growing slowly

Wisdom and character and trees grow slowly. The tree, after being planted, does not immediately spring up to 40 feet and bear fruit and fulfill its purpose.

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No, it takes time. It goes through every different season; the cold ones, the warm ones, the pruning times, the fertilizing times, and through it all it grows little by little, year by year.

So also I think it is with wisdom. You go slowly and increase gradually. You can’t do everything at the same time in one moment. Change sometimes doesn’t happen immediately, sometimes you won’t even be able to see or measure the growth that’s happening. But it’s there, and someday you may look back at where you were years ago, and realize how much you’ve grown. Keep on keeping on.

Introductions

Since I’m working on starting up this blog again, I figured it was time to do an introduction, which I don’t believe I’ve ever properly done here.

My name is Elisabeth Grace Hacking, commonly called Gracie or Grace. I am 20 years old, a Christ Follower, an INFP, a licensed massage therapist, and also a nanny. I am the second oldest of 11 kids, ages 23-3, with three of them being from West Africa. It’s an adventure!

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I love citrus fruit, blankets, being on or in or around water, massage, bird feeding, reading, hiking and road trips, cannot spell “definitely” right on the first try to save my life (which is odd because I enjoy spelling.), I was born in California but have lived my entire life in western Washington, with rain and mountains and woods and tea.

I don’t tan, I burn, and am figuring out where God wants me in this season, and what He wants me to do. I feel a little lost right now, and that is one of the reasons I’ve decided to be more frequent at writing here. I love writing, always have and don’t intend to ever stop. I have many many notebooks, random poetry, and I don’t even know how many unfinished stories I have.

I’m dating the man who I’ve known since I was 10 and have had crushes on since then. He is tan and can talk to pretty much everyone and make them laugh, works harder  than pretty much everyone I know, loves adventuring and is a fantastic adventure buddy, and is also one of the most generous people I’ve ever met. He’s the best blessing I’ve ever had.  You’ll all probably be hearing lots about him in the future! ❤

There you have it readers, a little portion of who I am now put out on the internet, and hopefully you feel better introduced to me!

Blessings,

me

 

I’m back

I have a tendency to be a bit of a perfectionist.

If my mom is reading this, she probably just laughed, because I am messy (although I like to view it as organized chaos; I know exactly where everything is!) yet I have my systems.

I think that there are different types of perfectionism, and mine is that often I’ll hold back if I feel I can’t do it just right and how I want it to be.  That has been affecting my writing a lot, and I need to stop and press through it anyways, and write the words to just get them out and in plain sight. In speech often times I’ll bumble and fumble my way along, painfully aware of how my words are stuttering or my brain decides it can’t remember words, and that has translated to my writing recently. I stopped writing, got discouraged and overwhelmed, could only see cliches, the wheels ground to a halt, and the oiled machine got rusted.

Yet I think I’m learning how to fix that; I need to write more. About whatever comes through, to just run with it and see what grows.  Practice.

So here I am saying to expect more posts, don’t expect perfection, and excuse my bumbles, because there will probably be many, but hopefully it will lead to growth. ❤

-grace

conviction

Awhile ago I realized that I didn’t have any huge sin standing out to me in my life.

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Which, at first glance, may appear as a good thing. In reality, personally, it mean that I had become complacent in searching my heart to seeing what I had been doing and cultivating that would cause God grief. There was no growth.

There’s a verse about praying for God to reveal the secret sins one commits, (Psalm 19:12, “Who can know all of his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.” my paraphrase.) that come to mind quite a bit during that period,

so I prayed about that.

And that week had the full extent of what a selfish human being I am shown to me, how unacceptable that is, and how great and undeserved God’s grace is. It’s a beautiful thing. I am so small and He is so B I G and great and wonderful.

I encourage you to ask that question of God, it’s quite eye opening.

pillars and 2×4’s

Today, I have felt so burdened with a craving to read my Bible. Spiritual hangryness is a thing and it strikes hard. So I took all of my musings and thoughts and worries and found relief in these blessed pages. 

One thing that has been on my mind a lot recently, is the verse in Psalms 144:12, “that our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style.”

Wow. As a daughter, that is what I should be striving toward. To be a graceful pillar. Sounds odd at first, but when you think about it, the pillars (or corner pillars, as some versions read) are resonsible for holding up the building. And as a visible pillar, we are called to be a beautiful pillar. That is not to limit us to physical beauty, I believe, but to beauty of the heart and spirit. 

What does that mean? To be kind to siblings, to mindfully choose others ahead of ourselves, to watch our attitude and have sweet speech, to look out for others and help hold up and support the household, in whatever way you’re needed, and so forth. 

And man. Lately I’ve been more of a 2×4 than a palace pillar. Conviction stings. 

What I’ve been really realizing lately is how great of an impact one can have (and can only have) as an older sibling.  You really do set the tone for all of the younger kids, and whether they plan to or not, they’re going to take some walks in the footprints you left. You can set the tone of the whole house, you can lift people up or drag them down, you can leave a bad taste and memories in their mouth, or bring about sweet ones and laughter. You can make others stronger and encouraged, or bring them down under your foot and grind them til they feel useless. Which then causes walls to be build and good luck tearing those down. 

So today, let’s start being pillars and strong trees, holding up our families as only we can. 

justice, the present, and earthen vessels

Today I woke up feeling burdened and off and not knowing why. Later I reasoned that part of it was due to talks the night before, and flashback emotions from other talks beforehand. The other part of me felt like I was mourning something, and I don’t know what or why. I just felt odd for a good portion of the day. I think part of it is just having a bunch of words and thoughts that I need to get out through writing.

Talking helps sometimes, but often I like to see my thoughts, and that helps me sort them out and process them. So what’s been in my mind these past few days? [This is in Gracie rambling thought format, if it doesn’t make sense that’s probably why]

God is Just. Wow. If something needs to be done, He’ll do it. If He makes a promise, He’ll keep it. If He says He’ll bless you, He will. If He says there will be consequences, there will be. If he says anything at all, He will follow up and carry out on what He said. Always. Every time. Being an inconsistent human, this blows my mind. He is so faithful, and knows exactly what is needed in every scenario, taking into consideration future and past implications. Therefore, if/when you sin, He says there will be consequences. You know there will be. The same for blessings. He always does what He says. Garden of Eden, bam, sin entered the world, and the curse came as He said.

We are living in a world that is steps removed from the original, a shadow, in a world that is under a curse, not what it should be, with people made in the image of God whose hearts have black streams of sin running through them. It’s like a fairytale, but it’s reality, not just a fable.

It was made beautiful, whole, He called it good. Perfection made by the master Artist. There were eyebrows and fresh water and purity. Animals with no fear, the total absence of evil, harmony, bodies that worked exactly how they were created to, sunlight streaming through branches and waterfalls to walk under and fresh fruit to bite into with juice running down your chin.


Enter

temptation,

weakness,

the Fall.

Enter death, separation, twisted souls, sickness, cancers and pain and angry tears and alcoholism, perversion of good and holy things, spiritual darkness, these evil, convoluted things that just show that this world is broken, and not as it should be, and there is absolutely no way for us to fix it, or to fix ourselves. Us with our broken, twisted, pleading, snarling hearts. Lost and bewildered, simultaneously wanting to wallow in the dregs of our sins, but also at the same time having that faint flicker that is terrified of what we’re doing and hoping hoping hoping that this isn’t all there is to life. That this isn’t how it’s supposed to be, that this isn’t all there is.

And it’s not.

Enter my Savior.

Taking my pain,

crucifixion,

redemption,

undeserved.

Because He loves me. And He actively want to know me. And me to know Him, and what He’s done for me. The God that made everything, who uses the world as a footstool and created atoms and fish and the Milky Way and galaxies and gasses and air and who knows what fire actually is and put together the Bombardier Beetle and the Okapi and volcanoes and knows the exact number of hairs on every single head of all 7.5 billion people on this Earth, who already knows what I’m thinking before I even think it, wants to hear me say it to Him.   [And you too. Just talk to Him. You don’t have to talk Christianese or grandly to speak to God.]

He doesn’t want to just read my mind, He wants me to talk to Him. To learn from Him, to tell Him whats going on in my life and to ask Him to show me His hand in life, He can do so many things, and I believe that He wants to show us that. We don’t pray big enough.

Do I think He’s too busy to hear me or to listen to me? No. To think that feels like limiting God to me. I’m pretty sure He can handle His creation.

This Love. My mind can’t wrap itself around it. I’m humbled. And grateful. So so grateful. Nothing like trying to comprehend the incomprehensible to put life back into perspective.

 

 

772 words so far, what else is on the brain?

2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Sitting on the rug yesterday I found verses that I haven’t read in a long time,

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Holy smokes guys, sanctification. The struggle isn’t pointless, it’s a lesson. It’s for a moment in the grand scheme, we’re continually being renewed as we’re actively walking with Him, whether we realize it or not, as we can’t see things so far ahead. Refer to Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Also verse 7: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”

This makes sense. Anything “good” that I have ever done, was definitely not this despicable little heart that wants to hide away from people and take take take without giving. I have a very selfish heart. And that has been painfully revealed to me more and more recently…. big families and mothers are very good at revealing areas that need to be sanctified. 😉 By ourselves, we are silly little shells made of dust, who can do nothing. Just that, an earthen vessel. But God works through us… Wow.

 

And what else? Living in the here and now. I like to dream. I like to think ahead and look at the future and where I will be. I also tend to get tunnel vision and so focused on one thing I forget to look at the big picture. But I’m not in Spring 2018, I’m right here in Spring 2017. I’m living at home with my wonderful crazy family, with two great jobs, my person is 25 minutes away from me, with many many many blessings all around me in my life, and many transitions and learning curves. The future can worry about itself- I have to research massage zoning laws and sleep deprivation effects and food budgeting and what my Lord is trying to teach me right now. There’s always something.

You have to really be intentional and rejoice in where you are at each season, living each moment as intentionally as you can, because who knows how many seconds you have left? The moment may be hard, but someday you’ll look back maybe and understand why that had to happen in order to get you where you are today. Also attitude. Happiness is a learned habit. It is a choice, and no one else is responsible for your happiness. If you dump the responsibility of keeping you happy on someone, you will crush them. It’s all on you. Choose the joy. Write down things you’re grateful for. Gratitude is a great mood booster and perspective giver. Notice all of the little things. Make it a game.


Life is a really odd thing. It’s so short.

1,288 words.

That went much longer than I expected it to, and I feel better. If you’re still here, I thank you for your time and attention.

Blessings,

me

How to receive massage

I don’t know about you people, but I remember getting my first massage and kinda freaking out. It felt amazing, don’t get me wrong, but I had no idea how to do this and was self conscious… which sounds odd. It should be so straight forward, right?

But where do you put your arms? How much clothing to keep on? When they lift my arms should I help them by lifting my arms for them? Will my hair bother them? Will leg stubble bother them? Sooooo many questions. And then I became a massage therapist, and I shall try to help you with those questions today. 🙂

  • How does this work? The LMP (licensed massage practitioner) should bring you in to the room, ask you how you’re doing, expectations for the massage (basically where you would like them to massage. Full body, upper body, lower body, etc. If you’d like them to work a specific area, letting them know now is helpful so they can plan it into the allotted time. Then they’ll tell you how to lay on the table, exit the room, and you’ll get ready.
  • What to leave on? Some people take everything off, some people stay in their underwear, both are equally as common as the other. Really whatever you’re comfortable with. The more clothes you have off, the more muscle is exposed, so that makes our job much easier.
  • Where to put my arms? Personally, I like to have my clients put their arms by their sides. That way I can see their alignment better and have the muscles relaxed and not stretched out like they would be if you put your arms off of the table. Also I personally find it more comfortable.
  • Limbs? The LMP may lift your arms/legs when they’re draping. Some people try to help me by lifting their limbs, but honestly that just makes you get in the way. I appreciate the gesture, but I have muscles and have lifted limbs heavier than yours. You just relax.
  • Hair? I can guarantee I can work around that. And I don’t really care if you haven’t shaved in forever, I’ve seen worse and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Just means I gotta use more lotion. 🙂
  • If you want more or less pressure, or if you’re ticklish, please let us know! We’ll go to our default pressure and try to go as hard/light as you’d like, and we can read the muscle to see how deep it’ll let us, but we can’t read minds. If you’re uncomfortable let us know and we’ll fix it. 🙂
  • DRAPING. As awkward as it can feel, we can’t see anything. I remember wondering that during my first massage because the drape wasn’t tight, but the way that we tuck it prevents us from seeing any more than either of us want to. It’s actually illegal to expose your clients, so rest assured. Again, if you feel like the drape isn’t tight enough and it’s bothering you, speak up.
  • It’s ok to fall asleep! It’s actually a compliment to our skills, so snooze away. 😉

I hope this was helpful, just a list of things I’ve noticed people wondering about when I work on them.

Blessings,

me

 

 

 

 

 

 

march monday rambles

     A quiet day. Snuggly nanny baby, cheerful babbles and wobbly steps from her. The weather outside shifts from snow to rain to sunshine to wind and back again, March is copycatting February. 

     I sit and think about blessings. I have ginger tea and a napping baby, two notebooks and a healthy body. Wonderful smart parents and great siblings, I’ve learned so much from all of them. Socks and tulips, cheese from my favorite and the ability to directly talk to my God. Wow. 

I have the sweetest love I could ever ask for, an answer to many prayers I prayed and prayers I didn’t even think to pray, but God chose to bless silly me with him anyways. Life has always looked bright to me, but it’s even brighter now.

     It’s almost spring, my favorite time, the blood is beginning to stir, the trees are thinking about budding, life is coming back, and I am blessed, and I am grateful. 

my valentine 

Cinnamon-coffee eyes, strong safe arms that hold me tight, one of the hardest working people I know, mischievous smirks, so many smarts up in that head, such clever and gentle and strong hands. Not perfect, but perfect human people are a myth and intimidating, and he wouldn’t need me if so. This way I get to watch and help him grow. 
So grateful for my brown eyed love. 

My Person

February 2, 2017. 

Bible study, talking in the car. I loved his rich brown eyes and told him so. A sigh, eye contact, shaking hands. A declaration of love and interest. An answer.

 So. Much. Joy. 

Snowflakes started falling, an arm around me, bliss. 

My childhood friend and crush who I always thought I weirded out, is now my person. And it is the happiest things.