coffee date four

(i decided to make the featured photos from now on match my instagram feed, don’t know why i didn’t earlier.) so basically these are the simplest things for me to post during school, i hope you don’t mind!! this week i want to talk about some thoughts i’ve had regarding negativity. a lot of things have become common in my life this week and they make me sad, but also determined.

first, the prevalence of white bashing/white guilt posts in my timeline has increased a lot this week. let me be the first to tell you that you should NOT let someone tell you that you are inherently evil or inherently racist because of your skin color. i understand that there are still issues of race in america, but this doesn’t mean you have to hate yourself in order to not be racist. just don’t do or say racist things (and trust me, we WILL tell you when you are, so if no one of color has then you’re good).

second, it seems that although i’ve always known that people tend to use insults they’re afraid apply to them, this week is a particularly ripe time to do so. maybe people are angry about all the valentine’s day posts from happy couples, or feeling guilty because they haven’t hopped on the “give something up for lent” train yet – whatever it is, i’m noticing it a lot lately toward myself and people online. when people you don’t know insult you, or when people you know all too well do, just remember that they’re afraid of something, and that it is not your job to fix it or even find out what it is. hell, maybe you are in fact the problem, but if you apologized and changed and they still attack you, pray for them to have peace, pray for yourself to have patience, and proceed.

finally – it’s midterms. do i even need to express my thoughts on this? just pray, drink tea and coffee, and remember your grades do not define you. (and when you get your scores back, make sure you actually do the readings for the rest of the semester!!)

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coffee date three

so since i haven’t done one of these in a while, and since i forgot to do this month’s gratefulness entry in my bullet journal, i thought i’d write all the blessing God has given me here!!

first of all, the things i am grateful for today: i got ALL the harry potter books (yes including fantastic beasts and the cursed child) AND the two newest ones were on sale AND my mom has a barnes & noble membership so i got an extra ten percent off those ones. this is amazing because my brother had all the original ones but when he moved either he took them with or my mom donated them, so now i have them again. i also found the “poorly drawn lines” book, and since i’ve been following reza on tumblr for years of course i had to get it!! adding to the excitement: other than one sentence on my speech outline (have to get it approved by the prof), ALL my homework is done!! AND i have monday off school; i’m planning to use it to go to our local “coffee with a cop” session. God of course gives the greatest blessing of all daily (the fact that i’m not dead), but damn if this isn’t a great day.

next, things i’m grateful for this week – i went to our state DECA competition (note: i am not a business student) and i placed in an event!! this means i get to go to the ICDC in april, which just so happens to be in anaheim (read: disneyland) this year. also, i got a day off school for it – didn’t help with the homework situation, but it was nice. and while i was there i got to have dinner with my best friend that i only see a few times every year. in fact, when we first became friends at a summer camp we saw each other every day for a week, and then we didn’t see each other again for two years!! so i guess you can say i was pretty happy.

finally, things i’m grateful for this month – the love and support of my family and two of my closest friends has been everything to me, both as they help me reconnect with God and as i go through life after a horrible series of events last fall. also, the fact that this semester i’ve managed to decrease my anxiety and step outside of my comfort zone is terrifying, simply because it’s not what i’m used to, but amazing. just a few examples of this: i started volunteering at the humane society, i’m going to be president of a new student organization (i hate running meetings so this should be fun), and i actually competed in DECA instead of just going to the meetings. i’m also part of our school newspaper’s rebranding into a more lit mag-esque student publication, which is a process i’m so grateful to be part of.

every day can have amazing gifts from God, if only you choose to see them and thank Him xx

why christians should not dismiss karma

i honestly don’t get why so many of the christians i know don’t believe in karma – maybe because they think it means the exact same thing you do happens back to you? one of my favorite youtubers made a video on the twelve karmic laws, so i wrote some bible verses that correlate to each law because i’m christian and have always accepted karma as a fact.

the great law – galatians 6:7 (people get what they give)

the law of creation – romans 5:12, 6:23 (death is caused by human sin, or negative intention); 1 corinthians 15:33, proverbs 22:24-25 (your surroundings become part of you)

the law of humility – luke 12:39-40, psalm 14:1 (refusing to accept things will not make them go away); philippians 4:11, 1 peter 5:7 (accept rather than worry about things to change them); matthew 7:5 (focusing on negativity is not the highest way to think)

the law of growth – matthew 7:5, romans 12:2 (change yourself not your surroundings to grow) the law of responsibility – galatians 6:7, romans 5:12 (we cause the negativity in our own lives – note: being a jerk does not mean God will give you cancer. as annie says in the beginning of the video, it is NOT that personal); philippians 4:11 (change your mindset)

the law of connection – 1 corinthians 12:21 (everything is connected and necessary)

the law of focus – matthew 6:24, 6:34 (we can’t multitask our intentions or actions); colossians 3:2, romans 8:6 (thinking of higher things makes negativity impossible)

the law of hospitality and giving – matthew 16:24, philippians 2:12-18 (selflessness shows our true intentions)

the law of change – jeremiah 25:7, jeremiah 11:10, 1 corinthians 10:13 (history repeats itself until we change)

the law of here and now – matthew 6:34, proverbs 19:21, isaiah 43:18-19, 2 corinthians 5:17 (don’t dwell in the past or future)

the law of patience and reward – habukkuk 2:3, romans 5:3-4, galatians 6:9 (hard work and patience give the greatest reward)

the law of significance – matthew 16:18, titus 1:6-9, 2 corinthians 5:14-21 (all actions must contribute to the whole)

let me know your thoughts on this, christian or not xx

winter recipes

first let’s state the obvious: i have been gone far too long. this post was supposed to go up the week after thanksgiving but hey, it’s still cold out!!

pumpkin smoothie bowl

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ingredients: 2 frozen bananas, 1 ripe banana, 1/4 can pumpkin puree, water if needed

toppings: molasses, coconut, chia seeds, buckinis

directions: blend all ingredients (try blending the ripe banana and pumpkin first!!), then pour into a bowl and arrange toppings. this is a simple, healthy winter breakfast with a classic flavor that can be enjoyed in both warm and cold climates!!

marinated salad

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ingredients: baby carrots, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, black olives, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, black pepper

directions: chop all veggies into small pieces and add to large bowl. in a smaller bowl, mix vinegar and olive oil to taste (i try to use as little oil as possible) and drizzle over veggies. crack pepper over veggies and tossed. keep in the fridge (if you haven’t eaten it all already!).

sweet potato mash

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ingredients: large sweet potatoes, maple syrup, brown sugar, earth balance, cinnamon

directions: bake sweet potatoes for 30 mins at 400 degrees fahrenheit. peel, chop, and mash with fork. melt desired amount of earth balance in small dish, then stir in maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon to taste. drizzle over potatoes and stir. this has been my favorite treat since i was a little kid and i still love having it every thanksgiving and christmas!!

coffee date two

welcome to my second (late) coffee date!! i started writing it last night but i had to go to bible study. this time i got in the christmas spirit with a peppermint mocha – soy and no whip, of course. starbucks is one of few coffee shops that offer vegan mocha flavoring. if only they’d do the same with pumpkin spice!!

today i want to talk about something i’ve been hearing since i was little, but that in recent years has been directed at me: hateful words about “rich” people. first of all, what is “rich?” who is truly wealthy? from my childhood the people at my schools who were considered rich had certain brands of jeans and the latest phones, and were able to go to places like disneyland and cancun. but in high school i was the one who was being called “rich” despite having none of those things, because i was in sports and the assumption was that all my equipment and clothing was new (if it was, it was on sale). now i hear it because i go to a private university, but the truth is almost half of the tuition is paid by a scholarship, and the rest is courtesy of my parents’ savings from not buying me fancy things when i was younger, and money left to us when my aunt died. i am not the same kind of “rich” that i identified in middle school, but to some people i have more than they ever will.

according to forbes.com, several charts with different measurements all show that the poorest people in america are richer than most of the wealthiest people in other countries. to some, the type of downward comparison this encourages is helpful, because then they can remember how blessed they are. yet to many people, this is infuriating. after all, being rich compared to a mexican is only relevant for someone currently living in mexico. i’ve always believed that even if something isn’t the worst thing that could happen, if it’s the worst thing that has happened to you then it matters. this is important to keep in mind, especially when children are learning at a younger and younger age that being wealthy is something to be ashamed of. how are we meant to encourage our children to pursue lofty goals when at the same time we convince them that the economically successful are somehow stealing from them and that they don’t deserve their money?

let me know your thoughts on this topic or any similar experiences you had growing up!! i love to understand more about what i’ve experienced and how accurate it is to reality. have a great weekend and stay warm *^^*

coffee date one

i got this idea from bianca (the friendly fig) and i thought i’d try it myself!! my ‘coffee dates’ will usually be posted the day i actually have the coffee, but finals are coming so this one is a day late.

edited using facetune and vsco – the table is actuallly red!!

this wednesday i had a soy toffee nut latte – it’s become my cold weather fave. the great thing about starbucks is that it’s easy to create vegan options!! also, this starbucks is actually a barnes and noble café, so it serves soup as well, and the option this week was vegan – harvest grain!!

today i’d like to share what i call ‘lazy broke girl hacks.’ i’m in college, so money and motivation can be hard to come by. hopefully this will help you in your times of need!!

1. always diy your nails. i do my own using fake nails from kiss (found at target and cvs) and cutting them into the desired shape and painting them myself. five bucks for a hundred of these, or fifty bucks at a salon? thought so. and the glue is cruelty free!

2. if you follow the above step, carry superglue, a nail file, and scissors at all times. this will ensure that if your nail breaks you’re prepared to keep it classy. (you may also want to carry black or clear polish in case you go mad from the inconvenience of long nails and remove them completely in a fit of rage. pro tip: wetnwild is cruelty free and costs less than a dollar.)

3. ask for gift cards at christmas and your birthday. preferably to starbucks and the nearest grocery store.

4. lift weights instead of doing cardio. it takes less time, it’s not boring, and you get to show off a bit for the wrestlers.

5. if your school or apartment complex has a complimentary gym, use it. religiously.

6. rice and oatmeal are your best friends. cheap, nonperishable, vegan food that you can make in the microwave? hell yes.

7. ask for food instead of gas money if you’re always the chauffeur. your friends won’t kill you or complain, and you won’t be a starving artist.

8. plato’s closet – enough said.

9. wear mostly black. everything will match, it will probably be cheaper, and you’ll always look stylish. let’s face it, it looks less sloppy to show up in black joggers and a black zip-up hoodie than your school’s sweatshirt and the grey senior sweats you live in during finals week.

10. sell everything you haven’t used in six months. not just clothes. mercari is my favorite selling app because you don’t have to guess at the shipping price and you get a preprinted label so you can avoid the hassle paying shipping at the post office and waiting to get paid as reimbursement.

college is crazy, and so is life sometimes. i use these hacks frequently and they’ve made the experience much better for me. let me know if you use any of these yourself or if you have any hacks of your own, and keep watch for more coffee dates in the future. here’s to an affordable, vegan christmas and a happy new year!!

misconceptions

it seems that all over pinterest and tumblr are inspiring bible verses with pretty fonts and backgrounds. walk into any hobby lobby or parable store and woodcuts with those same verses line the walls, waiting to be hung in our kitchens. but do we really understand the context and meaning behind these verses, and could we even be using them incorrectly?

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in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – john 1:1 niv

one of the first verses that comes to mind is philippians 4:13. commonly used to uplift athletes, performers, and the terminally ill, the verse is often seen quoted as saying, “i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” yet the niv translation reads, “i can do all this through Him who strengthens me.” most other versions read “all things,” but the niv is different because it directly references the previous verses. (this is not to say the other translations are wrong, just to point out the importance of context in choosing bible verses.) in the passage, paul is discussing the hardships he has been through while serving Christ. he writes that he has “learned the secret of being content” no matter what situation he is in, whether starving or wellfed, imprisoned or free, at home or traveling. and it is these things, he says, that God has enabled him to endure with a strong spirit. the verse is in no way meant to imply that absolutely anything is possible for anyone who asks; instead, it means that no matter what we experience in life, God will be our source of joy throughout it and enable us to continue faithfully.

another commonly misread verse is 1 timothy 6:1-10. often quoted as “money is the root of all evil,” this verse is used to perpetuate class warfare and demonize the wealthy. yet the niv reads, “for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” paul here is speaking to timothy, urging him to learn the difference between true heavenly wealth and contentment and having earthly possessions. he states that loving both God and money fully is impossible, and love of one will produce hate for the other. the Christian believes that all sin stems from a hatred of God, and so if one loves something that is not God, it can lead to loving sinful things as well. this could of course happen in a variety of ways outside love of money (i.e., love of a significant other, love of fitness, love of food), but paul here specifically discusses material goods because timothy is surrounded by false prophets who seek to gain money by turning people to follow their teachings, believing that the money will make them happy.

the final verse i wish to discuss is jeremiah 29:11. this verse is rarely misquoted, just taken out of context. the niv reads, “‘for I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ this verse is often used to console high school and college students without a career plan, or the recently unemployed who fear the future. sadly, however, this verse is not a universal comfort to the lost; it is taken from a prophecy delivered to the israelites living in exile. in the prophecy, God promises that after 70 years He will return the israelites to the land they had lived in before being taken to babylon. He advises them to live as comfortably as possible while they are there, and to stop fearing intermarriage. He directs His people to stop despairing and have hope. this verse is of course uplifting, and perhaps it can be taken as a source of hope today, but in all technicality it is not meant for us.

i don’t want to destroy anyone’s Christmas gift ideas, or say that no one should have a bible verse on a desk ever again. i simply believe it is important to know the context for any bible verse we want to quote. if we can’t even get uplifting, inspirational, and motivational verses right, then what basis is there for anyone to believe Christians have correctly interpreted God’s commandments?