January 21, 2013

let life unfold.

Between coffee dates with $3.48 lattes at Target, quiet afternoons doing nothing in particular at grandma and grandpas, and writing about summer memories at the lake (in particular, the beauty of night-swimming lit only by the flickering of the stars and the dim boat light), the past few days have been rich in friendship, in simplicity, in honest living not limited by 140 characters.

Summer reminds me how life should be. Barefoot in the grass, fresh food, friends within walking distances, and a sense of adventure in the air. I wish I had left my suitcases packed, so I could unzip them and smell the salt and sand and earth on my clothes, feel that summer sun on my skin, remember the whimsy and spontaneity that comes of weeks unburdened with schedules. Perhaps the greatest gift of the summer is an understanding that this life is wild and precious. What we do matters. I want to let life unfold. Simply. Honestly. Wholly.

Blogging requires a balance that I've been lacking. As a result, I'm left trying to steady and even out the scale, searching for the fulcrum. I've been dreaming of taking a blog fast for awhile now, but I haven't because the thought of not being caught up on the internet's happenings stresses me out. The pressure to be on top of everything online is nails on a chalkboard, wet socks on a negative temperature day, a cold in summertime. All the time I invest in online relationships (or my online "presence") takes away from the relationships with people I'm living life with.

As humbling as it may be to admit it to myself, it's refreshing. Here is the truth: I am not a big deal and nor do I want to be. It's all about Jesus and I hope that every story I photograph, write, or sing would point back to Him. And the internet will be fine without me. :) People and their lives and stories are more important than a new post every day.

Where do you need to simplify?
What makes your heart beat faster?
Where do you need to change?
What do you need to cut back on, de-clutter, get rid of?
What is holding you back?

They're all things I'm learning to ask myself and be honest with the answer. I wish it was a school test, where I could fill in a, b, c, or d, but life isn't easily answered with a multiple choice question. I am simplifying and letting go and learning what that means in my life, and it's good.

I do know this : It means saying hello to more early mornings with the sun stretching across the sky, reading more books and less blogs, and cooking good food. It's the difference between hearing a song on the radio or listening to it live, it's the grace caught in the quiet moments when we remember this deeper story we're living out. New adventures, travels with nothing but a suitcase and a camera to see, remembering how we lived before the internet. And I see it like a gathering in the woods -- we'll each bring a homemade goodie (I'll bring the apple pie), string up some fairy lights (convinced that they're the little extra in the ordinary), and laugh late into the stars.

In case it looked like I was saying goodbye to this blog, let me tell you, no. :) I am refocusing and going back to the heart of this site, but I'm keeping this little space here. It's dear to me and I'm grateful for the opportunities that have opened up and friendships that have been formed because of it. It'll be different in ways I'm still wondering / mulling about in the next few months, but I'm excited to make some (much-needed) changes.

Have a really wonderful Monday. :)

xo h


  1. You are so truthful about things we all need to hear, and I know we can all relate to. And you're wonderful for that, amidst other reasons. AND YOU'RE PRETTY. Yep.

  2. Oh I can relate to this so much. I feel like blogging and social media has consumed my soul or something and I really don't like it very much. Actually I don't like it at all. Sadly it's all I ever think about. I really hope you can find the balance you're looking for and I'm sure you can! Hope you have a great week. :)


  3. Thanks for the awesome post Hannah! I love reading your posts, because they are always motivating and convicting. Good job!

  4. I've been mulling over similar things in the past few days, and I have great respect for the commitment you're taking. Being rooted in Jesus and the "real" world, so to speak, is most important to me, should be for everyone, and obviously is for you. :)

  5. I have been having many of the same thoughts lately. I need to de-clutter my life, and just get things sorted out, but as much as I try, I just cannot. Have fun!

    Rachel Nicole


  6. A muser.21.1.13

    I am held back by doubt, apathy, and an earthly body.
    I am strengthened by worship, study, and hard, good work. :-)
    You are an artist of Light, and life. - Seth

  7. your blog is such an inspiration... i'm glad you're staying around. :)
    yesssss. the blogging world, the internet- all the online stuff- 'demands' so much time that we think we can't live without it- when honestly, we really live without it. that sounded sentimental- yes, but it's true!

  8. this really got me thinking. thank you for this.

  9. this is so great!!!!:) I love it!!

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  10. It's good to know that more and more bloggers are rethinking and refocusing.

  11. As long as you don't leave us, dear Hannah! You are wonderful - never forget it.

  12. Beautiful. Words and pictures. And I don't think anyone can capture sunlight as perfectly as you do :)

  13. I love this! I have been feeling the same way...Like I want to live whole-heartily and never stop...:) Thanks for the post!

    -Eliza Berry
    P.S. I am Ellie's sister and I have been reading your blog for awhile and I LOVE it! :D

  14. Hearing your words and seeing Jesus shining through you is always good for my heart. I think it's good you're trying to reshape your focus and simplify your life - I've been doing it too, as I think many of us are. The internet can be so bombarding with its endless stream of media and information; we have to be careful not to let it take away from our life in the real world, because it's sososo much more precious.

  15. Beautifully written and so honest...I'm struggling with this too.
    Thanks for sharing this Hannah, I really needed to read it :)

  16. yes to all of this. especially this: "All the time I invest in online relationships (or my online "presence") takes away from the relationships with people I'm living life with." it's hit me this past month that even though i have met amazing people and want to connect with them, i am here, in my town, for a reason right now, with people who need to be poured into. it's so hard...finding that balance.

  17. Thank you so much for this, Hannah. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I am going to print out your questions to ask yourself so that I can look at them when I am blogging/online/thinking about my blog.


  18. These are things I've been mulling over too, Hannah. I can relate and the words that hit home to me most are what Olivia quoted too. I want to be present more with the people who I'm living life with. The amount of comments or amount of likes i get do not define me. Keeping up with all the media and online things stresses me out too. When I plan to take a media fast I think of all the things I could be missing out on if I don't get on my e-mail or dont read blogs. but like you said, you want to remember what it was like when we all didn't have all these distractions. So do I. I dont want the media to take over the time I have here with my family and the things I could be doing for God right where He's planted me. In saying that I'm not saying that blogging or being on the Internet is wrong, it can be a great blessing, it's just finding the balance that's hard. I'm right there with you, Hannie-girl. :)) I'll pray for you that God will help you find a healthy balance and keep priorities straight.

    Blessings, friend!


  19. Yes, yes, yes. These questions...I should just put them on my mirror or something. :)


  20. good for you.
    that's all i have to say.

  21. you captured it perfectly, I think: "I wish it was a school test, where I could fill in a, b, c, or d, but life isn't easily answered with a multiple choice question."

    isn't God's grace and help wonderful? we can go to him for the answers to anything we need, and he'll help us. I know I've wished the same thing; that life could be a bit more simple and. . . easy. but it's not always. the comfort is in James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

    :) happy tuesday, hannah.

  22. gah. i read this all the way through and your writing astounds me. it's just so good. you're so good. you've got such a great heart, girl. keep it up.

  23. I always wonder too, what the world would be like had we not been given the internet as such a common tool ... my job, for instance, would be ten times harder. But i think it can be a great connector ... I have used the net to connect with old friends, schedule coffee dates and dinners with them ... had it not be for that, i would have probably lost contact.

    Btw, beautiful photos ... so happy I found this blog to follow :)

  24. You are so inspiring...gah! I love the way that you write and all your pictures.

  25. This is beautiful, truly. You are beautiful. I have no other words for what you do and who you are. I just always get so excited when I see your beautiful heart and raw emotion and love of life.

    A bit off topic, but I've been meaning to ask you: if you wouldn't mind sharing, in just a simple, brief way, how you edit b&w, I would love to know. I've noticed you and Tim Coulson (although I don't know of tons of photographers) have just these amazing b&w photos - they hold so much intensity but are very soft and subtle looking at the same time. I absolutely love b&w, but it seems every time I attempt them, I get a very... eh, I don't know how to describe it. It's just very flat, I guess. Anyway, thanks!

  26. You are such a wise soul, and I want your words to seep deeply within me.

    Deb Weaver