Wednesday, May 30, 2012

see you soon thrice || music

This is a bittersweet post for me to write. Today I leave for California, which I'm really excited about, but at the same time Thrice is on their farewell tour and coming to Toronto tonight so I'm sad since I'll be missing this show.

I've liked and been listening to Thrice since 2002 when I discovered The Illusion of Safety. I've been a fan of so many different bands, but Thrice is the one band that I've been consistently listening to. 
This past November I woke up at around 3am and saw the announcement on their website that they were taking a break as a band for a while. This was devastating news to me. I had such a funny and sad feeling in my stomach as I processed this bit of news. 

This past Friday I was driving home and blasted their old songs and I started to reminisce on their albums, the times that I saw them live and the different friends I made because of our mutual love for Thrice. I actually felt some kind of grieving in my heart and was overwhelmed with sadness. They've had an incredible impact on me and my life. With a lot of influence from the Bible and C.S Lewis there's so much life and wisdom in their music. 

Thrice has grown and progressed so much in the past 13 years. Since I can't see them tonight I'm hoping they'll do some kind of reunion show in few years even though they'll be going on a long hiatus. I envy all of you guys who are able to go. Have extra fun for me!

My favorite songs
See You in the Shallows (The Illusion of Safety 2002)
Deadbolt (The Illusion of Safety 2002)
To Awake and Avenge the Dead (The Illusion of Safety 2002)
The Artist in the Ambulance (The Artist in the Ambulance 2003)
Stare at the Sun (The Artist in the Ambulance 2003)
Open Water (The Alchemy Index Volumes 1 & 2 2007)
In Exile (Beggars 2009)

There's more. I can spend hours and hours listening to their songs. I'll leave you with some of my favorite lyrics from their songs. I know they're on their farewell tour, but I have hope that they'll be back.... soon!

'Cause I am due for a miracle
I'm waiting for a sign
I'll stare straight into the sun
And I won't close my eyes
Till I understand or go blind 

(Stare at the Sun)

we must see that every scar is a bridge, and as long as we live
we must open up these wounds

when some one stands in your shoes and will shed his own blood
there's no greater love. we must open up our wounds

(For Miles)

I will follow you, lay down my life
I would die for you, this very night

once again the bread and wine
but it seems the meanings may be deeper still this time
and you surprised me when you said I'd fall away, don't you know me
I could never be ashamed of you, no I?

(Like Moths to Flames)

And after all of this I am amazed,
That I am cursed far more than I am praised

(Silver Wings)

I am a pilgrim - a voyager; I won’t rest until my lips touch the shore -
Of the land that I’ve been longing for as long as I’ve lived,
Where there’ll be no pain or tears anymore.

My heart is filled with songs of forever -
Of a city that endures, where all is made new.

I know I don’t belong here; I’ll never
Call this place my home, I’m just passing through.

(In Exile)

Monday, May 28, 2012

farewell may

I know we still have a few days left of May, but with the weather becoming extremely lot and my life becoming more busy I find myself already saying goodbye to way May and anticipating June. May was such a beautiful month. I finally found my heart accepting that I'm not in Korea anymore. I adjusted to my new community and who I am here. I went through a lot of refining and renewing especially in my mind and in my heart.

I hope to have some time to revamp the blog layout and design. I'm leaving for California in 2 days where I'll be basking in the sun, catching up with old friends, visiting new places and eating a lot of good food. Maybe a break will help with the creative juices to start flowing.

With goodbyes there are always hellos. I want to introduce to you a series I'm HOPING to launch some time in June. I'll probably be asking some of my readers to help me out :) I hope you'll be up for it! The word undone has been coming up and I started to meditate on what it really means. I don't know if I've really come undone - unravel all of me and be completely void of who I am or who I try to be. Have I really let go of the old self and allowed a true transformation to take place in my life or am I still clinging on to bits of the old while trying to live under the new grace of Christ?

What does it mean to be undone in God's presence? I want to hear your stories!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

10,000 || my life

I started this blog mainly for the purpose of sharing my photography. I decided to try a 366 project where I'm supposed to take a picture a day. Shortly after starting my blog I stumbled upon other photography and inspiring blogs which motivated me to keep going and let it become what it is. It's been about 5 months since I started this and I'm thankful for where it's come.
Honestly, I don't understand a lot of what goes on in the blogging world. I don't know what linking up is, I don't know what meet & tweets are, I don't know how to get sponsors or do giveaways. I did this without any guidance, but just for fun. Through it I discovered a lot about my self and who I am. I was plunged into a realm of comparison and inadequacy. When I let go and did what felt the most comfortable, everything flowed. 

To have more than 10,000 views and 70 followers is pretty exciting for me considering I don't know what I'm doing, I don't give anything free away and write only what I know which isn't much. Thank you for reading faithfully. Thank you for believing in me and being a part of my life.

What I want most is that this blog will bless you, encourage you and hopefully challenge you to live undignified lives of faith. As I share tidbits of my life I hope that it inspires you and that you see more of Jesus than me. 

I wonder where this will all go!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

my summer in mtv titles || guest post

This is the first time I'm having a guest post on my blog. I don't know what this means but I'm excited. I don't know how Bekkah found me, but in the past few months she has been such an amazing encouragement to me and my blog. What I love most about her blog is her honesty. She has a way with words to show what she's learning or what she's going through. I asked her to share what she'll be doing this summer. I love hearing about people's summer plans, so I guess thats what these upcoming guest posts will be about. I'm really excited for Bekkah. When God does new things in the lives of those 'around' us (even blog friends) I get really stoked! Enjoy and go follow her! 
hello there hannah grammers!!

bekkah here, from rebekkah made whole. i have been asked by my sweet new cyber friend to guest post about my summer plans, but i wanted to start with last year. 

last june was true life: i'm a church planter. i had the wonderful opportunity to intern for a friend as he started renaissance church - a bilingual christian community in manitoba, canada. most of what made it such a great summer, was the care free nature of my heart. our living arrangements and budget had been all worked about before we got there, so we "didn't have to worry" about anything. we could focus on meeting new people and telling them about Jesus. and hang out and have fun and serve the people in our temporary community.

as a recent graduate, this june marks the beginning of the real world berkeley: from southern college student to west coast working girl. i'll be joining my older sister in berkeley, california and hopefully starting a new job. sometime in july we'll probably be apartment hunting in the berkeley area, and i'll be getting used to the new cost of living, haha. i've already been perusing different properties online, so the sticker shock is wearing away a little. but regardless of how much anything costs, the truth is i still don't have to worry about it. life might not be tangibly pre-arranged, but God is still my constant, and ever-present provision. i hope that truth is something that really burrows it's way into my heart this summer. especially since i'll somehow have to finance a round trip ticket so i can still be a bridesmaid in my good friend's august wedding!

this grand cross country move was as much news to me as it was to everyone else. i'd intended on staying in north cackalacky, as we call it {not really, unless the year is 2003 and you're a wanna be rapper}, but in the course of week it became clear that God had other plans. so this summer, i will be watching those glorious plans unfold, and learning again to live to give God glory. i'll also be frequenting this lovely little slice of the world wide web to treat myself to some hannah grams :] 

thanks for having me !!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

too much fun || my life

This summer is living up to my expectations so far. I've already got a really bad sandals tan. These are some pictures from this past weekend. A lot of food was made and consumed; a lot of GOOD food! Baked brie, sauteed blueberries, satay chicken and beef, ribs, burgers, double downs, homemade lemonade and so much more. If we're facebook friends I'll post up more pictures! I'm a bit all over the place with my 366 project, but I've been pretty consistent with taking pictures - I just haven't been able to edit or post them up.

I also biked a lot, played frisbee, played with neighbourhood children, gazed at stars while talking about life and God, and even played grounders with 13 other adults. I feel a little guilty for having too much fun but I'm not complaining. I enjoy having a lot to do, being around good people and playing until you're physically exhausted. This past weekend small opportunities have opened up in regards to photography. I didn't go looking, I didn't force anything to happen or even really put myself out there. The opportunities are finding me. I'm starting to be ok with not paving my own path to my future, but waiting for the bricks to be laid down before me. As I do this I walk by faith, not by sight. It's scary but also really exciting. 

In the upcoming weeks I'm going to have different guest posts on the blog since it's the summer. Maybe they'll share about their summer plans, why they love summer and what's going to make this summer so awesome. 

I hope you're all enjoying the amazing weather. I'm sorry if where you live the weather hasn't been so kind to you :(

Saturday, May 19, 2012

new faith || faith

Now that it's really warm out I feel my days are going by a lot quicker. This makes me excited but also sad at the same time. God is really doing a new thing, not only in my life, but I sense in your life as well. Every person I'm connecting with lately has this excitement that's hovering over them and it's because God is doing a new thing. 

I'm learning that God has a lot of new grace that he wants to pour out on me, but it'll only come when I'm ready to leave my old ways behind. 

I've been saying goodbye to a lot of my old habits, old thinking, old ways and old everything!

The old me loved to think, "out of sight, out of mind" but the new me says, "love those that are difficult to love; embrace them even more"
The old me thought, "do what you want to do and whatever will benefit you" but the new me rebukes that and says, "obey those that God has placed over your life; grow in true sonship and submission"
The old me complained, "why aren't things happening now?" but the new me is waiting and trusting. 

I feel God is gently, but powerfully, pushing me and encouraging me to go deeper in my faith in Him. I've been stagnant for a while and thought I had it all figured out since I was listening to good sermons, reading the right books and deeply involved with the church. God's saying, "leave it all behind and follow me". 

I don't quite know what's ahead, but that's ok! What's the point of having faith if I won't do anything BY FAITH. Faith isn't waiting to see the end result or signs and then making a decision. You have to make the decision to do something FIRST and then God shows the signs. Asking for confirmation and signs is more unbelief than faith. I'm going to live this new life with a new faith. Goodbye old faith, hello new faith. 

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bolivia is Beautiful || Rewind

From June to August in 2009 I went to Santa Cruz in Bolivia for a short mission trip. When I look back I mix of emotions arise. I'm regretful for a lot of my shortcomings and inability to really help, but at the same time I loved the city and what I go to see of this country. I love South American/Latin culture. It is beautiful and a lot of the countries haven't been tainted by the Western culture. At least in Bolivia, they have a lot of people who have resisted any American or European influence.

It's been about 3 years and I hope to go back one day. I'd love to see the rest of South America.

It's funny looking at how far I've come also in my photography. Back then I was so clueless as to what the aperture was or shutter speed or ISO. My handy D40 and 18-55mm lens did the job and got me started. Now as I get new gear I can't wait to travel the world and do these countries some justice to show what is unseen and hidden to the rest of the world.

By the way, if you haven't tried empanadas yet, you must! Bolivian ones. I've tried other ones from Argentina and Paraguay, but they are the best in Bolivia.

Has anyone else visited South America or Central America?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

this summer || my life

Inspired by fellow blogger, Allie, I've decided to make a list of what I'm doing and hoping to do this summer. I haven't met anyone that doesn't like summer. Summer is a playground for a dreamer like me. I feel like anything is possible. I'm not sure if it's the sun or warm weather that makes me feel like I'm on top of the world, but whatever it is I'm excited. 

Here is what I'll be doing this summer
- California trip [Liz and Mark's wedding, road tripping along the coast of California and make a visit to San Diego, eat lots of good Mexican and Korean food, play at the beach, catch up with old friends]
- Toledo, Ohio [Sarah's wedding, my first wedding photography gig, skydiving in Dayton, hanging out with the 6pack minus Sarah :(, there will be a LOT of painful laughter this weekend...there always is]
- NYC Trip 1 [Seeing Jesus Culture. I actually didn't want to go, but when I found out that Bill Johnson was speaking I signed up right away, road trip to NY with church friends, family trip after for 2 days]
- NYC Trip 2 [Brian and Jane's wedding, hanging out with Tanya, meeting up with Laura, visiting my dear friend Becky, exploring new parts of NYC]

On top of these trips I plan to read a lot, paint and create more than I normally would, play soccer/frisbee/volleyball whenever I have the chance, work hard 

I'm HOPING for one more trip in August to Chicago. I found direct flights from Waterloo to Chicago. My cousin keeps making plans so I want to go and a friend told me he has an extra ticket to Lollapalooza for the Sunday which was the day I wanted to go to. I'd love to see Sigur Ros, Of Monsters and Men, Bombay Bicycle Club and Justice. It's worth the 95 bucks, right?

What are your summer plans? I'm kind of overwhelmed with all that's planned ahead, but I look forward to it since the past two months were kind of boring. I'm ready for these adventures even if means my bank accounts suffering.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

creative work advice || life lessons

This is amazing advice for anyone pursuing an area of work/interest pertaining to the arts/creativity. I feel like he's speaking directly to me where I am right now. I get frustrated with the things I create because it's not what I want it to be but I know what I what. I get frustrated with the lack of support and even encouragement to be a sub-par photographer, as if I can't do any better.

"It takes a while. It's going to take you a while. It's normal to take you a while. And you just have to fight your way through that."

May is a month of rest. Taking a break from doing and instead resting especially with photography. I know the video above says to do a lot of work, but right now I feel the need to rest.

As I prepare to go to school in the fall, I started to think about all the ways that I could be ready. I was looking into photography opportunities, internships, jobs and what not. Everyone's advice is to go out and do as much as I can on my own so that I can get a lot of experience. Sometimes when I look at how much other people have done in regards to photography, I feel really inadequate. I wonder if I should just go to school for something else that doesn’t require much work and get a job. But I felt like God has been telling me to be still and stay hidden. It doesn’t make sense because I should be equipping myself with photography skills and knowledge this summer, but God kept saying, “remain hidden”. 

Although I’m poor in the photography world and lacking in experience, I have the kingdom of God where I lack nothing. Though right now I don’t have any experience or any credibility in the photography world, I trust and believe that God is preparing heavenly riches for me that will be manifested in my future job. Though in the natural my situation looks pitiful and kind of pathetic, I am blessed from a kingdom’s perspective. 

After May, June will come and I can't wait to participate in the 30 Days of Creativity where I will push myself, create, make, and challenge myself in new and old areas of creativity. I'll start to do more with the blog, but at the same time it's SO nice out! I don't like sitting in front of the computer during the summer. 

Luke 6:20
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

really on a break || my life

A few days ago, as my cousins were having tea, I got called out for being a faker. I was supposed to be on a social media fast but I was still blogging and checking twitter/facebook from time to time. So I decided to take a real break. So I'm really on a break and it's good. I'll blog when I want to, I'll check facebook when I want to and tweet when I want to, not when I think I have to.

I still read your blogs and I hope that when I'm back you'll read mine. thank you for being a faithful reader of my humble blog.

Friday, May 4, 2012

wintersleep - resuscitate || music

Oh my goodness. It's been 2 years since their last album and I'm glad they took some time to work on this album. This song is so magical. You feel like you're getting lost in space. I think Canada produces some amazing music. Take a listen! You won't regret it. Hello Hum will be released on June 12th.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

start over || my life

I just finished reading Sundi Jo's blog on why she quit blogging which then led me to discover this e-book called "Starting Over: A Manifesto on Being Yourself". I don't know why I decided to read it but I'm so grateful that I did. It's all written out by hand and really easy for us social-media addicts since he writes no more than 20 words on a page. It takes less than 10 minutes to read.

He talks about creativity and how it got lost in the midst of blogging because he followed blogging 'rules' and 'formulas'.
Here is a short excerpt from the book that made me laugh and also cringe at the same time because I see it in a lot of blogs and found myself thinking, "I have to follow the formula!" After reading this book I think I really need to take a break from this blogging world. I'm being so bombarded with all the other blogs and can't help but compare myself and feel inadequate. I need to recharge and be creative without the noise from every other blogger out there. Maybe not quit or take a break, but there's a need to start over and sometimes you have to do it more than a few times.

Here's the blogging formula I used- write a catch and or misleading title
- tell a weird personal story
- apply personal story to profound lesson
-make post short and scannable 
- ask question @ end
RINSE. REPEAT. and you have yourself a "successful" blog. (32, 33)

Go over here to download it! You won't regret the short read.
He ends the book really well.

"Because the world needs your unique and different voice. so dont' be afraid to give it to them. after all, it's the voice God has chosen for you and you alone"

what has authority over you? || faith

Last night I finished listening to a sermon that I had listened to way back in August. It was preached a week after I had come back from my mission trip to Bangladesh. I remember the sermon set me free in so many different ways but these kinds of sermons are also ones that you need to listen to every week. 

Pastor Erin ends the sermon with saying something that hit me like a bomb. What you allow your mind to believe is what you give authority to. More often than we like we give authority to our emotions, to our circumstances, to our body and everything else but the Word; the Word that is living and active, the Word that breathes live and the Word that sets us free. 

We tend to wait for our circumstances to get better, for our relationships to change, for our health to improve BEFORE we shift our minds to the Spirit. I entertain the thoughts of the flesh much more than the truth from above. 

I'm an escapist. If I don't like something I get away from it rather than stick it through. I'm known to giving up and being very nomadic. I can't stay in one place for more than 3 months so I'm already feeling antsy being here in Waterloo without anything fulfilling to do. 
Since things were getting boring and the excitement of being back home died off very quickly, reality hit me pretty hard. I wake up, babysit, eat, go home, sit on the computer, chat with a few friends and then sleep. Every so often I'll go for a walk, discover a new part of this city, chat with a friend over coffee, watch a movie or hangout at the park. I'm not saying my life is bad, but I guess all I could see was how uneventful it was. I was becoming really restless and wanted to run away and hide on some mountain.

After listening to this sermon and another one called All is Well I realized I had set my mind on the petty things. I could only see the bad in my life and felt pretty hopeless. My mind needed to shift to the things of heaven, to the joy set before me, to the love the is overflowing from my Father above and to the people God has blessed me with. 

What has authority over you? What is your mind set to? In order to experience the power of God in our lives we have to shift our minds first. 

Romans 8:5b
but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

here's to good weather || my life

It's May 2nd. The last few days of April were really crummy. The weather was rainy and really cold. The pictures above are my last pictures from April and it was a BEAUTIFUL day. I went for a walk in two different places in Waterloo. It was too hot to wear shoes so I went home to change into my Birks to sit at the dock and read along with some of my friends. 

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will only get better from here on out. I know rain is important, but I really need some sun. I hate wearing socks and I want to wear sandals everyday! These pictures are my way of hoping the weather will get warmer and sunnier!