Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I'm Gonna Be A Sinkovitz!

On December 14, 2012 Jake asked me to be his wife! For those who want to know the details of the story, read on!

December 14 is the day that 2 years ago Jake asked me to be his gal at one of our favorite places, the pond. Since it was our anniversary I knew we were going to do something special. Jake had told me he had a bunch of meetings that day so he wouldn't be able to get to SAU before 4:30. I was disappointed by that, but that day was also the day I was done with college forever. So I had a bit to keep me occupied :) However, our exciting day started long before that. Here is the timeline:

12:00 am December 14: Braydan randomly leaves our apartment and I get suspicious. After her return, I received a text message from Jake saying to look outside my door. I did and there was a whole bouquet of yellow roses with a note. Yellow roses are one of my favorite flowers and the kind he gave me last year at midnight on our one year anniversary. The note was wonderful and, had I not been crying with my friends about being moving away from them the next day, I would have cried happy tears. So I called Jake and got absolutely no information out of him and Braydan denied everything (come to find out that later that she let Jake into the building)

8:45 am: I wake up and am sitting in my living room and start to pray when I hear a rustling outside my door. A few moments later I receive the same text from the night before, "Look outside your door." There was McDonald's breakfast with another note. On February 14, 2011  I snuck McDonald's into Jake's K-house microwave while he was at Chapel Band practice at 6:30 in the morning. Jake talked about this memory in the note, among other nice things. So I enjoyed breakfast in my apartment :)

11:30 am: Matt Fry, a good friend of ours, calls me and says "Hey I have something you might want to see." I had already seen Matt twice that day so I was suspicious again haha. He walked up to me and handed me a peppermint hot chocolate and walked away. He wouldn't say anything to me! He ignored all of my shouts and continued to walk, so I read the note that was tucked into the cup sleeve. Before Jake and I were dating he worked at Sacred Grounds and he would always make me peppermint hot chocolate. Since that time, it has been one of our favorite things to do, go anywhere and get this glorious drink. It was a great surprise!

3:45 pm: Ben Kono, another good friend of ours, texted me asking where I was. He then came to my apartment and in the same fashion as Matt handed me a box of mini chewy sweet tarts (my favorite candy) with another note attached. In one of the previous notes Jake had written "Ps- don't try to figure out how I am doing this- I just know people." He knows my tendency to ask questions to try to ruin surprises for myself haha. I am a really difficult person to surprise that is for sure!

4:30 pm: Jake shows up looking so incredibly handsome! He had trimmed his beard and gotten a trendy haircut. I was floored! We get in the car and he makes up some story about how the dinner reservations got messed up and we have quite a bit of time but the place we are going is too far to come back to Jackson after. We always go to the pond, which is in Spring Arbor, on special occasions or when we just want to hang out. So he said we would have to go to the pond early. I was disappointed because we always go to look at the stars. So I made him drive around the block once, I was just being obnoxious because I knew he had a plan haha :) So I relented and put his nerves a little more at ease by saying we could go then.

As we approach the trail through the woods that leads to the pond I saw candle-lit lanterns along the whole path. I thought, "Oh boy, this is it!" At each lantern Jake stopped me, gave me a kiss, and talked about a memory he had of me/us. Each moment was so special and was something unique to us. At the end of the path, we arrived at the pond where there was a blanket (his Canada hockey one to be exact), with two lanterns on either side. There was a thermos of hot chocolate, a box of cookies, another bouquet of flowers (the best one I've ever gotten!), and his guitar on the blanket. We sat and enjoyed hot chocolate and the sight of the calm pond for awhile.

The bouquet of flowers from the pond.
Then Jake said, "Stand up, I want to play you a song." I knew what song this was. He wrote me a song when I was in Uganda during May of 2011. It was after this that he told me he loved me for the first time. So, every time he sings me this song I cry. Therefore, we were singing it together and I was crying, a lot! After the song was over, Jake put down his guitar and grabbed something out of his case. He hugged me close and was smiling really big. He pulled back and said, "These two years have been so crazy, but the best time of my life. I want to spend the rest of my life with you." He then got down on one knee and said, "Hannah, will you marry me?" All I could muster was a violent head nod between laughs and tears then whispered, "YEAH!" So he then showed me the amazing box that he MADE himself out of this beautiful dark wood. The ring was around a circle in the center of the box but he couldn't get it out! He started hitting the box against his hand and said "You have nails, you do it." S I pulled the ring out of the box. Then he said "Give me that!" Got back on his knee. "Give me your hand." He put the ring on and it fit perfectly. Then he shouted, "Okay Brandon you can come out now!" One of his best friends had been taking pictures the whole time!

I said yes :)
So after Brandon left I was just so excited! I went through the whole list of things we would get to do as a married couple (wash dishes, eat the same food, do laundry, etc.) Then he pulled out two more things to surprise me with: notebooks. He had written a notebook which he titled "My Journey to Engagement". From the day he bought the ring, a year and a half ago!, he journaled about different conversations we had, different things he was thinking or feeling, and at the end how ready he was to ask me to be his wife. I read this notebook by candle-light next to the pond. Sheesh, how romantic! Then I read the notebook that we write back and forth in. After that we sat back and watched the stars for a bit. I saw a shooting star, but I knew I would, I always do when we are out there.

We both were freezing and so it was time to leave the pond. We had parked the car outside of our good friends' house, Fred and Teresa Janson, I said we should see if they are home. Making me think it was my idea, Jake enthusiastically agreed and just walked right in! I was confused and questioning him "Wait are they home, are we allowed to just walk in?" He just smiled, and we walked around the corner to both of our families! It was awesome. I cried of course and we got to spend a bit of time telling them the story and enjoying each other's company.

Before dinner Jake said he had one more surprise. So we stopped at Scott Osborne's house and when we walked in, so many people were there to celebrate! I cried again, big surprise haha. My best friends, all who could be there, were there to share in our joy. It was amazing. After that great stop, we went off to Doug and Sharon McCarrell's to enjoy a nice dinner just the two of us. We always go here on our special dates, they are so kind to open their home to us!

So the only thing left to explain is the ring. It doesn't look like most rings the gals are getting these days and I love that. A year and a half ago I saw a ring in an antique shop in Manistee, MI. I didn't want to show Jake because we had only been dating 8 months or so. But later I told him about it. Unbeknownst to me, several weeks later he went back to scour the shop for it! He ended up getting it and holding onto it in good faith for a year and a half, knowing that we would eventually take this step. So the ring is very very special to me and I love that it isn't typical.

 So that was probably longer than you bargained for, but it was the most special night of my life! As you can see, community is so important to us. There were so many people involved in making this night happen, but even more so helping us get to the point we are at. I am so thankful for all of the people God has blessed us with, I know that into our marriage community will continue to be a huge piece of our lives.

::By His Grace & For His Glory::

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No More Hiding

It has been awhile since I have written. Anything, anywhere. Typically my journal cycle goes like this: write 2-3 days in a row spewing my frustrations then thankfulness that the Lord holds me up every time. Next entry date: 1 month later. Same garbage. I suppose it may be a bit harsh to label it as garbage, but reading back through some of my writing it is hard to not feel this way. How in the world have I managed to live in a cycle of such fickle wanderings? One day I am here, the next I am there. One day I long for my Lord, the next I am fine and dandy doing life on my own. It sickens me to see the reality of my heart! A few weeks ago I was asked what single quality do you admire most in others. Consistency. That is my answer. I admire those who can live a life of consistent faithfulness to the Lord, because I simply have not been able to do so. But oh how I long to! There are some who I am sure view my wanderings from afar and think I am a hypocrite. Well my friends, here it goes…I am one. I am a hypocrite to the fullest extent. One day I am seeking after my Father with a fierce intensity that it may scare people. I encourage others to do the same. At times I drag them with me. Then other times I sit back and become consumed by my life. I become consumed with MY plans and MY future. I become consumed with justice in silly matters that mean NOTHING when it comes to eternity or my sweet Jesus. I become consumed with the hardships that I face and wonder why God chose ME to walk through fire. I become consumed with fear, which is the result of believing so many lies. This fear literally paralyzes me some days. All in all, I become one large, hypocritical mess. Tears and snot both flowing down my face as I lament, question, then turn to chastising myself for being so inadequate. See below (transparency brings freedom).

Insert more insecurities and lies. Then there is a quiet voice that says, “turn to Jesus. More than anything He wants you near to Him.” I know this voice to be the Holy Spirit. I know it to be a voice that is more than trustworthy. Yet something ugly begins to churn inside of me when I hear Him call. Anger and pride well up, fighting with all they have to keep me from the shelter of my amazing God. During such times I am more than tempted to hide. Hide from my God and hide from those who would push me towards Him. I hide behind smiles and jokes and my busy schedule. But today is not such a time. Today is a day when I claim my freedom. A day when I say “enough” to the lies, emotions, and demons that violently tear me away from my Refuge. Today is a day when I am okay with exposing my flaws, that I may walk fully in the light of Him who lavishes His love on me. I do so because it is simply so much better this way, friends. I urge you to be okay with your failings. Not so you can fail again, but so you don’t have to. Be okay with the reality of brokenness and our complete inability to fix ourselves. Be okay with desperately needing an Almighty God. I believe this is where consistency begins. Consistently acknowledging our need will lead us to the One who satisfies every need. The One who silences the lies and violently tears the demons from in between Him and His beloved. Oh, to be loved by this great Maker in the midst of my great mess. Nothing compares. Absolutely nothing.

No more hiding. Delight in me Oh Lord.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life in Toledo

Today marks my third Wednesday at my internship with LifeLine Toledo. Getting here was a whirlwind. I finished finals, my presidency (:P), watched one of my best friends graduate, then packed all my stuff and immediately came to Toledo. My parents and Jake helped me move into a convent turned recovery center where I stay in the head nun’s room (I find that funny). I feel like I jumped into everything in true Adams fashion: juggling huge items on each appendage while simultaneously looking at a watch that is about a half hour too late. The beautiful thing about taking a plunge like that is that as soon as I hit the water, the things I was juggling slip away from me as I sink into it. That may not make sense to some people, but the rush of hitting the new water of LifeLine has felt like that. I hit the water full force, knocking everything else out of my hands. As I am slowing coming up for air, I feel a peace. That light feeling you get when you just let the water carry you up? That’s the one.

The very first day of my internship I was done at 3. I nearly lost my mind sitting in that nun’s room with nothing to do, in a city I have never been and that I have been warned way too many times is not safe for a young woman. I sat there realizing that God was yet again laughing at me. Not in a mean way, but in a way that says “You wanted this.” Because I did, and I do. I sat there thinking about how often, when I am overwhelmed, I say “God I just want to run away to the mountains so you can meet me there. Or to an old convent where I could just hear you.” I need to be more careful what I say to the Lord apparently… J  My mama has been telling me for so long to slow down. I gladly ignore the woman, because I simply do not want to slow down. I want to keep going at top speed having more and as many adventures as I can. In the past year I have been to Uganda, Montana twice for leadership weeks, nationals for soccer, Atlanta for urban missions, and everything in between. Mama says I need to process everything and take a sabbatical of sorts. There is not a single part of me that wants to do that. Why? Well, I have a guess as to why. I want to serve the Lord, but don’t want the vulnerability that comes with allowing Him, or anyone else, to serve me. The CEO of Cherry Street Mission (one of the organizations I am working with) told me “You can only serve others to the capacity to which you allow Christ to serve you.” Allowing God to serve me would mean I would have to deal with some crud in my spirit that I don’t want to. Sitting in His presence sheds light on all of the dark places in my heart, and it is painful! However painful it is, I know it is necessary.

I haven’t spoken much about what I am actually doing, but I feel as though that it is all working to the above end. God uses anything. I’m discovering more and more that it is not about the tasks that I accomplish, but about the transformation that takes place in the process. I am blessed to be in the place that I am. I am surrounded by people who want to pour into my life and put me in a position to hear God best. A lot has happened in the past 2.5 weeks so if I seem like my head is swimming, it just might be a little bit. J For those of you who want to know some specific things I am doing with my internship I’ll put a short list below:

-Living with 17 women who are working to get their lives back on track after hardships ranging from addiction to failed relationships
-Working with men at Cherry Street Mission who are attempting the same thing
-Working with Food For Thought every Friday and Saturday. FFT is a weekly project that has been going on for the past 5 years. We make sack lunches and then pass them out/hang out in a corner parking lot in downtown Toledo on Saturday mornings.
-Participate in Robinwood Church, a house church that looks just like Acts 2

So, there is my life in a nutshell. I am going to try to do better at updating what is going on. Thanks to those who are praying for me and walking alongside me. I am blessed by you daily.

::By His Grace & For His Glory::

Friday, March 23, 2012


Since the last post- I have been really struggling to trust God as He leads me in His way. Honesty is hard. There will be nothing eloquent about this post, just real-life stuff and growing pains. If you want to be “wowed” by some sweet writing, I suggest visiting the site of someone who gets paid to write their blog. My life is messy sometimes, so my writing will be too. 

I spent last week in Atlanta with a community called Church on the Street. The two weeks before the mission trip I spent tied up in anxiety and worry. I was gripped by the fear of the weight of my choices and dreams. Am I doing the right thing? Am I ever going to live my dream of going back to Uganda? What does God require of me, right now? My mind was spinning out of control and dragging people I love down with it. I sat alone at my desk at 1 in the morning on the day I would be leaving for Atlanta. I cried out and prayed asking “Lord, what do you require of me?” I opened my Bible and a piece of paper fell out. It was a devotional that someone had given me. The first two sentences were unlined and read “Follow me one step at a time. That is all I require of you.” I laughed through my tears, “Fine, God. Okay. I hear you.” That was the beginning of God getting my attention last week. I spent the week with an amazing team. I experienced community in a way I never have before. No conditions, no expectations, just loving one another and seeking Christ’s face. I have many stories I could share. However, I think I will just give a list of realizations and if someone wants a back story, just ask :)

1.      I realized that I haven’t wanted community. I have only wanted community on my terms which most often consists of people being an arm’s length away from my mess while I am knee-deep in theirs. I have only wanted to give of myself when it is the least inconvenient and flatters my strengths. Community is hard, and I haven’t wanted it. I want to want it. 

2.       I realized that I cannot love God without loving His Church and being part of the community He has placed me in on HIS terms. It is that simple. I cannot love God without loving His people on His terms. 

3.       I realized that Africa has a huge place in my heart, but may not be what God is immediately calling me to. He allowed me to live that dream this past May after 4 years of prayer. He was faithful. Now He wants me to trust Him with where He is leading me without arguing about where exactly that is. 

4.       I realized that I say I want to know God quite often. He told me this past week that if I really want to know Him, there is no reason I don’t. He gave me His word. He gave me His Spirit. What am I waiting for? 

All of these things came from specific conversations and interactions. These realizations helped me to understand why I have been so anxious and worried. I have been gripping my life so tightly that I have been quenching the Spirit. I have been so concerned about MY dreams, MY future, MY well-being. My selfishness has been screaming inside of me with each realization made. My old self is not dying without a fight. At the end of the day I have one dream and one goal: I want my life to be a vibrant example of Christ no matter where I go or who I am with. I want to really know my God. This means whether I am in Uganda or Michigan or Ohio or wherever else, my heart can be at home in seeking Him always. My life is not turning out like I thought it would, it is much messier and doesn’t look like a one-way ticket to Africa just yet. But it also looks a bit like redemption, reconciliation, and sanctification. God is making me new and He is making my plans new. Surrendering myself is much more challenging than I had hoped, but I am finding joy in knowing my Lord better because of it. He is faithful.

::By His Grace & For His Glory::

Friday, January 27, 2012

This Way...

As I lay down to sleep each night I always hope that tonight will be the night I fall right to sleep. It never is. I am a deep thinker and always have been, but at night it plagues me. It takes me at least a half hour every night to quiet my brain. Sometimes the thoughts are frivolous and whimsical. Most nights, however, my thoughts wander through the trenches of the past and attempt to wade upstream to the future. There is much to be said about these things, there are sayings and bits of wisdom that would tell me my thoughts don’t belong in either of those realms. While this may be true- you would be hard pressed to find someone my age who is not in the same spot. I am not necessarily worried, sometimes I am, but not usually. I just think about these things so much. Most often I am looking to my future and thinking about my passions. I ask God where He wants me and how He wants me to get there, in response I am almost certain He just shakes His head and laughs saying for the thousandth time “just follow me, Daughter.” I feel as though He must think I am so foolish sometimes.