Romans 5- goodness gracious this is good!

I often find myself feasting upon Romans 5. This chapter is so filling and encouraging! Don’t take my word for it…read it for yourself: 

 “… this kind of hope does not disappoint; the love of God has become an artesian well within us because of the gift of the Holy Spirit (If God is not embarrassed of us, then there is no reason why we should hang our heads in shame!) God’s timing was absolutely perfect; humanity was at their weakest when Christ died for them (we were bankrupt in our efforts to save ourselves). It is most unlikely that someone will die for another man, even if he is righteous; yet it is remotely possible that someone can brace such devotion that he would actually lay down his own life in an effort to save the life of an extraordinary good person. Herein is the extremity of God’s love gift: mankind was rotten to the core when Christ died their death. If God could love us that much when we were ungodly and guilty, how much more are we free to realize his love now that we are declared innocent by his blood? Our hostility towards God did not reduce his love for us; he saw equal value in us when he exchanged the life of his son for ours. Now that the act of reconciliation is complete, his life in us saves us from the guttermost to the uttermost. (reconciliation – a mutual exchange of equal value). Thus, our joyful boasting in God continues; Jesus Christ has made reconciliation a reality. One man opened the door to sin, sin introduced (spiritual) death; both sin and (spiritual) death had a global impact, no one escaped its tyranny…”

Romans 5:5-11 (The Mirror Translation). 

It’s good, right? I know I sort of cut the ending short, but I hope it just increases your curiosity!  

I love the part about God not being embarrassed about me! I tend to do really embarrassing things// get embarrassed easily (what can I say, I am just more sensitive in general) and it is nice to know that Papa God thinks I am pretty swell. No need to hang my head and partner with shame. *whew*

The past few months I have been amazed at how much He just really loves us. God just really really loves us a whole lot. Even when we are little stinkers and are rude. I don’t always like other people or feel like loving them when they are rude, but God is just really good at this and He is consistent! I don’t know how He does it, but the more I hang around Him the easier it becomes to love the one in front of me- rude, or mean, or hangry (hungry angry), or really anything. Sometimes I still don’t do the best job in the world, but I am growing and God loves me always. This is reassuring. 

Go ahead… read the rest of Romans 5… you know you want to… 

Happy Fourth!

Hello lovelies,

Happy 4th of July! I love this day for many reasons, but I do not feel like talking about it at the moment. In any case, I have been spending time with the family this past week in LA. <3

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I know, we are totally adorable.

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I simply wanted to wish you a happy and joyFULL day! I have some fresh updates and posts that I will put up soon. In the meantime, I wrote a new post for single matters about authenticity. I also had the privilege to answer a few questions with my mom for a blog called More to Be.

Enjoy the day and the breeze!

mothers

desert

Mothers,

You are INCREDIBLE.

Seriously, though.

I would treat each of you to a week at the spa if I could.

I recently watched 4 amazing kids while their parents went on a little weekend getaway.

The children were wonderful, but I was struck by the sacrifice that a mom makes in order to raise her children well. It takes a lot. Waking up early to get the kids ready, taking them to different activities, remembering everyone’s unique and busy schedule, staying home with a sick child and still managing to take care of the house and the other children, going to bed late to help with homework, and the list continues. I am amazed.

 MOM should mean- Most Outstanding wo(Man)…

Or something super cheesy like that.

Geez.

Cheers to all the mothers in world! I like you.

Love,

C

Adulting pt II.

Adulting pt II.

The saga continues. From tax day forth, I have been rapidly adulting. Last week, I had an encounter with an extremely cold shower. The water was frigid and I came out shivering. My roommate, hearing my constant complaints, decided to check out the water heater and was greeted by a mini flood. The water had been neatly soaking up the carpet in a large portion of the garage. Unknowingly, I stepped on it barefoot and had pruned toes within 660 seconds. Wild. For a few days, everything in our garage was hosted in our living room like an unwelcome guest. Speaking of guests, we actually had a darling guest staying with us over the weekend so we decided to clear a pathway from the front door to the kitchen.

 

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Adulting is both genius and shocking. As it turns out, you can’t plan for natural disasters or broken water heaters. Also, even if you are feeling stressed and decide to procrastinate by refurbishing a chair, you still have to get your work done before you go to sleep.

Just so you know, man cannot live on coffee and almond croissants alone. I have been learning this the hard way, but I am not too disappointed…

That about sums up the past week.

 

adult{ing}

Yesterday, I feel like I officially became “adulted.” * I have less than a week to write a check, scribble my name on it, and send it to the U.S. Department of Treasury. I am “adulting” and I now pay taxes.

To celebrate, I bought an accordion file to keep track of my future expenses. It is black and boring, but it looked official so it just felt right under the circumstances. I am sure you understand my sentiments.

~~~I am now eating a brownie, because I am most assuredly getting work done and I needed a brownie for goodness sakes (I explained why I needed a brownie to the barista and, with kind eyes, she nodded her head with affirmation)~~~

While I was thinking about money, I decided to take a look at the value of my car. I felt even more adulted so I laughed. It is rather funny to wake up adulted one morning. I mean, this has totally been a process, but paying taxes made it feel so tangible. In any case, the brownie really helped.

I find it odd that as my body ages, my brain function feels about the same. I still feel young and sometimes think I am totally a freshman. Just the other day, I was at an art gallery where there happened to be a high school field trip in progress. To be honest, I felt about the same age as the teens in front of me until I remembered how old young I am and quickly stopped staring and walked away from the group. Weird.

A bit shocked by my new discovery of being slowly adulted, I have had a hard time focusing today. It seems as though, in order to focus, I really need to wear a beautiful silk robe, have a desk in my room, and make a DIY coffee filter garland to properly frame the desk. The problem is, I don’t own any of these things. *sigh* So, I am going to go shopping, but what I really want to buy is chalkboard paint for my large mirror. I figured that if I could just paint the mirror then I could write a list of things that need to be done and maybe, after that, I will be able to get to work. Then again, I need the desk first and foremost so that I can write the check to pay my taxes….

*Adulted//adulting- coin termed by my dear friend, Fern, and it just feels right. Essentially, it means becoming an adult.

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In other news, Fern now has dog, named Walrus. For a good 8.5 seconds I thought about how great it would be to have a dog that I could name, but then I remembered that sometimes I forget to eat lunch and thought it would be best to focus on learning how to cook for humans.

Guest Post(s), International Day of Happiness, & Thankfulness

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Happy Monday!

I recently wrote a couple guest posts for Single Matters and wanted to share them with you. I am still writing, but often exhaust myself on other projects and my personal blog is the first things that goes by the wayside. In any case, if you are interested, feel free to check out these recent articles.

Why Creativity is Important in Relationships

&

Does Virginity Signify Purity?

In case you were unaware, last Thursday was the International Day of Happiness! To celebrate, a few friends and I decided to spread the love and bliss on the UCSD campus. Below are some photos of our adventure.

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As you can see, it was truly a marvelous day!! We simply passed out candy, blew bubbles, handed out notes, gave away free smiles & hugs, and just talked to people. While everyday is a day of happiness with Jesus, it was fun to intentionally celebrate this bliss with others!

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Have a wonderful week!! I am kind of mind blown right now, because I just spent a few minutes writing down things I am thankful for and I’m realizing that there is so much to be thankful for!!!!!!! Seriously, so much. I encourage you to take just ONE minute out of your day to remember the beautiful things in life and write some of them down.

 

free tattoo{s}

I was contemplating getting a tattoo, but then I remembered that I already have a few. Life has given me several “free tattoos” and my body is a witness. After all, isn’t the point of a tattoo to tell a story or trigger a memory? If that’s the case, then I have my fair share of tattoos and they were all free.

My body grew tall in a short period of time and there are some beautiful stretch marks on my long and lushes legs. I took a tumble off a skateboard once and my ankle can attest to this calamity. This is not entirely related, but my nose always felt a size too big and I used to regard it as an unwelcome statement piece affixed to the center of my face. I could share more stories, but I am sure you get the general idea. What I am coming to understand, however, is that the human body is a remarkable thing.

For some odd reason, contemplating getting a tattoo has made me appreciate my body all the more for the things I used to dislike. These very things make me unique. As such, before paying to get a memory inked onto my skin, I am excited to embrace the free tattoos that life has already given me – the things that help comprise who I am and the things that I used to wish that I could change. It is time for these very things to be prized and considered beautiful. I suppose these things are more than mere marks on the body, they can also be memories or experiences etched onto the heart. Experiences that you used to wish, to no avail, that you could alter. I have plenty of these, but I am gradually making peace with them and realizing how they help comprise my story and make me who I am today. You see, those very scars etched onto your heart can be turned into something beautiful. When you hand them over to Papa God, those wounds can be healed. Not only does He bring restoration, but I have found that He gives you pieces of His heart in exchange for the pain and your heart is left enlarged and more whole than ever before. I don’t know how this works, but it is so beautiful and worth every minute of the surrender.

I am not sure what it is that you don’t like about yourself, but I am telling you that those very things can be restored and reclaimed as something extraordinary. Maybe you won’t believe me, but I dare you to try. Don’t sit in your pain or scars, but take a moment to get some fresh perspective and love yourself just as you are.

sexy + missions

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I am sure the words missions + sexy don’t seem to correlate, but somehow they seem to make a stellar team when they do. Let me explain myself…

I am part of a fabulous campus ministry, but it isn’t located overseas. In fact, I primarily reach out to college students in the beautiful San Diego, CA. Yes, I live in America and I live by the beach. *ehem* When people ask me what I do I sometimes don’t really know what to tell them. I simply live life and notice the people around me. Sure, sometimes I get a little “wild” and sit on the campus with a Spiritual Reading sign, but for the most part I don’t feel different or extraordinary in the least. This is just my life.

 

I have begun to notice something interesting within the ministry world and I feel that it is worth mentioning. When people talk about going overseas, it sounds sexier. You know what I mean? It sounds more adventurous and worthwhile. Even though I do campus ministry, I caught myself thinking this way and I realized that I had to actively change it. If it is really about loving the people in front of you, does it matter whether it is in the grocery store or in Antarctica? Seriously though. I have the greatest respect for overseas missions and desire to live overseas one day myself (simply because I love the idea of learning from different cultures), but in the meantime I don’t want my thinking to unknowingly elevate certain people or nations over others. This is just something I am currently mulling over.

 

Perhaps it is time I disrobed my mental hierarchy of missions and remembered what it is all about. Humans are fascinating and they are everywhere. After all, if I continue to think from this unhealthy place, I will forever leave the “real” work of loving people up to “missionaries” and I will forget that I am one. I think we all were created to be conduits of God’s love and isn’t that what it is all about? In the purest of forms, love looks like reaching out to the person in front of you. Some people may do that for a living, but I think we all were created to let our love leak out. It looks like getting to know your neighbor and letting your actions do the talking. It looks like noticing the overworked and overly tired mother at the checkout and letting her go first. I am afraid that the more we idealize overseas missions and the more we categorize what “true” missions looks like, the less we will feel empowered to step out and be the change right where we are at. The less we will put love into action and the more we will live waiting for change to happen. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on the incredible humans that I encounter each day simply because it doesn’t feel as worthwhile or “sexy.” I, for one, need to do a little bit of mind renewal and once again come back to the basics of loving my neighbor as myself. Literally. If everyone purposed to intentionally love the one, I know that there would be a remarkable shift.

 

There is a whole craze about clean eating. Well I want to see a lifestyle of clean living//loving. To me, this looks like a yielded life that continuously chooses to love when it doesn’t feel or look as fabulous. It looks like consistency even when it isn’t fashionable. No frills or fluff. I am not there yet, but it is my hearts desire.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

laughter does the heart good

On a whim, I decided to attend a laughing seminar today at the library. I passed by the dry erase board sign and just couldn’t help myself. I mean, what on earth is a laughing seminar?! I HAD to find out. I soon discovered what it was all about and I was both thoroughly entertained and fully engaged. To both my left and my right were the most glorious faces. We were encouraged to practice different types of laughter while making eye contact with people across the circle. For obvious reasons, this made it all the more contagious and hilarious! 

 As it turns out, I unknowingly was in a laughing yoga class for those 55+ and most of the participants were well over 70. It was a most enjoyable experience and I found many of the principles to be very kingdom. 

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” – Proverbs 17:22 

 After 30 minutes of solid laughter, the teacher enthusiastically shared the medical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of this free activity (yahoo it’s free, thanks God). Everyone was amazed. It is true though, laughter does the body good! I absolutely loved watching everyone laugh and laugh some more once they heard their neighbor start to loose it! Hahahahaha! You can only imagine it, but this is a moment that will be etched into my memory for life. Truly remarkable to laugh with strangers – future friends. 

 This spontaneous adventure to the library was honestly one of the most beautiful things that I have experienced in a while. Everyone was giggling and really getting into it. Some people cackled, others chuckled, and I even heard a chortle or two. Yes, a chortle. It was delightful. 

 I tell you what, I certainly left the library happier. The more freely I laughed, the lighter I felt. Everything that was stressing me out suddenly seemed so insignificant. 

 I want to see random outbursts of joy and laughter like this happening more frequently. It only takes one person to start passing along a smile or a chuckle. How amazingly simple and profoundly beautiful. 

 At the end of the seminar everyone was encouraged to bring their happiness outside of the class by smiling more at people and engaging with the world around them. This really hit home. I mean, laughter is so great, but I know the source of joy that never runs dry and you don’t have to conjure it up! If I am truly convinced of God’s kindness towards me, then it should be leaking out everywhere I go! Wohoooo! Clearly the laughter seminar was a hit in my book. It was a great reminder to unashamedly spread the joy and kindness of God wherever I go. I have so much to grateful for! Purposefully feasting on these things, even the littlest of things, brings forth much joy. 

I wanted to secretly record the laughter and keep it forever, but I couldn’t figure out how to accomplish the secret part. So, being that I don’t have any of the amazingly hilarious recordings of the varying types of laughter, take a look at this cute baby laughing or this one. If this doesn’t make your heart smile, I am unsure what will. Children don’t need a “solid” reason to laugh, they just go for it!