Monday, January 16, 2017

Meet Hannah from Abrupt Joy

I am thankful for this blog. When I started it I never, ever thought it'd become what it is today. Not just in number of readers, but in community. I always encourage others to blog if they feel lead to do so because it is such a great way to express emotions, remember special moments, and meet so many other awesome people. 

If you blog and would ever like to guest post please feel free to email me at journeyofphood@gmail.com!  Guest blogging is a great way to meet new readers and allow readers to find you! I'm also always open to guest posting (which is a great way for my readers to find you too!). 

Speaking of guest posting today I'm doing a little intro over at Seth's blog: Who put my iPad in the Dishwasher? and today Hannah, from Abrupt Joy, is posting here :) 

*****

Abruptness changes plans. 

At 19, I found myself staring down at four positive pregnancy tests. At 20, I brought a perfect Noa into an imperfect world. At 22, I entered an attorney’s office to file for divorce.


I say these things not for pity or kind words, but to introduce the idea of abruptness.


Abrupt means unexpected, unplanned. Abrupt happens when we are unprepared and in our routine. It’s like when you’re driving down the road and your toddler starts yelling “I HAVE TO POOP  MOMMY” Regardless of your plans and intentions to be on time to that birthday dinner, you pull into the local McDonalds to avoid the oncoming disaster/stench.


Abrupt is annoying because who wants to break routine? 
(Answer: Not me)


But I’ll tell you why I love abrupt. It changed my whole world. Abrupt brought me a lot of love. Abrupt brought me to Jesus. Abrupt brought me a lot of transitions and pit-stops to McDonalds Abrupt brought me a newfound independence and passion. Abrupt brought me a Noa Jade. 


Abrupt brought me joy.


I always thought writing about my daughter, Noa, would be my hardest thing to post, until I realized people should probably get to know me also.
That's when I realized, not only do I hate talking about myself, I have no idea what to say.
I sincerely considered leaving it at,


I'm Hannah. My name is a palindrome. I'm a mom. Occasionally I say something funny. 
But you can call me Lil Moo-D


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Thanks for reading.


But I had a feeling that description may disappoint. (Besides the picture, that picture is gold.)


When the ultrasound technician told my parents that baby #2 was a girl, they decided on the name Allie Elizabeth. 
I'm convinced that this story is made up and they called me Allie because they actually found me in an alley because I don't look like anyone in my family and one time I named a cat Garbage.
Anyways, Allie Elizabeth it was until the nurse came into the hospital room post-delivery and the set-in-stone name changed.
I'm not sure how this conversation really went down, but this is how I've always pictured it.


Nurse: Congrats on your brand new baby girl! She's the prettiest, most beautiful, most non-alien looking newborn I've ever seen. I bet she knows lots and lots of funny jokes. What do you want to name her?
Mom: Allie Elizabeth
Dad: I don't like that name.
Mom: Sid, we decided on this name months ago. Her name is Allie Elizabeth.
Dad: I don't remember that conversation, you're a Yankee, I'm a track supervisor at the railroad, our kid is a spastic little idiot. Let's name her Hannah. 
Mom: Sweet! Let's celebrate! I'll make taco casserole and we can watch a Lifetime movie.


My mom tells me that they decided on Hannah because of its biblical origins. 


Bible Hannah wanted a baby. I mean Hannah really, super wanted a baby. 
If you stuck a thermometer under Hannah's tongue, it would read "Baby." 
One night, she went with her family to go make their annual offering to God, and everyone was gathered eating dinner. The night's dinner conversation was children. Hannah's husband's other wife had children and taunted Hannah for not having any. 
The taunting wasn't new to Hannah. Each year was the same thing. Offerings to God. Dinner with the fam. Poke fun at Hannah for not having kids.
But this year, Hannah was over it. 
She ran away, refused to eat, and cried. 
Her husband came to consult her, and Hannah pulled a Hannah. 
She sucked it up, ate her Chick-Fil-A (the usual biblical time period meal), and snuck off later to talk to God.


Bible Hannah and I are a lot alike. 
First, for a long time, going to church made me itch. When I showed up, I expected people to give me strange looks like, "Why is that youth holding that toddler's hand?” “Where is their mother?" or “Poor girl” and the classic “She’s going to burn in hell” glare.
Second, I don't consider myself an outwardly emotional person.
So when I picture Bible Hannah getting upset, I see it like myself.
Refusing to eat in a subtle manner, maybe say something like, "No thanks, I'm not hungry."
Then sneak off to wallow in my emotions alone.
But as soon as someone came to Hannah's rescue, she sucked it up. 
Instead of pouring her heart to her husband, she saved it for God.


Hannah was faithful to God. 
God gave Hannah a son.
Hannah continued to be faithful to God.
Hannah dedicated her son to God.
And in 1 Samuel 1:26 They worship together.


The name Hannah also means "grace."
If we are talking about the ballet, pretty movement grace, then I need to see about changing my name ASAP.
It's always been really hard for me to define Grace. 
When I think of grace, it reminds me of when I found out I was pregnant. 
I called my dad to tell him and his exact words were, "Good luck."
38 weeks and 2 days later, he walked into my hospital room, tears in his eyes, exclaiming how proud he was.
That's grace. 
Grace is my dad loving Noa, regardless of the decisions I made that he may not have agreed with. 
Grace is my dad telling me how proud he was of me.


Now if you ask my dad were "Hannah" came from he's got a list of reasons.
1. The movie "Splash" had this hot chick in it. Her name was Daryl Hannah. 
(He says "Molly" came from Molly Ringwald because she's a hottie too.)
2. In case I came out "stupid," I could write my name backwards and it would be the same thing.
3. Because I'm a "spastic little idiot"


A lot of who I am, is because of Sid Moody. 
That man is everything I strive to be and more. 
He worked 7 days a week from sun-up to sun-down and still had time to wrestle with me.
There were multiple nights when he squeezed into a twin-sized bed because I really needed him to rub my back all night.
He's superstar dad.
The greatest value he instilled in me is a love for Math.
Don't roll your eyes. 
"Math is the most fun you can have with your clothes on" according to Sid.


Other then Math and a few funny-ish jokes,  I have a hard time describing myself.
There's not much about me that is worth a read.
I haven't travelled. I don't have a ton of embarrassing stories. 
What I am is a statistic.
I got pregnant at 19, outside of wedlock.
Got married, got divorced.
And now I'm a single-mom. 
There's nothing significant about being a single mom.
It's not a novelty. 
I am one of roughly 16 million single moms.
I am one of the 750,000 teen pregnancies that occurred in 2015.


I hate talking about things that I am.
But I can proudly tell you what I realized that I'm not
A statistic.
Less than 2% of teen moms get their college degree before they are 30.
In May, I'll receive my bachelors degree, on time.
I'm on the Dean's List.
I own a small but thriving photography business.
I remain faithful to God.
God blesses me, even in my sometimes drowning state.


Having my Noa didn't stunt my growth, she joined it. If anything, she accelerated it.


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Noa has brought to the surface a lot of Hannah characteristics I didn't know I had.
I've come to the realization my personality is best described as ironic. 
I'm a nurturer. I love kissing boo-boos and singing Disney songs in the toddler bed.
But I also consider myself to be mean. I know what I want and how I want it. And I'll let you know in a polite but blunt way how I feel. 
I'm sentimental, but cynical. Little things in life invoke my deepest emotions, like when someone buys my flowers. But if someone were to buy me flowers more than once I would think something was wrong with them.
My giving love language is quality time. I show love by spending lots of time with someone. But if someone tries to spend a lot of time with me, I get overwhelmed. 


I consider myself to be an undercover, deeply emotional person that hides it with a lot of sarcasm and wittiness.
The thing I've come to dislike most about being a young mom is other people.
Let me take this opportunity to tell the world, it is NOT polite to ask someone their age. 
Old. Young. 
Just don't ask. 
I fondly remember being in Victoria's Secret about a year ago. I was standing in line to check-out. Noa was beside me rearranging the nail polish and lip gloss display. Over my shoulder I could feel this lady's eyes burning a hole in my head. 
So, like any sane person, I turned around to stare at her.
She whispered something to her daughter while checking me out.
I stared.
She looked down at Noa.
I stared.
She whispered something else to her daughter.
I stared.
After a few minutes of my blank stares and her judgmental whispers and glances she finally talked to me.


Woman: "Is she yours?"
Me: "Yes mam."
"You look way to young to have a child."
"Well....thank you."
"No, like way too young. How old are you anyways?"


Deeply emotional Hannah locked herself in her room for a little while, and sarcastic Hannah decided to come play.


"I guess 13 is sort of young to have a baby. I mean my mom has to take me places still. But me and my boyfriend are going to get married really soon. Have a nice day!"


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I'll give you $5 if you sneak me into a PG-13 movie.

I have this conversation almost every time I go out in public. 
And it is the biggest punch to the gut.
Luckily, I'm the wittiest person alive and the looks of horror on innocent, inquiring faces is enough to keep the emotions at bay. 


I don't think of myself very highly.
My best friend, Blane, told me she would tell any potential future mate that I won't accept compliments. And that's true.
Which is the most ironic of all because my receiving love language is words of affirmation. For those of you who aren't familiar with love languages, I receive love best by encouragement, compliments, and reassuring words. 
Many find it a challenge to love me because they'll try to shower me with attention through smooth words, but they're met with an abrupt, "Shut up."
I spent a lot of time being told I wasn't good enough by a multitude of people and that created a shattered my view of myself.
BUT I don't think of myself lowly, either. 
I think I'm just kind of here.
I'm content and satisfied with who I am but still question traits I have and traits I lack. 
I'm comfortable with Hannah but the kind of comfortable where you sit on opposite sides of the couch and don't eat buffalo wings in front of each other but one time of you farted and you both laughed. 


There's been many times where I've been told there's something "special" about me. 
I searched to find what that "special" part was for a long time because I needed something to embrace in myself.
I believe that "special" part is Jesus. 
Maybe not literally Him, but His own little secret Hannah-quirk that makes me, me.
Honestly, if I sat down to talk to Jesus about myself, I know exactly what he would say,
"Hannah, you're a cool gal. We need to work on your jokes though."


I love that Jesus made me ironic and a challenge.
I love that He turned up the volume in my voice so I'm always the loudest in the room.
I love that He made my toes long enough to grab things off the floor.
I love that He created me to be non-traditionally creative.
I love that He knew I would have trouble loving myself, so He sends me affirmations from Noa.
Above all else,
I love that He made me, me and not anyone else.


But above everything else, I love that He gives me countless Abrupt Joys.
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With Joy,
Hannah
Psalm 116: 7


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