I need you to lean left.

21 Mar

Such raw, powerful honesty. May my life be more like that.

hannah brencher.

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I have not written.

No, not recently.

The excuse is that I am busy. My calendar– my alibi. But that’s just a lie to mask the real reason: I am resisting. I have been resisting for a really long time. Because that is sometimes what we do when we love something so much that we are fully aware it could double back to hurt us– we resist it. Because it changes us. And we are afraid to change.

Me, especially.

I want everything to stay the same. I want the same barista. He should never think to pack his bag and move to Nashville. I want the same mug. The same seat. The same moments played on repeat so we can always do this dance of familiarity.

I am afraid of people leaving. There, I said it. I am afraid of people being taken from me. I want to…

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11 Habits Of People With Concealed Depression

27 Jan

SERENDIPITY AND CREATIVITY

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There will be two main types of people reading this article — Those finding themselves better equipped to understand some of the people they love, and those who see their own reflections in these habits.

Depression often goes unseen, unrecognized, and undiagnosed. A person with concealed depression is someone who is conditioned to deal with their inner demons in a way that doesn’t make them clearly visible. They may or may not be diagnosed, and this may or may not be something they’ve shared with even their closest of companions. The problem is that the world becomes darkest when we all stop being able to understand each other. We tend to believe that hardship is worn openly upon one’s chest like a battle scare, but many of these wounds do not easily reveal themselves to those that do not take the time to look.

1. They intentionally make efforts to…

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The Silent Seasons

27 Jan

stories are gifts

I haven’t been here in awhile. Life has just been moving along, like it always does. Work, friends, family, travels – always learning how to be human. We’re back in the rhythms now, settling into the routines we often find ourselves in. And it’s in these moments, the ones where there’s nothing life changing happening, that I find myself thinking, “I’m not sure I have anything to say.”

Because there already seems to be enough yelling in the world, enough things clamoring for your attention, enough things wanting to be heard. I’ve never been the kind to join in with all the shouting. And when I have been, I often find that I say the things I regret most; trying to be cool, trying to be smart, trying to be lovable. Why did I feel such a need to be heard?

One of the most valuable lessons I learned in…

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23 Reasons You Should Go Hug Your Mom

19 Aug

SERENDIPITY AND CREATIVITY

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Not everyone has been blessed with the mom the of the century, but if you have, you definitely know it. And when it comes to the people in the world most deserving of hugs, moms always come in first place.

  1. For being your number one fan in every various activity you decided to try as a kid.
  2. And for cheering like you were scoring goals in the World Cup and not the local YMCA soccer league.
  3. Basically, hug your mom because we all spend so much time in life trying to win the affection of others, and our moms always treated us like a superstar from the start.
  4. For the times you forgot to call and she always remembered.
  5. For each and every time she had to take you to the grocery store as a child, because god knows that was a dangerous and expensive endeavor. Hug your mom because…

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Being Still

5 Feb

I’ve been sitting with this open on my laptop all day. I really don’t know how to start it, or where I want to go with it. I know what I want to say to you, but like I said, I don’t know where to begin. I apologize if this begins to ramble on.

Tomorrow will be a month since my dad passed away. I can tell you that while it has gotten easier, it has also gotten harder. It’s become easier to accept the fact that he’s gone, it has also become that much harder to deal with. I’ll never get to hear his voice again, I’ll never get to get his advice on what to do with my life. Most of all, it’s hard to deal with the fact that I he won’t get to walk me down the aisle and we won’t get to have the big father-daughter dance.

What I’ve heard most in this last month is Romans 8:28. It says:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)

I’ll be real with you, at first, I wanted to smack everyone who said that to me. I still kind of do. But if there is anything I’ve learned, even in this month, is that this verse is true. And so is every other verse in the Bible. My dear friend Sara, who was walked through this with me in the last month (love her!) challenged me to be still in the Word. And if I’m going to be honest, I hadn’t exactly been reading the Bible like it was my favorite book lately. It was hard getting back into it.

Last week, at Elevate, Chris talked about endurance through life. He read Romans (again with the Romans?) chapter five, verses three through five. This says:

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (NIV)

From then until about 3:30 the next morning, God was just showing me Scripture after Scripture about how I need to not try to deal with this on my own, but how much I need to rely on God and that I need to be still in Him. The last verse I read was Hebrews 6:19.

“We have this hope as an anchor, firm and secure.”

What sort of hope is this? It’s the hope in Christ. It’s the hope for a better tomorrow. It’s the hope that things will get better, and they will! So from me to you, my friends, be still and have hope.

To P. Hutch!

10 May

This guy…..is quite the guy.

Sioux City Sparks

Friends, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from the social aspect of my college career up until now, it’s that not everyone is going to make you happy.  There will be people who will rain on your parade.  Ruin your birthday.  Steal your scholarships and steal your spotlight.  Belittle you.  Put you in a corner.  Make you want to throw things at them.

But I’m writing this post to prove that there are people out there who really are better than all that!  People who will make you laugh, inspire you and make you feel awesome.  I guess if I were at some big fancy dinner event right now, this would be my toast.  To an awesome guy named P. Hutch.

P. Hutch (aka Professor Hutchins, but that’s obviously way too long) is our music department’s low brass guy, jazz band director and brass ensemble director.  He also helps out…

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Morningside, We Sing Of You

9 Mar

After six long, fun filled days, we are home from tour! My last post was when we were in Algona, and I can honestly say that it got so much better from there! 

From Algona, we drove a long time to Peosta, about 10 minutes from Dubuque. We sang at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, and that church was beautiful. Since it was Adam’s home church, he gave his senior speech before we went out to perform. Let me tell you, there was not a dry eye in that room. Karen also gave her senior speech, and it moved a lot of us. Looking back at it, I think that moment was the breaking point, or the moment when we started to feel like an actual family. The tears carried over to the concert. We sang Grace Before Sleep and the line “here the hearth is wide and warm.” I heard sobs coming from every angle around me, plus my own. There was something moving about that song, and that concert in general. Our host home was wonderful; they were probably my favorite one we stayed at. Shout out to the Sullivan family for hosting our choir and to the Webber’s for letting us stay with you!

From Peosta, we began our journey back west to Charles City. Janiece Berkland, the woman who has done the backdrop for Christmas at Morningside for the past 10 years, asked us to come sing at her church. Bailee gave her speech beforehand, and again, not a dry eye. We seemed to be just a little closer as a choir during that performance. The audience was great, and the thrill of performing was always a good feeling. At the hotel, Joel gave his speech. No words seem accurate to describe the emotion in that room. I still can’t find words. 

Last but not least, we headed further west to Guthrie Center. We stopped in Des Moines for some lunch and shopping, and Kelsey and I met a Morningside alum at Cold Stone! She asked me if I was in town for the basketball tournament, to which I responded that our college choir was on tour. She then proceeded to sing the Morningside fight song! She told us that her husband was also an alum and was in the choir in the 70’s. How cool is that?! 

I was already feeling bittersweet about this concert. It was our last one, and I wasn’t really ready to be done with the tour. To be honest, I didn’t want to go back to classes and real life. This night was the night that I felt like we were truly a family. Scott gave his speech, and he really emphasized that. Scott, let me say that I’m glad that you stayed at Morningside this last year. Choir would not have been the same without you. We went up for our last performance, and tears were shed just like in Peosta.

Something I have always loved about music is that it moves people. It affects them in someway. I witnessed that firsthand last night. People were tearing up and smiling and letting the music hit them. Even though we had sung the same ten songs five nights before that, it still seemed fresh. It was beautiful. Shout out to the Kruse family for allowing us to sing at their church and to our house host, also a Morningside alum! 

I told Watson in Charles City that I had every intention of dropping choir after tour. I didn’t feel like I belonged to this group anymore. After the performances in Peosta and Guthrie Center, I realized that if I were to quit, it would be the worst decision I would ever make in my time at Morningside. I love singing too much to just give it all up. I don’t think my time as a member of College Choir is up yet. And when I look at it, we really are a family. This is the closest ensemble that I’m a part of; not even SWE or jazz band come close to this. Each one of us has something to offer to this group, and no one can take it away from us. Wearing that robe makes us part of a tradition of excellence that was started in 1894, when Morningside was founded. 

Seniors, I hope that we made your last choir tour memorable. I’m so glad that I got to know each of you, and each of you has taught me something. I want to say a special something to Joel, Adam, and Scott.

Joel, we’ve been in almost every single ensemble together for past two years. You’ve taught me to not get so angry when I screw up. You’ve shown me the beauty of hard work. Thank you. I’m so proud of who you’ve become even in the two years I’ve known you. You’re going to be great no matter what you do. 

Adam, we’ve been in a few groups together. You are quite the caring, understanding, amazing person. Your leadership skills are stellar. I want to be like you when I grow up. Thanks for giving me a second chance and for helping me find out who I am. Even if it wasn’t a direct thing, you still helped. Thank you. You’ve got so much to offer, and you’re going to go far.

Scott, what can I say about you? All-around, you’re a great guy, not to mention a talented vocalist. You’ve indirectly shown me how important it is to pick yourself up when you fall and to admit mistakes. Let’s be honest, I’ve made a ton of them. From you, I’ve gained the value of strength in myself. Thank you. I’m proud of how far you’ve come, and I can’t wait to see how far you go from here. You’re gonna go far, kid. 

“Morningside, we sing of you, for the love that we have known here.

Times of joy and learning too, and friendships we will have forever.

May we ever serve you heart and mind no matter where our paths may wind.

Always sound your name with pride.

Hold you dear, oh Morningside.”