Friday, 4 September 2015

A Letter to My Childhood Self

I read this prompt on the Compassion blog and decided to have some fun with it!

Dear Little Hannah,

It's me. No, not that, ya goose. Me. Your older, wiser, more experienced self. Have I got a few words of wisdom for you! No, you're not crazy. Just be quiet and listen, 'kay?

Number 1. Adulting is hard, girl! There's so much stuff that you haven't even thought about! Bills to pay! Cars breaking down! Forms to fill out! And more forms!! And more forms!!!

Not to mention, catching that centipede that you discover in your sink at four in the morning all by yourself.

All I can say is, experiment. No one's gotta know about that batch of cookies you had to dump because you burned them beyond recognition... or the entire container of food that you forgot in the back of the fridge and had to throw away container and all because it grew *GASP* pink mold and everyone knows that PINK MOLD CAN KILL YOU... or the time you dropped an entire pie on the floor... or the time you caught the microwave on fire. (Gosh, kiddo, you sure didn't inherit your mom's cooking genes did ya?)

Just chill, take it easy... it's called growing up. Every adult does stuff like this. I think.

Number 2. Adulting is amazing. That's the part that people don't tell you about. When you go out and purchase a piece of furniture that compliments your decor perfectly... when you dress up and treat yourself to dinner to celebrate life... when you just get in your car and drive and drive with no destination in mind, just because you can... when you host your first party. Being an adult is the toughest thing you'll ever do, but also the most rewarding.

Number 3. You know that African girl you've been wanting to sponsor? The one you dream about every time you see a World Vision commercial on TV? The one whose picture you cut out of a magazine and taped to the fridge? The one you dream about writing letters to?

You're going to have four of them. Yup. Four. And two boys besides. (One in Indonesia.) And it will Change. Your. Life. And it will cause your heart to break in ways you never dreamed of and it will put all the pieces of your life back together again and your friends will call you a single mom and you'll brag about "your kids" to random strangers and it will be the best thing that ever happens in your life. I promise. 

Number 4. Okay, I hate to tell you this part. You're gonna get hurt, babygirl. Adults don't know how to play nice. Be careful who you give your heart away to, all right? Even the sweetest people in the world can let you down and hurt you in ways that no one should have to experience. You're going to learn what depression means. You're going to learn what betrayal means. You're going to learn what sleepless nights feel like, and what crying until you throw up feels like, and what rage feels like.

But you'll make it. (If you didn't, I wouldn't be here writing this letter to you would I?)

You'll make it, you know why? Because you're going to learn that it's not about who you are, it's about Whose you are. Because you'll learn to see everything beautiful in the storm. Because your worth will come from One Who loves you. Because one day, you'll learn to smile and walk away with your heart intact. You may not think that you're going to make it, but you will. Because one day, you'll learn to remove negative people, thoughts, and influences from your life without a second thought.

Number 5. You are who you are. Don't let anybody, and I mean anybody, change that. Be crazy. Be weird. Be awkward. Stick out like a sore thumb. Be the one running around catching snowflakes on your tongue while people look at you like you've lost your mind. Be the one giggling so hard that everyone turns to look. Be you, crazy girl. Don't be anybody else.

Number 6. Remember how you always dreamed of being a singer? You're gonna do it chickie! You're gonna sing on stages and have people cry and come up afterwards to hug you. And what's more, you're going to meet the best friends that you've ever had who are gonna sit back and accept you for who you are. You're going to laugh until you snort and you're going to go on crazy adventures and you're going to sing in parking lots and restaurants and malls, and you're going to go into a recording studio and get a fit of anxious laughter because you can't believe you're making a CD for crying out loud and isn't that unbelievable?!

Number 7. You're gonna grow up, Hannah-Strawberry-Banana-Spitfire-Torment. And it's going to be painfully funny and beautifully impossible. And you're going to laugh and cry and groan and giggle and scream and sigh. And it's going to be fun. And it's going to be tough. And you're gonna do it. And you're not gonna give up, because like I said, if you did, I wouldn't be writing you this letter. And you're gonna come out on top; maybe a little battered, maybe a little broken, but still beautiful, okay?

Because you're not brave enough to be mediocre. 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

August Anamneses

Three letters to share this month!! I just adore getting letters from my kids!

First up was a letter from my dearest brother Mbula. I love what a fantastic relationship I have with this young man.

He began his letter, as he does almost every time, with "Hallo my sister!" He told me that he was glad to hear about my parents' recent visit, and that I "took time talking with them." He sent them his greetings and told them that God loves them. He also shared that he was glad to hear that I really appreciated the photos of him with the gift bag I was able to send him through a visiting sponsor! (I had told him that I was so happy to see a picture of him smiling that it made me cry. ) He says that he keeps on "praying to Almighty to encourage you to keep sending these gifts." Mbula shared that he's happy to hear that I'm praying for him and his family, and on their side, they're "keenly" praying for me too!

I recently sent Mbula a letter about my most recent correspondence child, Miriam, since she's also in Kenya. I told him that he had a little Compassion sister and that I was so blessed to be able to write to her. He wrote back and said, "I am grateful to have a small sister in Compassion, since I only have an older biological sister. I am really blessed. When you write to her send my regards to her."
He also shared how he is doing in school and encouraged me to keep praying for him. Lastly, he closed with Isaiah 41:10, which says "Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God."

Next up is a letter from my beautiful Ada!

She is always so sweet and grateful in her letters. She says, "Thank you for taking care of me in my daily life. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers." She also shared that she is in grade five and is preparing for end of term exams. Then she thanked me for the letter I sent to her and said that it pleased her and she was glad to hear from me. Then she thanked me a couple more times!

Lastly, I got my first "real" letter from Papi! His first letter was just a very basic intro, so this one was exciting... it was two pages long!

He greeted me with "shalom." and said that he was happy to receive my letters and photos. He then thanked me for my willingness to sponsor him. He shared a bit about his family and told me that his mother works as a domestic worker. (I guess that's like a maid or house servant?) He told me about the university he goes to and said that he is studying building techniques and said, "Each morning I must struggle to ride on the campus bus because public transportation to campus is not many. It is one of our town cultures." Then he shared his hobbies with me, which are watching animated movies, walking around, and hanging out with friends.

Papi then shared that this month he is hoping to go to Poe Town, which is a community about 175 km away from where he lives. They will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Holy Spirit pouring down. (Google "Indonesian revival 1965" like I did... it's very interesting and I'm so glad he is interested in that sort of thing!)

He then asked, "May I call you Sister?" (Awwww!) When is your birthday? What do you do? How is the culture there?"

He also asked for prayers for his studies, that he'll be able to finish "in the right time." And he drew this illustration of Psalm 91:11 for me!

What letters have you gotten this month?