still, that question felt offensive, because it shone light on that piece of my heart I had done such a good job convincing myself was fine. It brought me face to face with my “ugly” that desperately needed his grace...

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Advent: A heart conditioned for expectation

You know that feeling you get before something really exciting happens? The one where your stomach drops, your heart starts pounding, your breathing quickens and you get this tingling sensation that courses through your blood at 100 mph. Yeah, that feeling? It's called anticipation. "The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment." Coming. Expectant. Anticipation. The preparing your heart to receive and unwrap something beautiful. Well, I've been bracing myself for a blow more than I've been waiting with open-handed, joyful expectation, for the good gifts my Heavenly Father has prepared to give me. It couldn't be more fitting that this new insight came the first week of Advent.

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To All The Single Ladies (and Gentlemen) Out There

"How are you doing with that, Han!?"

I've been asked this question several times a week by deeply caring friends and family who recognize that this season might be a difficult one for me. And here's what they're referring to: my two younger siblings both just got married within six months of each other. That leaves me, the oldest, as the only single one in our family. My brother just got married to his beautiful, empathetic, animal-loving and sandals-and-socks-wearing fiancee, Jill. And my sister married her creative, community-oriented, death-metal-loving boyfriend, Austin. Both of them are with people who love them well and who bring out the best in them. That leaves me, the oldest, as the only single one in our family. Woof.   

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Next Time I Look In The Mirror

“Yikes. This isn’t going to work!”

I peeled the shirt off and put it back on the hanger. I wasn’t a fan of how boxy and shapeless it made me feel. The pants were snug in all the wrong places. The outfit looked effortlessly beautiful on the girl wearing it on Instagram. Why couldn’t I feel great in just one of all the outfits I tried on? The dressing room was getting hot. My peeling, sunburned skin turned blotchy - irritated by all of the different fabrics rubbing up against it. The lighting was awful, casting shadows that made me question whether I really should have celebrated how good I felt in my body earlier that morning. I felt like a hot mess - a literal one.

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The Thing About Cheetos

Did you know that Cheetos are designed to trick your brain and hypnotize your taste buds into a constant state of craving? It’s a state that snack food industry insiders call the “bliss point.” They have scientifically designed foods like Cheetos around our brain’s reaction to sensory-specific satiety

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What Happened When I Offered The Pen Of My Story To Another

We don’t have to keep pieces hidden or report only the good parts of our stories wrapped up with a pretty bow. We can offer the people in our lives a pen, hold out our hearts and let them into the mess of our process. We can invite them to co-write our stories with us. The first time I did this is ingrained in my mind because it forever changed the way I engage in relationships.

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The Sound Of Love Come Down

When I heard that small cry, I threw the bed sheets off and flew across the room. I couldn't sleep anyway. My body was hyper-aware of the little life laying across the room from me. I wasn't used to having anyone dependent on me to meet all of their needs. Tonight, however, I was taking care of the newborn son of a teenage girl I had met on a Chicago train a couple months earlier.

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A Seat At The Table

The topic of generosity has been on my mind a lot these days. A lot of us think about generosity in terms of how we give of our time, our resources, our finances. However, I have been particularly fascinated by people who are generous in offering recognition and support.

At the root of this kind of generosity is one word. With this one word, the Listen partners have inspired me to lean in, speak up and take risks in my work with a new boldness.

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Run With Patience

I think it goes without saying that we spend a lot of our lives waiting on things - waiting for an acceptance letter, waiting for your latte to be called at the bar, waiting on that raise, waiting for a good idea, waiting in line at the DMV (seriously, a lifetime), waiting for clarity on career options, waiting for the results of that test, waiting to meet the person you'll choose to spend the rest of your life with. Waiting begins the moment we hope for something and begin to anticipate receiving it. Waiting is inevitable. It's a part of life. And it's something we will be doing our whole lives as we live in the tension of the now and the not yet. 

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Let's Make Each Other Great Again!

Last night, 90 million people tuned into the first presidential debate.

We all watched as the presidential candidates threw punches at one another like their lives depended on it. We all felt the tension and exchange of hatred. It was offensive. With every punch, each candidate intentionally and recklessly stripped their opponent of his/her dignity, honor and, I would argue, humanity. They reduced each other to the sum of their weaknesses and bad choices. They left America feeling uncomfortable and discouraged. And all of this was done with the intent of coming out on top. It was all about the win.

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Have The Audacity To Interrupt

Moving to a big city has recently led me to contemplate social boundaries and their effects on connection. 

There are moments I wish they were more clearly established: like on the train, when I'm sitting between a man whose hands and face are covered in cheesy Pringles as he licks the powder our of the tube (gag!) and a woman who is coughing up a lung and spitting it into a napkin (help!). But most times, I find myself wishing we would push through them to acknowledge one another in our human experience and create space for meaningful connection.

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Overchoice: Donuts & Freedom

In my hand I held a coupon for one free donut.

I carefully scanned every donut in the glass case full of options. Cookie butter creme, coconut glaze, pistachio crumble, blueberry fritter, chocolate glazed filled with peanut butter (OMG) — each one looked and sounded better than the last. I wanted to make that coupon count and choose the best freaking donut that place had to offer.

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"Ticket for one, please..."

I'm proud of myself today. 

I spent two weeks surrounded by new people, engaging in both small talk and deep conversations, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone with improv games, trying to navigate public transportation and Google Maps in a new city (a.k.a getting on the wrong time and wandering into shady neighborhoods more times than I care to admit), interviewing with incredible companies and working up the courage to reach out and set up meeting with people I admire to learn from their story and work.

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The Bangup Job: How God changed my life by denting it (just a little).

“You were naked up there, girl!”

The man standing behind me and my family in line, as we waited to be seated for dinner, took me off guard. But I knew exactly what he was referring to. It was just an hour ago. Up there, in front of a couple thousand people, delivering the student baccalaureate address, I felt naked. Vulnerable. The age-old trick in public speaking is to picture your audience naked, but I had done the opposite. I reached in, pulled out my pounding heart and held it out to all of the people that I had spent years carefully protecting it from, because I believed God was asking me to allow His power to be glorified through real-time vulnerability.

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