All Things Coffee

(yes, it’s late in the day. bear with me, m’kay? honestly- Isn’t this when all the students start guzzling caffeine? don’t look so innocent. . .)

IN HONOUR OF TODAY (or yesterday) BEING NATIONAL COFFEE DAY, I HAVE DECIDED TO TAKE IT UPON MYSELF TO WRITE A POST ALL THINGS COFFEE

Never would have guessed that was what the post was about, ‘ey?

I’ve been a barista for about 1.5 months, and it’s been a blast. I am by no means an expert (someone actually ordered something today that I’d never heard of. A “red eye”.), but I like to think I’ve been taught a few things.

And now, I shall pass it on to you so that next time you stare at a list of foreign coffee terms at a shop, you might be able to identify something and not order an iced vanilla latte (if you’re a barista, you’ll get the joke.)

COFFEE LINGO

“Pull a shot” -> make a shot (or double shot) of espresso

Espresso -> highly caffeinated coffee

And uh, I think that’s all. . . you probably knew those, so let me know if there are any terms you don’t know that Google doesn’t help with.

TYPES OF COFFEE DRINKS

Okay, if you’re a diehard coffee drinker, you’ll probably turn up your nose on this section, but bear with the rest of us false coffee drinkers, m’kay?

Espresso: Just a straight shot of intense coffee. It’s generally less than two ounces, and I’m not joking when I say it’s intense.

Latte: A shot of espresso with milk to top it off (or more like- a cup of milk with a couple ounces of intense coffee.) Typically, people order this with a couple pumps of flavoured syrups, like the well known pumpkin spice latte. Or the fall-back “iced vanilla latte” that literally everyone orders.

Americano: A shot of espresso + hot water to top it off.

Cappuccino: A shot of espresso with milk that is half foamy and half just hot. A “real” cappuccino is apparently less than 8 ounces, but if you go to some big name coffeeshops I won’t name, you can get it in bigger sizes. It’s basically just a latte at that point.

Cortado: A shot of espresso with a wee bit of milk in it. Essentially a less complicated cappuccino.

Pour Over: It’s like drip coffee, but more technical. It’s easier to get different types of blends, because they’re ground specifically for your cup of coffee. Though at home you would generally do this by hand, most coffeeshops are equipped with helpful machines that pour at just the right speed to produce delectable coffee.

Dirty Chai: Okay, this isn’t technically a coffee. . . but neither is a bunch of those things *points up at the list*. A dirty chai is just a chai latte with a shot of espresso. Yes, I know. That caffeine shows you’re living on edge. . . but so does the fact that you totally procrastinated on studying for that 8am exam tomorrow.

What’s the difference between iced coffee and cold brew?

Honestly, they really do seem to be the same thing.

However.

Iced coffee is typically the house blend- But iced. Whereas cold brew is legit brewed cold (surpriseeeee.)

Some places do it fast, other places do it overnight. It takes a special kind of filter and container that holds the cold brew blend and is filled with water. It’s typically a notch higher/better than iced coffee- Or at least, so I’ve heard.

On a personal note. . .

So, to commemorate National Coffee Day, I did something for my coffee loving friends.

I’m talking legit coffee drinkers. The kind who drink three espresso shots with nothing in them. The kind who drink the cold brew straight.

Yeah. Those people.

(i love them so much)

I told said friends that if there happened to be any extra espress, I would drink it straight. I did this a couple weeks ago and nearly died (if you don’t know, I’m not a huge fan of straight black coffee. . . yes, I know I work at a coffeeshop. Problem?)

Well.

There happened to be a shot left.

(half a shot, to be precise, but that’s technically a full shot since a normal shot is a double shot and just- Okay, enough math)

So.

I drank it straight and videoed myself.

*coughs*

I nearly made a dozen faces in the span of two seconds, but then I noticed people off to my left so I cut the video, spun around, dropped the empty espresso shot glass into the sink, and tried not to vocally express my extreme displeasure.

Then I turned around and took the next person’s order. Let’s just say I was extremely grateful for the required mask.

The end. Hopefully you enjoyed this slightly informational post on that thing that has become a staple to millions if not billions of people world wide.

Talk about bandwagon!

Scripture Memory

My friends think I’m ADD.

Honestly, I can see it. My brain is constantly going, and if I’m not moving around it speeds up. I do everything fast- Whether it be that late night last minute paper or an exam that was supposed to take four times longer than the time it took me (yes, I probably flunked it today, but that’s beside the point.)

It’s kinda nice, actually. I finish my homework really fast (kinda scares me honestly, because I always think I’m doing something wrong), and the quick pace of rush hour at the coffeeshop (yeah, I work at a coffeeshop and yes, it’s epic) is kind of my thing.

But. . . it’s also a bad thing. Because my brain is going so fast it can go from super happy about fluffy clouds in the distance, to super depressed because the barista didn’t put whip cream in my hot chocolate.

I also have a slightly ridiculous memory. I can remember things in sharp detail. . . however, this never seems to be the case for memorising study guide questions. . . weird.

This memory can get me into trouble though.

When I get bored, I tend to find something in my memory (subconsciously), and my supposedly ADD brain takes it and runs with it, dragging me in the mud (rude, I know.)

I’m not saying I’m ADD. Pretty sure my parents don’t think I am. My friends still do, though, poor souls. They gotta put up with me.

And my tangents

(*whispers* sine over cosine)

(*whispers* x cubed graph)

(*whispers* Rubik’s cube)

*coughs*

Where was I? Oh yes. ADD. That.

So here’s the deal. I can dwell on things like how I accidentally put normal milk in someone’s latte and how they’re probably halfway home and having to call a friend because they’re lactose intolerant and are now stranded on a sidewalk with no energy to move-

The whole scenario is just messy, and I won’t benefit from thinking about it.

Likewise, it’s easy for my mind to go to other dark or bad places if I don’t keep a close eye on it (although, I must say- My eye is pretty close to the brain *cackles*.)

Recently, at a retreat I went to, I heard someone talk about Scripture Memory. Yeah, I’d heard him talk about it a lot, and yes, I’d heard this particular speech given several times. But for some reason or another, it actually stuck (I know, shocking), and I decided to do something about it.

Like I said, memorising for me isn’t that hard (thankfully). What’s hard to actually setting aside time to intentionally do it. And y’know. Practice.

So I decided that I would start to take my verse pack* to work.

This coincided very nicely with a week where I was mostly working by myself. Let me just say- Pacing back and forth while reciting verses out loud through a mask is a STRUGGLE, and if you have asthma I would not suggest it. But y’know, you gotta push through, so somehow I kept going.

Scripture memory used to be a big deal in my life. My mother used to have our family memorise different verses or passages or passages a lot, and we’d review together and work on new ones.

But then when we got older, my parents kind of stopped enforcing it- Wanting us to figure it out for ourselves. And I’m ashamed to say that Scripture memory hasn’t been as high a priority to me as it should be.

ANYWHO THAT WAS A TANGENT

*coughs* I won’t follow that with the train of thought I’m thinking.

Memorising scripture has been ridiculously beneficial in ways I hadn’t predicted. I started with verses I’d already memorised in NIV and tried to work on getting them down in ESV. So most of the verses weren’t necessarily new, though I tried to through in a couple ones that had hit me in quiet times.

I thought I’d just work on them behind the coffeebar, and that would be that.

But oh.

God is so much bigger than that, y’all. You can’t confine Him or His Word to a small area or a time slot.

I’ve found myself being constantly reminded of the verses throughout my day. I’m hiding it in my heart, not just so I can combat sin, but also so I can meditate on them day and night.

I really do think Scripture memory can change your life if you just give it a shot and do it on your own accord.

Because let’s be honest.

If someone else has you do it, you’re doing it for them- Not you. You gotta do it yourself. You gotta make the decision.

Like I said, I’m not perfect. I don’t know if I’ll be able to last long, but I sure am going to try because it’s worth it. I’ve been able to meditate without trying, because now my ADD brain just constantly runs the verses through my brain trying to dissect them.

It’s pretty rad.

[* a verse pack is about half the size of a normal folding wallet. It has four sleeves that hold custom made cards that are slightly smaller than average business cards. Usually people write their verses on these cards as an easy way to work on Scripture Memory. Let me know if you want a more in-depth explanation/description of this! I don’t want to turn this blog into a Christian lifestyle, or just any lifestyle kind of blog though, so I won’t fill it with a lot of Christian walk tips and such]

My Father

When I was about twelve years old, we moved.

Nothing fancy, just another flat in the same city. What was exciting about this place, though, was the fact that I wouldn’t be sharing a room- For the first time in my life.

Yeah, I was pretty stoked.

I loved my room.

Until my brother got a loft bed in his room. Yeahhh, let’s just say jealousy really is a thing- Especially amongst siblings.

I like to think that I hide my emotions and thoughts well, but uh, apparently I don’t (though honestly- Who can really hide anything from their parents?)

In under a month, my father had built me a loft bed out of an old bunk bed.

Like

Whoa

My dad’s pretty great.

Not a lot of guys will hold a shaking little girl late at night who’s scared of the bullfrog from a Hermie and Friends episode. Not everyone thinks to grab those extra free business cards at stores to bring home to their kids. Not a lot of guys randomly bring home gifts from Walmart “just because”.

He’s the man who fills up the car, even if I completely forgot to tell him it was on E, and he can only hope it doesn’t run out on the way to the station.

He’s the man who will give me a hug in the car in the middle of the night when I’m crying my eyes out without giving me any of the much-deserved judgement.

He’s the one I know I can rely on if I was two states away with a flat tire (even though he’d probably be internally facepalming that I’d forgotten how to change a flat.)

All this to say- My dad is pretty great.

That’s not to say he’s perfect though, and he’d be ready to admit it (humility- Another good trait.)

He makes mistakes, just like everyone else. He gets angry. He did and does things he regrets.

But he’s working on it. Of course, being mortal, I generally don’t see the changes- I only see the faults.

But if I look at things more objectively, I realise how he’s getting better at things he used to struggle with. And I start to realise that he does certain things because he loves me- No matter how annoyed with those things I might be.

I don’t wanna have to text every thirty minutes while I’m out with my friends. But my parents make me do it because they care about me and want me to be safe.

So I do it.

(with a hopefully good attitude)

My dad is servant hearted- Pretty sure that’s his spiritual gift, but honestly he’s so talented it’s hard to pin down just one.

This means he tends to show his love in service, which is uh not my love language really. And it took me so many years to realise this. I regret that it took me so long, but I’m glad I realise it now.

Sometimes I just sit around and think (shocker, right?)

My dad’s pretty great.

What if there was someone exactly like my dad, but minus any form of human flaw, and plus a lot of supernatural things like knowing everything there is to know ever.

Yeah, that’d be pretty cool.

And fun fact-

He is everyone’s father.

I have a physical father here on earth who’s pretty amazing. But my Father in Heaven is straight up awesome. You should get to know Him sometime.

John 3:16 + Matthew 20:28 + 1 Corinthians 8:5 + Psalm 68:5

Rest

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 

Genesis 2:2 [ESV]

Believe me- I get it.

In a world that’s going 24/7 no matter where you look, the concept of “rest” seems foreign.

I’m talking serious rest. Not just- Oh let’s plop down on the couch and binge Netflix (which, I actually don’t have, but y’know. it’s the aesthetic that counts.) It’s not even “Okay, everyone leave me alone I’m going to stare blankly at this wall.”

There is no “right way” to rest. It’s subjective.

I live by a college campus where my parents do college ministry. Yeah, it’s pretty epic- I get to use that as an excuse to hang out with all the cool college kids *cue sunglasses*.

I’ve noticed something though. Everyone else on staff or helping serve are literally going twenty-four/seven. Yeah, not exactly 24/7, but close enough. During the first week of school during the freshman outreach events, most of the staff didn’t get home until 2am, and had to be back on campus before 10:00am.

Yeah.

My whole family is extroverted. Most of the people I see around the ministry building are extroverted.

But I. . . heh, yeah no. I am a little introvert who has been THRIVING in quarantine.

So being around extroverts and around people going hard all the time, I’ve not really been taught the practice of rest.

Most people are told to rest on Sunday, right? Well. . . when you’re in a ministry family, Sunday is preeeetttyyyy busy. So, there’s that.

PLUS

A lot of time, alone time/rest sounds selfish.

And okay, I’ll give you that. Too much alone time = overthinking = self-analysis = depression = yeahnothanks.

However, neglecting yourself isn’t the answer either. ESPECIALLY if you’re constantly pouring into other people.

This past week, I’ve had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with three women I really admire.

One is a college girl who is where I wanna be one day (hey- I can dream, can’t I?)

Another is the wife of a staff member who has a ton of GREAT advice that I’m still trying to fully grasp

And the last was a someone my parents knew from way back when. She has some kids my age, and they’re in the mission field (where I wanna be one day, even if it’s not this specific country)

I admire all of them for different reasons, but they all have a couple things in common.

A solid quiet time, and the ability to rest.

I won’t go into quiet times, because that’s a whole ‘nother post, but there’s something to be said about rest.

One of them mentioned occasionally going to a coffeeshop to get away and just read her Bible and journal. It’s not much, but it’s “enough” to keep her going and thriving.

Another mentioned just being able to sleep in, and hang out with her husband and just relax.

There’s not right way, it’s all subjective. But it is important.

Today, I went to Chick-fil-a (they gave me two extra nuggets, but do we expect anything less?), got a coffee at the coffeeshop I work at, and am currently writing this on the large patio at our ministry building.

I got a chance (after I wrote that English paper I’d been dreading) to chill, eat, read a book, text some friends, and write this scatterbrained post.

For me- That was rest. Just being able to breathe and not think about the million things that are coming next week or even later today (*instantly starts thinking about the million things that are coming*).

I know this was kinda all over the place, but hopefully you got something out of it.

It’s okay to rest.

I mean.

Come on.

If the Creator of the Universe rested, the least you can do is take thirty minutes to journal and regenerate, yeh?

(the end.)

(Keep an eye out for more posts though, because I have started having lotsa thoughts. . . they just have to marinate in my head for a hot minute before I can type them out semi-coherantly. I’m working on coherency. . . it’ll come. . . or so they say.)

Surprise- The Sun Still Rises

You now what’s weird? No matter how miserable I feel or how many tears I cry or how put-off I am with the world- The sun still rises.

The audacity.

Not only that, but y’know that paper that’s always inconveniently due within four hours from now? (yes, we all know it was technically due two weeks from now but then something happened and suddenly it’s due in literally four hours and nothing is on the document) Well, I’ve discovered that no matter how long I stare at the computer, the thing doesn’t write itself!

Honestly, it’s rather rude of it to assume I’m going to do all the work.

Okay, for real though. No matter what my emotions “in the moment” might be, they don’t change my situation. They only change my mindset and approach.

When I come home from work and have way too much physics homework to work on (me? procrastinate until the last few days? pfffffft. . . you know me too well), and the dishwasher is still not unloaded, I have a couple choices.

I can yell at my brother to please come help me.

I can leave it to see if someone else will empty it in the next twenty-four hours.

Or I can do it myself.

Let’s say I decide to do it myself. Well, now I have even more options. I can either do it with the mindset of- Blast it, I have to clean out the dishwasher AGAIN. No one in this family EVER does anything (I’m a melodramatic teenager, what can I say?)

Or

Or

Or

I can think- My father’s been working hard all day going to and fro and helping other people. My mother’s been helping other people, and she went out of her way today to run an errand with me, hang out with my brother, and make me supper early so I wouldn’t starve at work. My brother’s been doing great at school and work, and he deserves a chance to just chill before Lyfe starts back up.

And get the dishwasher emptied.

Because the truth of the matter is- That dishwasher is going to be emptied eventually (or so we hoped), and my mindset isn’t going to change what other people think about it, or what happens to it.

It will only make the job more enjoyable or unenjoyable (that’s a word, isn’t it?)

And here’s the deal: This mindset applies to a LOT of things.

I can think- I HAVE to walk to class in the rain then go home and clean the bathrooms. Or I can think- I GET to walk in this beautiful rain (and hope it doesn’t drench my laptop, heh) then I get to go clean and blare some music and relax that way.

It really is about mindset.

This isn’t to say I’m perfect (literally anyone who knows me will hastily assure you otherwise), and I CERTAINLY don’t always have the right mindset.

I’m just saying that in the moments of epiphanies, I attempt this mindset, and it works out pretty well. Nothing is going to be affected by my emotions (unless I have a really bad attitude, and I’m around other people. Or, y’know, positive attitudes affect other people too. . . try it sometime), therefore I shouldn’t be so self-centred as to think that my annoyance will change anything.

‘Cuz, folks.

That sun’s gonna rise whether we want it to or not. Might as well greet it with a smile, ‘ey?

ISTJ. . .xyz (Part Two)

It’s not alphabet soup, but it does get mixed up and complicated

[DISCLAIMER: I am by no means a MBTI or psychology expert; all opinions and thoughts in this post are nothing more than what was just stated; I do not consider myself an expert, I simply have researched to the extent that I feel is necessary to go before sharing information with others; due to the length (short) of this and the following post, I’m unable to explain everything in detail, so think of this as the SparkNotes of MBTI]

As I stated in my previous post, introvert and extrovert have different meanings than is usually assumed. They do not determine one’s social capabilities.

Introverts gain more energy by being alone, and extroverts gain energy by being with people. It would logically follow that the latter would be more inclined to be a social butterfly, but this isn’t always the case.

The I/E also indicates whether a function is introverted or extroverted. To put it simply- If a function is introverted, it is focused more on the internal world of a person’s mind. If it is extroverted, it naturally focuses on the outside world. one is not better than another.

Intuition (N)

Intuition is a method of perceiving. It feeds off ideas/theories/concepts to process what one sees of the outside world.

Ni, or introverted intuition, is best explained with- It all makes sense to me but no one else.

Ni users typically are the people who seem lost in a conversation, but a couple minutes later they suddenly have solved all the problems on hand. It’s kind of crazy, honestly. Their system of organisation isn’t really a system at all- It’s basically a bunch of spiderweb connections that are hard to explain if you don’t have the exact replica.

Ni usually has trouble recalling memories that connect with the present but is great at coming up with spur of the moment decisions that are surprisingly well thought through. This is partially due to Se, but Ni has a part to do with it.

Ne, or extroverted intuition, is like Ni in that it makes connections. However, these are easier to explain and they connect the external world. Someone who’s an Ne user can quickly go from knife to gravestone with a simple- Knife, blood, death, funeral, gravestone connection.

Ne is focused on connecting all the things in the external world, whether or not they can be connected. An Ne user will go to great lengths to put the pieces together, and they can generally explain the connections pretty quickly.

A lot of times, Ne will connect concepts back to things they learned as children, whereas Ni will connect things as it is practical for the future.

Sensing (S)

This more or less indicates whether a person is living in the present or the past. People living in the past tend to recall memories for every current event, and people in the present live for the moment or the future.

Si, introverted sensing, is focused on the past and past memories. Everything they perceive from the world is run through a memory filter.

Se, extroverted sensing, is focused on the moment. Everything is connected to other things in the moment, it’s a lot like Ne, but while Intuition is more of a mental thing, Sensing affects the actions more directly.

Feeling (F)

Feeling does not mean one is an emotional dramatic mess (though let’s face it- a lot of us are, myself not exempt.) It simply describes how one relates to emotions or acts upon them. It also explains whether one is more externally or internally driven.

Fi, introverted feeling, is very much based on one’s own morals and understandings of the world. As a general rule, a healthy Fi user is also able to identify their own emotions and (supposedly) know how to handle them.

Fe, extroverted feeling, is more based off the external world and how others feel or perceive the world. They look to the outside for rules and morals, whereas Fi looks to their own morals/beliefs. Fe users generally have a creepily uncanny way of identifying others’ emotions, while failing to identify their own.

Thinking (T)

Myth: Thinkers are more intelligent than Feelers.

There’s a rumor that facts rank higher than emotions. While this may be true in certain things, it’s false in others. Or even- the opposite is true. We need both thinkers and feelers in this world, and both are equally important. Just in different ways.

Ti, introverted thinking, focuses on organising the internal world. Everything connects neatly in the mind, and while the organisation system makes sense to no one else, the user is able to easily pull files from anywhere in their mental database.

Te, extroverted thinking, focuses on organising the external world. . .but this is where it gets tricky. They’re organising the external world internally. It’s hard to explain. There are a lot more cold, hard facts than Ti, which has more concepts and theories, though.

*collapses*

There.

It’s been. . . a lot of weeks, and I have no good excuse for why this took me so long. We also shan’t count how many times I opened this draft and looked at it blankly. Yes, I know the Intuition section is longer than the others. Let’s just say my brain fizzled and died around there.

If you want more information, https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/ is a pretty good source. There were more good sites and a couple blogs, but for some reason my mental database is pulling a blank, so sorry about that.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll try to elaborate things in the comments.

Donec Iterum!

ISTJ. . .xyz (Part One)

The basics behind the letters. . .no, it’s not just an alphabet soup

[DISCLAIMER: I am by no means a MBTI or psychology expert; all opinions and thoughts in this post are nothing more than what was just stated; I do not consider myself an expert, I simply have researched to the extent that I feel is necessary to go before sharing information with others; due to the length (short) of this and the following post, I’m unable to explain everything in detail]

You’ve probably heard about MBTI (Myers-Briggs theory). It’s been tossed around with the Enneagram, and there are plenty of memes and YouTube skits about the various stereotypes of both (let me know if you want an in-depth Enneagram post *winks*).

However, unless you’ve become obsessed with it and researched it in depth (*coughs* totally not me *cough*) odds are you’ve succumbed to what any self-respecting MBTI nerd would run away from- Stereotypes. It’s easy to run everything you know about MBTI off of various stereotypes, and, to be fair, a lot of them are fairly accurate.

To understand MBTI to the fullest, however, one must get past stereotypes and dive into the good stuf.

Behold:

Cognitive Functions.

*rubs hands together and cackles*

(raccoon meme, anyone?)

Yes, MBTI is simply explained in a 4 letter phrase. No, that is not all there is to it.

If you’ve ever studied or had anything to do with MBTI, you’ve probably been referred to (warning to all MBTI nerds: Cringe alert) 16personalities.com. I am no expert, and I certainly do not want to heap distaste on a well-known site, but. . .yeah, I won’t heap my bucket of loathing on it.

Just know and accept that I don’t like it.

And neither does anyone who studies MBTI.

Anywho. Moving on-

This means you’re probably familiar with the whole: E/I – N/S – F/T – J/P, code system. It’s pretty simple, right? Well. What you might not know is that-

EVERYONE has N (intuition), S (sensing), F (feeling), and T (thinking)The J/P (judging, which has nothing to do with being judgemental/perceiving, which doesn’t mean you’re supernatural) represent which function is first- The judging function (S/N) or the perceiving function (F/T).

Also, I have to get this out of my system, so I sort of apologise for the formatting:

INTROVERT DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE SOCIALLY AWKARD AND HATE PEOPLE

EXTROVERT DOES NOT MEAN YOU LOVE BEING AROUND PEOPLE 24/7

THOSE STEREOTYPES NEED TO DIE

*nods* Thank you. I needed that little vent.

Introvert means you are generally more refreshed after being alone, extrovert means you’re generally more refreshed after being with people. Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean I have social anxiety and don’t enjoy people.

Yes, it means I’ve been thriving in quarantine and would do perfectly fine in online classes with minimal socialisation. However, I’m still human as far as enjoying the occasional conversation with a friend or other simple social activities.

(to those of you who care, I’m ISTJ. . .*glances at the post title*. . .I know, you never would have guess, right?)

Remember how the J/P stands for which of the four functions (N/S/F/T) go first? Well the E/I explains whether the first function is introverted (which generally means more internally focused) or extroverted (which, being the opposite, naturally means more externally focused).

And that, my friends, is the foundation of Cognitive Functions. It’s kind of like SparkNotes on CF, actually.

I’ll be going more in depth on the specifics of each function, including examples and such along the way, in my next post- Provided I don’t get crushed by either school or other things that come along with that thing called “Lyfe”.

I personally really like studying MBTI, even though it’s been a minute since I last did some serious research on it. If you’re looking for good places to check out before I post the next part of this, you might want to check out one of these places:

https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2018/02/23/introduction-cognitive-functions-myers-briggs-theory/

https://personalityjunkie.com/functions-ni-ti-fi-si-ne-te-fe-se/

There was another site I wanted to link, but I can’t find it. . .oh well.

DONEC ITERUM

[If you’d like to see future posts on things like Enneagram, or MBTI stereotypes, or just about anything, let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it to my dwindling list of blog post ideas]

Choices

A quick search on the all-knowing Google revealed that the average person makes approximately 35,000 choices a day (yes, I know you’re not average, but bear with me, ‘ey?). That’s thousands of unconscious choices. Even if it’s something as small as the subconscious saying: And now, folks, we will walk two steps to the righ- WHO PUT THAT WALL THERE?

Odds are, we’re pretty aware of what choices we’re making. At least the simple ones like donuts or eggs for breakfast? Or something like country or classical music?

If you really think about it, you could probably catch yourself making decisions you usually don’t know about. The subconscious ones like- I’m going to move two centimetres to the left so I don’t walk into that wall.

But what about the things you think you don’t have control over? Could you *gasp* could you actually be able to control them?

Attitude, reactions, feelings, all that fun stuff.

Sure, I’d concur that this doesn’t “work” for everyone, but I would argue that most people could benefit a lot from just making the right decision.

Just because I got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning, doesn’t mean my whole day is gonna be bad.

(though, y’know, in my case there’s a wall on two sides, so if I got off on the wrong side of the bed I probably walked into a wall which. . .generally isn’t advised)

Seriously though. I experimented with this for a bit. I’m the kind of person who will quickly make the statement of- Oh, well, today is going to be a bad day because it’s 2 degrees too hot outside.

And, by the laws of self-fulling prophesies, the day will be horrible, SIMPLY BECAUSE OF MY SET PERSPECTIVE.

Think about it.

You can decide how you want to look at something. Say someone gives you a bowl of popcorn. You can think- Wow, free food! or you can think- Welp, too bad they don’t love me enough to get me chocolate.

Either way, you have the popcorn. So you can either enjoy it completely (and with a big smile and ‘thank you’ that will make the giver’s day), or you can wallow in self-pity (which doesn’t hurt anyone but you. . .and the person would be less inclined to give you anything including chocolate, soooo). You can choose how to handle the situation, but in my personal opinion, the former is better.

What about those of us who are finishing up the final years of highschool? Let’s be honest, there’s a fair number of us who are completely thinking- Oh thank goodness, only a couple more months/years and then FREEDOM. I just gotta survive the next bit of time. . .

Uhm. Okay?

Here’s the thing. You gotta live the next few years at home anyway. You can either steel your teeth and brace yourself to “survive” the next few years, or you can slap the negativity and choose to be happy. You’d be surprised how amazing your family is once you put on the right glasses of perspective.

You make thousands of choices every day. Make the little ones count, and think about the ones that affect your perspective.

*tries to think of a good signing off phrase*

. . .

*will work on it*

Blink

When I was younger, I used to have nights where I would literally blink, and somehow it would be the next day.

Those nights were weird because I’d either be super refreshed with absolutely no reason (which was nice because then I could bounce outta bed and get going), or I’d be exhausted because it felt like I didn’t get any sleep at all. [Side Note: Apparently if you dream, you got REM sleep which means you had a deeper sleep and thus should be more refreshed. I would argue that I’m an exception to that rule. . .]

Needless to say- Those kind of nights really make one think about how she’s blinking her life away.

This past weekend’s been amazing. An “old friend” came to visit me from out of state. Even though I hadn’t seen her in well over 4 years, we struck up conversation immediately and only paused when we needed to breathe (which I’ve learned from experience is a generally good practice to indulge in) or sleep (also an underrated practice). I shan’t go on a glowing rant about it, but suffice to say- It. Was. EPIC.

However, I noticed that it went awfully fast. Sure, it may have seemed slow at times (when you’re on the third hour of sorting out the Dutch Blitz cards you start to wonder why you’ve lost feeling in your wrists and hands), but it on a whole went fast.

Same thing with summer, honestly. I had my fair share of flopping around and informing the general household of my intense case of boredom, and I had a great time doing not-school. Needless to say, it’s passed fairly fast. I mean. Just look at the date! *still hasn’t changed the calendar from July to August, but y’know*

How much of that time was intentional time spent with people you love or doing things you love? How much of this summer are you gonna remember?

Forget summer- How much of your life are you gonna remember? How much are you gonna want to remember?

Sure, maybe you don’t wanna be stuck with your little sibling in the back of the car on a roadtrip across the country. But like it or not you are STUCK in the back seat. So you can either A) Steel your teeth and nerves and force yourself to survive (may the odds be ever in your favour) or B) Resign yourself, have a good attitude, and take the opportunity for sibling bonding (because school/work/lyfe is around the corner, and Free Time is good at hiding).

Basically- If you gotta go through something, why go in with a mentality of “just surviving”, when you know deep down that you can thrive if you just give yourself permission?

You’re stronger than you think.

Don’t let Lyfe pass with a blink of the eye, when you can at least control the memories you can take from it. Memories are like a mental photograph, but something deeper than a simple selfie.

I assure you I had planned for this to be a cohesive and coherent post, but alas. My brain did not attend the meeting where said adjectives were decided on and set in motion.

Carpe diem.

*wanders away*

Start Somewhere

[DISCLAIMER: I am by no means an expert on VOM, and I certainly have not done extensive research on any of the founders. Anything said in this post is what I’ve picked up and learned along the way, and I apologise for any misinformation, I assure you it’s not intentional. If you want to find out more about Voice of the Martyrs, you can check out their website: https://www.persecution.com/]

In my quiet time devotional this morning (Extreme Devotion, by the Voice of the Martyrs; hands down my favourite devotional of all time), I read about the founders of Voice of the Martys.

They lived in the communist country of Romania, soon after it was taken over by the USSR in the mid 1900s. Obviously, they’d been told very strongly to not talk out against the communist government. The couple, however, felt that God was calling them to at least tell the stories of those in persecution.

Now you might be thinking- Great, so they started The Voice of the Martyrs and told everyone about it, the end. Oh, if only it was that easy.

Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand had both sent many many years in prison for their underground ministry. Sabina was even thrown in a work prison for women, where she was forced to carry and move heavy stones in the cold and rainy weather. Even when both were eventually released, they lived with the knowledge that they could easily be taken back to the dark centre of the communist nation.

So yeah. Not as easy a decision as it might look.

Nevertheless, the Wurmbrands refused to let the Enemy win. They refused to succumb to the overwhelming amount of “what if”s and doubts. Even though they didn’t know where to start, they took a step in faith and started.

Now, Voice of the Martyrs is a growing ministry, dedicated to serving persecuted Christians and telling their stories to raise awareness. Just because two people refused to listen to doubts and fear.

That’s all great, yeh? But odds are you aren’t currently being physically persecuted for something you believe, so how about something that hits a bit closer to home?

What’s something you’re afraid to start? What’s something you’re uncertain about, making it hard to find a good starting place?

Everything starts somewhere.

That somewhere looks different for you than it would for me, because people are subjective. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one size fits all”, as much as we wish there was. There isn’t because nothing worth having is easy to get. That would just degrade it’s worth.

For me personally, some things I had to start this past week were- Looking into colleges and scholarships (the future is scary, y’all), being more intentional with family (family is probably the easiest thing to take for granted, at least for me), and redesigning my room (which sounds way harder than it was, I literally just painted and rearranged).

So see? Nothing too extreme. Certainly, none of those things are going to cost me my life to do. But to me personally, they were hard things. Like I said- Subjectivity.

You have a few more weeks left of summer break (unless you work full time, in which case. . .uhm. . .you have a few more weeks left of extreme heat), what are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about those tasks or personal goals lurking in the shadows?

You gotta start somewhere.