made for His glory

living in pursuit of that

Archive for the ‘Another day in the hood’ Category

I feel like I should say something

Posted by hrgarippa on 3 November, 2009

I haven’t said anything in a long time, almost five months.  Melissa says things so much better than I, she got the funny bone that I did not receive. But since I’ve been linked to two blogs (this one and this one), I figured I better at least say “Hi.”

Life is good in my hood. Amazingly enough this good looking man is still loving me…


I’m still living in the 75212 with these little wonders knocking on my door almost everyday asking…”Miss Hannah, can we have sum chips?”


In less than three weeks my dear sister Mary will marry wonderful Josh, and I get to be the Maid of Honor…Yeah!!!


And just a little over a month ago, my big brother Johnny married Stephanie


 (this photo is by Stephanie Reese,

Our family looks like this…minus a nephew and a boyfriend, i think….


And I am still amazed each and every day by the grace of our Lord Jesus…He is faithful and I am not. He is good and I am not. I am so thankful that I can trust in Him, that He has given me this joy, this faith…these blessings.


Posted in Another day in the hood | 4 Comments »


Posted by hrgarippa on 19 May, 2009

I’ve been texting a lot lately. With Bible Study over this is the best way to communicate with my girls. This is also linguistic school for me…my grandfather would be so proud.

Let me give you an example:

Me: Hey, How’s it going?

Girl: idk jus tied

Me: What’s tied mean?

Girl: lke when u wake up u tied

Me: Tired?

Girl: Oh yeah my bad that is how is spell it when I’m textin.

And yet another example:

Girl: can i go wit u guyz since i have nun n 2 do at da house.


So pretty soon I’ll be able to say things like…

AFZ – Acronym Free Zone

BBBG – Bye Bye Be Good

or my personal favorite….MTSBWY – May the Schwartz be with you.

I’ve just learned that in the world of text linguistics you don’t communicate with words you communicate with acronyms…if you’d like a good laugh check this page out. But beware there is some bad language on it.

Posted in Another day in the hood, Just for Fun | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

His (my) Girls

Posted by hrgarippa on 6 May, 2009

Last night we officially ended bible study. I’ll still be hanging out with the girls, but in a unofficial-come-over-whenever-you-want kind of way. My fearless, wonderful, dear, God-sent co-leader is due to have her baby any day now. I can say that for me the best part of this bible study this year has been co-leading it with Mindy. There were many times during bible study that the girls were just out in left field,  lost in outer space and I’d feel completely inadequate in reaching them and Mindy would finish my thoughts in ways the girls would understand…she’d reel them in from outer space. I am SO thankful for a friend like this and co-lifer (worker just doesn’t fit here).

p1040958                                                  the girls at Pine Cove

Last night at our End of the Year Celebration, Jasmine said to me… “So, Miss Hannah, when are you going to get Pregnant?”

I was mid-bite of my ginormous fajita burrito when she asked this question so I nearly choked….but once I got the food down, I said…”well baby, certainly not until after I get married….and then we’ll see about babies.”

And then Adrienne chimes in… “Oh no you’re not…you’re never having babies…I’m going to be all up in your bedroom after you get married.”

I then very *sweetly* looked at Adrienne and said, “You are going no where near my bedroom when I get married.”

After we got that settled…you know who would be in my bedroom after marriage, Jasmine says, “Why would you need to have kids when you have all of us. We’re your kids.”

Hmmm…how right she is….What a joy it is to love these girls, to pray for them, to encourage them, to be learning with them. They are very much like my kids.

p1040908                                             Jasmine and Adrienne

Please keep praying for them, and for me as I look for ways to keep them engaged over the summer. Summers can be rough around here or anywhere without much to do.

p1040902                                                                                                                                   More of my girls…Kaylene, Destiny, Octavia and Triana…

Posted in Another day in the hood, WD Kiddos | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Praise, always praise…

Posted by hrgarippa on 23 April, 2009

(Okay Okay…so I know I haven’t been around for a while. I’ve been a little busy and a lot happy.)

There is one lesson that I have had to learn over and over again here at Mercy Street, or rather in life in general. Sometimes its one step forward and two steps back (or three or four). When you’re moving forward it is easy to give all the glory to LORD, you can see His hand moving you right along. But when you’re moving back those are times when it can be a little harder to see His hand and shout “Glory Glory Glory” from the mountian tops.

But those ARE the very times when we need to praise HIS Holy name. When we need to remember that He is Good all the time, and that He has purposed ALL things for our good and for His Glory.

This week I’ve been saddened by some situations in the lives of my Girls…and then, Praise Him…He sends this sweet reminder in my devotional,

“Thank you that You plan to use for good the struggles my loved ones face – including their disappointing choices, their unwise or even harmful ways of thinking and living, and their sidetracks from going your way (as I see it – and, Lord, I know I could be wrong!).
I praise You in advance for the part these difficult things are going to play in Your good plan for us – in eventual deliverance and growth and fruitfulness. I’m grateful that in all these things the battle is not mine but Yours…and that the final chapter has not yet been written. How good it is that I can call on You to give me wisdom to know what to say or not say, what to do and not do…and that You live in me so that I can love with Your love, even when it’s hard. Thank You that these trails force me to trust you more!
I worship before You, my King and my God. I’m grateful that You command victories for Your people…and that “all things are Your servants.” You’re a God who acts on behalf of the one who puts his hope in You. Thank you that You are at work to answer my prayers in Your good way and time.
Thank you for past victories You have won in my loved ones’ lives – for progress and growth and answered prayer – and for the victories we will yet see in the future, to the glory of Your Name. I praise You that as time goes by, in new ways You will show us Your goodness in the land of the living.”

31 Days of Praise, Ruth Myers

So Praise always Praise.

Posted in Another day in the hood | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Spring Break 2009

Posted by hrgarippa on 23 March, 2009

So do you remember these cuties from a while ago. I was blessed to hang out with them over Spring Break. We ate Chick-a-lika (as my niece calls it). We read books at Half Price, and we talked. We had a blast. I love these dear ones.



Then later in the week I got to hang out with this sweetie pie…Miss Rissah. Big things are happening her life and I’ll tell you about them soon.


I’ll also tell you about that sweet man who’s profile you can see in the picture up above…How he makes me smile and makes me laugh….and how he has a heart that is after my dear Savior.

Posted in Another day in the hood, WD Kiddos | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Oh Forgiveness

Posted by hrgarippa on 5 March, 2009

 We’ve been talking about forgiveness in Bible Study on Tuesdays. It sort of came naturally, when one of the girls said, “If someone disrespects me, I’m going to disrespect them.”


The last several weeks we’ve talked about what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. We’ve walked thru Matthew 18, the parable of The Unforgiving Servant and the girls have had a lot of questions…


“How do you forgiven someone who keeps doing the same thing over and over again?”


“How do you forgive your mom when she abuses you?”


“How do you forgive your dad who doesn’t want anything to do with you?”


“How do you forgive your mom’s boyfriend who molested you?”


And then there is Tree*…she always lightens things up with questions like….


“Is it true that if you don’t forgive someone, your insides will rot and you’ll die a miserable death alone and be eaten by dogs.” Or “Is it true that when you’re sick you smell different?”


(We love Tree…she keeps us focused and has taught us how to steer the ship back on course after getting WAY off course.)


As God would have it, I attended a certain church on Sunday, that I don’t typically go to and the pastor talked about forgiveness…Although his entire sermon I don’t recommend, some of this points were good.


He said, “forgiveness is not an emotional decision, forgetting, reconciliation, condoning, dismissing or pardoning.”


“Forgiveness is…the decision to continually and purposefully commit to being driven by love.”


You can’t love someone when you’re filled with bitterness and rage.


So on Tuesday we decided to have a bonfire and symbolically burn our rage…not our bras. HA!!!


We asked all the girls to write a letter to God listing all the people and the offenses that they needed to forgive. We have a spot in the back of Mercy Street where we have a fire pit and we lit a big ole fire and we burned our letters, as we talked about the freedom of forgiveness.


Oh….the freedom of us being forgiven…as far as the east is from the west, people…God is good.


And then we danced around the fire and sang silly songs, made smores, and young ladies that carry weights larger than most of us have seen in our lifetimes danced in the field as light as fairies.


Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3.13 


*This is my affectionate name for her.

Posted in Another day in the hood, WD Kiddos | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Sounds from West Dallas

Posted by hrgarippa on 20 February, 2009

I wake up really early….like 5am early. The AM is when I get stuff done, it is when my mind is the sharpest and I’m able the think the clearest. I love the AM. I have a great comfy chair that I sit in as I read, drink my wonderful coffee and listen to the sounds of West Dallas.

They are building new public housing for the elderly and so early…as early as 5am you can hear all those yellow machines….I don’t know what they are called, but they beep and buzz and their sound is rather comforting.

Dogs bark. Every neighbor surrounding me has a dog and on most mornings the dogs like to talk. I don’t usually mind, except there is one dog that is rather annoying and she’s quite obnoxious with her comments…this dog may or may not be named Bella…and she may be the cutest dog ever to walk the streets of West Dallas.


At about 7:20 every morning you can hear a car come screeching through our neighborhood, engine roaring. This car is going as fast as a car go in a neighborhood with lots of turns…before it stops it starts honking, really laying on the horn…then it screeches to a halt, and keeps honking. 30 more seconds pass and more honking…not your polite beep beep…but hoooooooonnnnnkkkkkk hoooooooooooonnnnnnnkkkkkkk. This keeps up for about 5 minutes before whoever is being fetched comes out, and they screech off to work or school…and I praise God for the dogs barking again.

As I’m writing this there is silence in West Dallas, at least from what I can hear…oh wait I hear a bird…I love West Dallas.

Posted in Another day in the hood | 1 Comment »

aaaa lot

Posted by hrgarippa on 3 February, 2009

There is a story that my family tells, it has to do with my Uncle Chazz, and a large amount of something…the situation happened so long ago that I don’t remember what happened exactly I only remember the punch line in which he answered “aaaalot.” So now when you ask anyone in my super large family a question in which the answer is a lot, the answer is always “aaaa lot.”

So you might ask, “What’s going on at Mercy Street right now?”

Well, the answer…”aaaa lot”

Things that are beautiful, and I can’t wait to share some of these wonderful stories.

Please be in prayer for all of us…we need it.

Posted in Another day in the hood, Mi Familia | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by hrgarippa on 12 January, 2009

“Ms. Hannah, are you awake?

(this text message came in at 9:30am so if I wasn’t awake, we’d have big problems – or a glorious Monday morning.)




“My car is in the shop, can u pick me up from work at 2?”


“Sure, No problem”


This little text messaging conversation happened between me and a mother in our community. She is a woman that I’ve gotten to know well as I’ve developed relationships with her kids through our mentoring program and sports ministry. She is a single mother of 6 kids ages 11 – 20; 4 boys and 2 girls. She is a former drug addict, she is all tatted up, and she is lovely. She always calls me “Ms. Hannah” even though she is older than me. She loves her kids like crazy and is one of the few mother’s on the PTA at the Middle School. She is partly American Indian and has introduced me to the wonderful world of Pow Wows and Indian Fried Bread, which she will buy for me and wrap in foil to keep it warm.


She works for the Dallas County probation office helping juveniles get their GED. This job is a blessing because she works from 10am – 2pm allowing her to be home in the morning and in the afternoon; to be home for her kids, who have the propensity for trouble. The Dallas County just cut her pay in half, for a time. Which means she’ll be making roughly $1000 a month to feed, clothe, and protect the four kids that live with her. And did I mention that she doesn’t live in public housing; she has a mortgage.


As I dropped her off this afternoon, she put a Thank You note and $5.00 on my dashboard, and said “This is for gas.” I said, “I can’t take this, I’m so happy to be picking you up.” And then she said, “Please take it Ms. Hannah, that way I won’t feel bad if I have to ask you again.”


So I took it….because I’m learning that sometimes allowing someone to contribute gives them dignity and dignity is worth more than $5.00….plus I’m saving up for these,


Posted in Another day in the hood | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

These are the days

Posted by hrgarippa on 26 November, 2008

When the comforts and the pleasures of my life seem hard to reconcile as I see all the pain and hardships of those in this community and in the world.

In the last week Mentors and staff at Mercy Street have passed out nearly 300 Thanksgiving baskets filled with food and grocery store gift certificates and still there are families out there without. Families that will not have enough food to fill their bellies on the most glutenous day of the year. There are people out there who will be all alone on this family holiday as my family gathers around the table and shares the things for which we are thankful for.

These are the days when I want a magic wand, I want to fix it all and turn 300 baskets into 300 million. These are the days when I realize how impossible this work is, not just my work but the work done all over the world by those who desire to share love with others. These are the days when I must push forward for I know that our work is not in vain. When I must be grateful for all that God has given me and be willing to share it with others and from the love that surrounds me love others. These are the days when I know that God’s love will prevail.

Posted in Another day in the hood, Deep thoughts, Love is life | 1 Comment »