Breathing in College

College.

Just the name will either scare you and hurt your brain, or it will make you daydream about a new life outside of your everyday routine. Or if you’re like me, then it’s both.

It’s not that scary, but it does get awful at times. You have finally gotten out of the house, decorated your new room the way you wanted, and have the magic plastic card that is your key to the rest of your four years (or more). You’ve heard all about the dangers that will occur in college, some more avoidable than others, but your different. You will make the most of it. You have spend too much time studying and analyzing yourself to figure where you’ll fit in and what classes you will choose to take at which time. Then reality hits, whether it be the day of or a semester later: This isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. The food is making you sick because it is definitely less quality than you were used to, that one chapter assigned is really about 45 pages of smart words that can’t even be explained in the dictionary for dummies, and you’re pretty sure that hairball in the shower is moving into a different location every day…maybe even living.

 

Breath.

 

The number one word in my vocabulary right now is simply that, breath. Not the hyperventilating kind (I tried that too, nearly passed out), but the “yes, this is what I am feeling right now but it won’t last forever” breath. The leaning tower of homework may be threatening to crush you, that professor may seem delighted in destroying the class, and your roommate may be bit more than you think you can handle. So, what are you going to do about it?

College is freedom within limitations, basically real life with homework mixed in. There’s never going to be a perfect college experience, because if it was easy then everyone would do it. The choice to go to college isn’t for everyone, and that’s perfectly fine. But some people think that when they go to college it’ll be different. They can slide by and just live it up. As with anything, the higher you get the harder the crash.

 

On the other hand, don’t become a hermit. Yes it feels pretty nice for those first couple weeks, especially cause there’s no one breathing down your neck telling you to get out of the house, but it will really impact you negatively. You need people. We are made to have relationships (I don’t mean romantically, that’s another post in itself). What happens when you need a classmate to send you the notes that you missed or go with you to the convocations that are mandatory? The fun part is, you have a whole campus of diverse people who are as similar and opposite as you. The difference is that you don’t have to choose one type of person, because everyone is involved in a bunch of groups/clubs. Don’t like the club options? Start your own. Get a bunch of Pinterest junkies and plan on taking over a classroom for an hour to laugh and pin. It’s really that simple.

 

The ultimate power of being in college is the ability to drop a class. It is the most thrilling and peaceful feeling once you step out of the academic advisors office with one less class (or a switched class that you’re more interested in). There are so many more options than just the basic class. Theres classes based on relationships, food, even comic books!!

 

As a whole, college is an experiment. You are testing yourself to find out what you like and where you will take that interest in the long run. Some people “find themselves” at college, learn that they’re smarter than they think, and find their voice. It’s scary, and you may feel like dropping out after just three weeks. The best thing to do is breath, face what’s in front of you, accept it, and move on.

James 2:19

When you hear or read the name “Jesus”, what comes to mind? Father. Shepard. Christ. All generic answers with a basic depth. What if I asked, “What do you do with the name of Jesus?” Would that get your attention? Maybe some of you would list your prayers or praises. But I didn’t ask what He has done for you, I asked what you do in his name?

James 2:19 “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.”

I absolutely love this verse. Studies say that eighty three percent of the United States population claim to be Christian, and yet most don’t do anything with it. I used to be one of those people. I was raised in church and so I was part of the church. Automatic Christian, didn’t need a miracle or anything. So you believe in God, now what? Even the devil believes in God, you’re no different. It’s what you do with that information that sets you apart. This verse says that the devil shuddered, he trembled at the name of Jesus! I’m sure memories of the jealousy and rivalry that he created come flooding back. He knows the being behind the name and has chosen how to react.

What about you? When you read “Jesus” do you know Him? I don’t mean the basic Bible stories you grow up with. I mean the man behind the name. Fake faith leads to failure. If you cannot give a deeper meaning to that name, then you are standing in shallow waters. Even the devil believes more than you, because he chose to know Him before making his choice. It’s not enough to say that you believe, maybe even go on a few mission trips or do community service. Without reading the word and understanding its message, you are nothing more than a false believer. Faith is believing in something that you cannot see, but if we can’t see your relationship with the father then who are you to tell us wrong? I am tired of people arguing over facts that they themselves don’t even believe or know. Because if you knew the God I know, then you would be more concerned about that person rather than their opinion. Stop wasting your life proclaiming a half belief. Even the devil knows better than that. If you have accepted Christ, then show it. It’s better to be all the way hot or all the way cold then to stay lukewarm. Room temperature does nothing. It’s when you change the atmosphere that results start to form. When your faith becomes stale, your life will lose its flavor.

An experience I had with lukewarm Christians was during a spiritual preparation. Prayer walks are so amazingly powerful and effective when there’s a decent amount of people all working towards the same goal. We cover more ground by splitting up and moving the spirit all throughout the room. It’s a beautiful feeling to know that others are declaring victory all at the same time. In my case, I could tell that not everyone was comfortable with this practice. Where these lukewarm people we once laughing and praising God profoundly, once we began to step into our relationship with him they froze. Yes, they believed in God, but they never learned how to have a real relationship with him. They acted like his advertising team, but didn’t seem to view him as a close friend. Because of this, they we unable to truly participate in the bigger picture. It wasn’t that they were doing anything wrong, but they didn’t have the faith to follow through.

So who believes more, the devil or you?

2016

New Year resolutions tend to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life’s problems. It’s been proven that gyms have the highest membership rate during the month of January, but eventually dwindle down in numbers once March comes around. Why is that? Because so many people see the New Year as an excuse to drastically change. The problem with this is that it often is not truly change, but a forced dream. Stop and think it over. A new year marks a new start at altering your flaws, therefore you create a dream to sculpt your ideal body, study to become the best student you can be, and eat healthier to feel like a new person. Yes, these are great goals, but change is a process and not a spur of the moment decision. If change happened that fast then we’d have a problem. Although it’s great to have goal for the new year, stop overdoing it! And please don’t expect your mindset to alter overnight. The New Year is exciting, but not that magical. It can only motivate, not permanently create.

My suggestion? Have a theme.

In writing you always have to have a theme of some sort, whether you realize it or not. A good story will have an underlying message that stands as the base to each paragraph of the body. Once a theme is chosen you have a layout of what you want to say and how you want to say it, then you begin to write. In the process of writing you may find flaws in your outline, but that is exactly what you want to happen! If you can find a flaw, then that means you’ve discovered a way to improve on that area and make your overall project better. All because you began with that one small mishap.

The same goes for everyday life. This year choose a theme, something that you’ve been lacking in and need to slowly change. Then create a plan on how to go about training yourself to be motivated and end in positive results. If you know that you need to change your health, then plan out at least three super healthy meals a week. Thats one paragraph of your life. Chose to walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. That’s paragraph two. (Choosing the stairs really does work, I promise!)

It’s that easy! If you find that climbing up the ten flights of stairs is too much, then alter your outline and decide on adding in only one flight of stairs a day. Work toward your ultimate theme, don’t try and make the theme work for you. Watching The Biggest Looser while eating Ramen noodles is not going to do anything. (Unless you have a superpower to reap the benefits of others hard work, then by all means be my guest)

This past year has been one of the worst. I’m not saying that there weren’t amazing days, because there were, but life threw some huge boulders in my way that blocked my view of the positive light. Therefore, my theme for 2016 is love. Not the generic love that you hear about, the kind that you roll your eyes at, but the basics of the word love. I’m going back to what I’m passionate about, what makes me tick. I want to recapture the moment when I see a lost girl’s face light up as she shares her burden, the melodic sound of laughter from friends who were in need of each others company. The love that an artist has for his/her creations, the satisfied expression they have when they completed their goal. It’s the little things in life that should make us happy, and I’ve gotten so caught up in the craziness that I forgot how to take pleasure in the world’s little moments. How am I changing this? By intentionally placing myself in an atmosphere of love. I have started to seek out the needs of others, looking for opportunities to better people’s lives. When I get overwhelmed, I write or paint to calm the mind and reignite the love that I have for self expression. I’m not expecting a life altering enlightenment, but rather a rekindled love for living.

What have you lost this past year? What are you going to do about it?

DIY Christmas

Since I was little I have loved art in all of its forms, whether it was coloring in my barbie coloring book or snapping memories from my hot pink digital camera. Growing up we were always encouraged to make our gifts rather then buy them, and that same mindset has stayed with me since. My DIY (Do It Yourself) career began with a few beads on a cheap string, and my mother acted as if I had bought her a Tiffany diamond necklace. Each year my self made presents have bumped up in quality, and I’d like to think that I have achieved an amateur status in the crafting world. I have had a few great fails and also some Pinterest worthy outcomes (because if we’re honest everything on Pinterest takes thousands of tries before it gets remotely close to the picture) and wanted to share my top DIY Christmas gifts 🙂

 

Sock Snowmen

Quality DIY Snowmen

These little guys are so much fun to make!

Supplies:

White tube sock

Any fillers (Rice, Beans. ect.)

Rubber bands

Fabric scraps

Buttons

Black and yellow beads (small)

Needle and thread

To assemble your snowman you need to cut off the leg part of the sock (the lip?) and fill it with rice (or whatever filler you chose). Pinch off the top with a rubber band, and then take another and separate the sock into two sections (the head and body). Congratulations! You’ve made a snowman body!

Next is the fun part, decorating! If desired, you can take the cut off part of your sock and make a little hat for Frosty. Take the scrap fabric and make a scarf or an accent flower for the hat. Sew on the buttons and eyes (beads) and voila!

The only precaution you need to take is with your filler. I chose to fill my thin tube sock with rice, and the grains were so small that they slowly poked through the stretched fabric.

 

Scratch Design CD

Step 2 Scratch CD

 

These scratch design CDs are great for kids and adults! Whether you are an amazing doodle designer, or a professional stick figure sketcher, these are a great way to make a simple (or not so simple) design and take it to the next step!

Supplies:

Blank CDs

Black Paint

Paintbrush (the sponge tips work really well)

A pencil or any tool with a fine point

 

Step 1

Step 1 Scratch CD

Begin by painting the cd on the extra shiny side. Its okay if the paint has streaks, they won’t be noticeable by the end.

Once completely dried, take your fine tip and begin doodling! You’ll see immediate results. If you want to have more fun with it, then use varying points to get thicker or thinner lines. I have written friends names and music quotes, then created boarders around. You can even hang them on you wall! Tie a ribbon through the hole or take wire and hang multiple in a strand!

 

Egg Carton Rose/ Rose Mirror

 

Rose mirror

This project is a bit trickier, you definitely want to allow some time to experiment. But I promise the end result is well worth it! You don’thave to be a Martha Stewart to do this! I promise!

Supplies:

Cardboard egg carton (the square ones work best)

Hot glue gun

Mirror of any size or shape

Scissors (make sure they’re durable)

See? Only four supplies. How easy is that?

 

To begin we need to do some basic anatomy.

Anatomy of an egg carton rose

The main idea of the flower is to begin big and create smaller ones as you go. To achieve these flower petals just cut out the cups of the carton, then shape them into a flower. You are now a licensed cardboard florist 🙂

From there simply glue the flowers inside the other, starting from smallest to largest. Its like the Wooden Matryoshka Russian Nesting Dolls.

Egg carton rose

And there you have it! Just pull out the spiderweb-like glue pieces, add some paint if desired, and they are ready to adorn any undecorated item.

From there you boarder the mirror with your flowers. The hot glue gun works just fine, but any adhering substance will work. You can also take plane frames and brighten them up with your roses!

 

Melted Crayon Art

DIY Crayon Art

This is one of my all time favorites!!

Supplies:

Crayons (unwrapped)

A canvas

A hot glue gun

Masking tape (optional)

 

This craft can get a bit messy, so beware!  It will not destroy your hot glue gun, just temporarily add some color to it.

Take your canvas and prop it up, taping on a design or letter if you want. Then insert your UNWRAPPED crayons into the glue gun as you would a glue stick. Aim the tip at the very top of the canvas and squeeze! It may splatter, but once the wax begins to drip down you will see progress. The crayon needs to melt, so you may not be able to squeeze right away and see results.

DO NOT TOUCH THE CANVAS! Wait until it has dried,and even then you will have to be careful. I sealed mine with hairspray, but regardless you need to handle with care. The crayon can pop off if broken, so it’s best if hung or placed on a shelf to look at and not touch.

 

Bath Salts

DIY Bath Salts

I have been making various bath salts, lip balm, and bubble baths for years. But this is by far the easiest recipes to use. Thank you Martha Stewart!

Supplies:

Coarse sea salt

Epsom salts

Baking soda

Essential oils

Food coloring (optional)

Container that will seal out moisture

In a large bowl, mix to combine: 6 parts coarse sea salt; 3 parts epsom salts, to soothe tired muscles and reduce inflammation; and 1 part baking soda, to soften waters and alleviate skin irritation.

Then add a few drops of essential oils and food coloring (if desired) and mix! The darker you want your salts, the more food coloring you add. The essential oils go a long way, longer than you’d think! So I highly recommend starting with 3 drops and go from there. Look up the different benefits from various scents, such as lavender for sleep deprivation or peppermint for headaches.

Dreamcatcher Earring Holder

Earring dream catcher holder

Dreamcatchers are a big part of my heritage (I’m Native American, remember?) But these sacred items have been reborn as chic, fashionable earring holders! I personally have not kept one for myself (my ears aren’t pierced), but I know that others absolutely love to have this unique way to display their jewelry!

Supplies:

Embroidery hoop

Embroidery floss

Metallic spray paint

Earrings

 

I highly recommend youtubing a tutorial on how to create a dreamcatcher, because seeing is sometimes better than reading. But I’ve chosen straightforward instruction pictures to try and help you. Craft stores also supply kits that have more detailed instructions, and they already have the materials collected for you 🙂

 

Dream catcher tutorial

Second dreamcatcher tutorial

After you’ve finished assembling you dreamcatcher you an hang it up and begin to add your decorative earrings!

 

And there you have it! Easy and affordable Christmas presents for friends and family. Now you can relax with your new and homemade bath salts! I recommend lavender with a touch of vanilla 😉

 

The Quote Post

With the new school year so close I want to help empower those who are having to step back into the war zone of papers and public pressure. To empower those who are putting on their fake face in order to be accepted. The ones who plan on disappearing into the crowd and then slip out unnoticed. For all students who feel as if they cannot be themselves, or better themselves, within the critical eyes of  society.

Quote Post 1

Challenge yourself to be the better person. Step out of the mind set that you have to be better than the other, start trying to be a better you. Because it’s when you start loving yourself that you begin to accept who you are.

Quote Post 5

There is a lot going on in society that I do not agree with, especially when I see how it effects the younger generation. But always keep in mind, we are society! If we want to change the situation, we need to change what we’re doing about it. You cannot tell someone to do something without taking action yourself.

 

Quote Post 7

This is a serious problem, especially with teenage girls. We will get fired up over a person or situation that won’t matter in the long run. The reason that we can make enemies at a rapid pace is because we typically don’t realize that the reaction we give is exactly what the other person wants. Even if we do, often times it just adds to the fire. If specific people come to mind when you read this, try to avoid letting them fire you up. They hold the ignitor, but it does’ mean that you have to burn.

Quote Post 8

I am a reserved person. I don’t typically try to over power people, instead I try to take myself out of the situation. Sometimes it’s best, but other times that means that others have had the ability to walk over me. Don’t let them. The mind is powerful, deadly and empowering. You do have the ability to be strong, but you have to believe it.

 

Quote Post 9

Attention, for most people, is the best feeling in the world. Others tell you how great you are or commend the work you’ve done. The emotions you get from attention can be addictive. Soon enough your throwing everything you’ve got out there in order to get that feeling that you love. You feel as if you’re on top, and maybe you are. But here’s the catch: It’s tiring and temporary. Eventually you feel more empty than full and what you did to seek attention no longer works. Life moves on and you’re stuck without any respect to carry through. Moral of the story, never falter for false feelings. Those who respect you will boost you higher, and help you gain success throughout life.

Quote Post 10

This can be one of the most painful truths to accept. Always cherish those who you love, or who have stretched you. Remember the lessons they’ve taught you.

 

Quote Post 11

Appreciate where you are in life! Do not race through high school, college, careers, or relationships in order to get to the desired end. When you get there, what are you going to be able to look back on? How did you spend your ride?

Quote Post 12

Quote Post 13

These two quotes can tie together. Stand up against the flaws you see in life. Change what you don’t like and live for what you do. If you cave under each situation, you’ll never be able to stand up for yourself.

Quote Post 14

Don’t make excuses for your poor choices. You know when it started as a mistake, and when it turned into a choice.

Quote post 15

So what if they don’t understand? All that matters is you deciding your path, not following someone else’s beaten trail.

Quote Post

Quote Post2

You need time to relax, make it. You need time to work, make it. You need time to rest, make it. It’s as simple as that. Let go of what distracts you and make time for what you need to do.

Quote Post4

Quote Post6

Happiness is a choice, not a destination.

QuotePost 3

 

Psalm 46:10

It seems that as life goes on we are taught one thing: to make good use of our time. This applies in work, school, or just everyday life. Whatever we choose to do will require us using our time. My mother has always stated that life is short, and she’s right. Because of this reason I have always felt the need to cram as many activities and hobbies as I can into my lifestyle. I want to live life to its fullest and have as many experiences as possible. My schedule is always packed! I run into town everyday for school, church, music, art, youth, friends, and much more. Since I’ve become so used to running around, I often feel that I need to be doing everything. I strive to be wonder woman, accomplishing all tasks whether big or small, spiritual or physical. I can handle anything and everything life throws at me.

The truth is that for a short time, I can do these things. But after a while I begin to slowly deteriorate into a depressed and disappointed mess. When this happens, I begin to create masks in order to fool everyone into thinking that I am fine. The reality is that I am holding in my problems in order to spare others from thinking less of me. In actuality, people look up to those who are true to themselves. How can you follow a leader who doesn’t lead with his/her true colors? No one can do everything on their own, thats why you have a diverse team of friends to help pick you up when you stumble. Maybe all you need is a word of encouragement, or a small loving gift to get you through the day.

The biggest gift and stress reliever is the fact that Christ can help you to walk in peace. Not just sit for a while and then be forced to get back up, but actually continue walking in perfect peace. There’s no backtracking or having to act fake, because the more you rely on Him, the lesser the load you have to carry. This doesn’t mean that your life is automatically perfect, it just means that you can work towards having a shield of peace wherever you go.

Recently I have been bombarded with attacks from the enemy, from medical issues to spiritual resistance. My leadership program has helped me straighten out the “holy clog” that I had developed, and with that came a new look to my wonder woman standard. Sometimes God needs you to take a break. I mean a true, cancel all plans break. Love can flow through you and into others, but how can you keep giving if you haven’t taken time to be filled yourself? I feel like this is especially important to people like me who are so used to doing something that they cannot just do nothing. God loves to create something out of nothing, the story of creation shows us that. So what do you think would happen to if you decided to let God speak when you were taking the time to rest?

Because of all this, I have decided to cancel an upcoming missions trip to NYC. I’m not encouraging everyone to cancel something big, just to ask God what you can give up in order to gain more. I know personally that I need to receive more than give right now, and that’s okay. I believe God needs me to stay behind so that I can get back on track with His perfect peace. He wants me to be still, and wait for His word. Because I can’t do everything, but in my weakness God is there.

Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God”