Monday, August 31, 2009


I was listening to Sherwood Carthen's series from a few weeks back. Man, does he have some fire. One of my favorite quotes was this:

“Most of the people in this room believe that wicked people will be judged. But we don’t ever think of ourselves as wicked.”-Sherwood Carthen

How true is this?! I love it. It's such a good reminder to stop and take a critical look at ourselves before we start pointing fingers of condemnation. We are absolutely no better than any other person. Just because we maybe haven't committed some of the more "glamorous" sins (why do we glamorize certain sins anyways?), doesn't make us any more righteous than those who have. Because we've certainly done our fair share of damage to ourselves, to others, to Christ, to the body of community which we belong to. It was all of our sins that held Christ to the cross, not everybody else's minus mine.

Ah. What a great suckerpunch of humility.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


It's funny but I've never really been into New Year's Resolutions, but I've always loved New School Year Resolutions, haha.

So with the new school year approaching, I'm considering doing two things. The first, is keeping a Money Diary, a la Ramit Sethi's money diary series. The only thing is, I need to switch it up to make it continually interesting to write/read for a longer period of time than just a week. This idea needs a little more fine tuning.

The second idea is to take a picture of my outfit every day. But my outfits can sometimes fail to inspire even me, or I'll throw on a tee shirt and jeans before rushing to class and therefore, have a blah outfit. Maybe I'll take a picture of someone's outfit each day, a la The Sartorialist although mine will be a lot less beautifully photographed haha. At the same time, I like the idea of a chronological time line of outfits, styles, and trends that I am into.

If I do either (or both), I will make separate blogs. If I choose to do just one, I may stick with this blog. I'll make a post about it when I do decide.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Working retail has given me not just work experience, but a self-realization of the fact that I have a sharp intuition for understanding consumers and their spending habits. It took close to a month, but I finally understood who our target demographic was (middle age to elderly couples with young kids or grandkids) and how they viewed their money.

Most customers come in to browse, and end up finding stuff for the whole family. It seems like no expense is spared for their kids/grandkids. Clothing is an especially large area of consumption. The bookshop's selection of apparel for the entire family is pretty smart. Graphic design is also a huge factor here-I know I may not be able to design a shirt, but I can always tell if a shirt is going to be a big seller. I also have a good eye for arranging displays.

Part of me feels like with my inclination towards understanding the customer and not just the product (in fact, I feel like I barely know any of the 97812983412 bazillion products we carry, other than the clothing), is affirming of my current Business major, haha. But I wonder if I would still have such a thorough understanding of what sells well here and why, if I wasn't out on the floor every day. If I eventually worked for a company doing marketing or budgeting, would I have such a keen grasp on what works and what doesn't? I feel like I am sort of destined to become an entrepreneur, lol.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I saw these shoes in downtown Santa Cruz. I want them!

They're called the "Peony" by Roxy. Would look so right with a medium wash pair of bootcuts and a drapey top.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Ungh. So much for budgeting. I definitely went over my budget by $120 ish. While I am bummed that I didn't stick to this month's budget, I am still satisfied with my purchases. I did a little back to school shopping. It's a bummer when you start back to school shopping for yourself, as opposed to those good ol' days when your mom took you back to school shopping-and paid for everything, too!

I still haven't discovered the "trick" per se, to completely sticking to my budget. I've followed it really well lately, up until yesterday. I feel guilty for not maintaining it, and yet if I'm satisfied with my purchases, if I know that it's going to last me for a while, doesn't that qualify as a good purchase? Or am I just justifying my spending? I think the part that gets me is knowing that I'm already over budget, so going over a few more dollars won't hurt. This, my friends, is dangerous thinking. How do you stick to a budget when you know you're already over the edge?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I don't believe there is anything inherently wrong with having money or liking expensive things.

I feel it's so interesting how in different social settings and different groups of friends, "keeping up with the Joneses" looks so different. This summer, I've been around people who are making less than $30,000 a year. They are very aware of prices, and I have found myself enjoying shopping with them, which usually means thrifting. However, whenever I want to stop by Urban Outfitters or another retailer store, I've noticed that my friends feel uncomfortable being in such stores, and don't even bother looking around. I also feel incredibly self conscious and rather judged if I do make a purchase at retail price. While I am not against buying used clothing, sometimes I am just not in the mood to sift through so many things to find treasures.

In contrast, my friends from back home (I went to a private school) are used to buying things at different price points. Everything is pretty much Macy's, Nordstrom, or higher end boutiques. It is not unusual for us to spend $50-$100 on an article of clothing.

All that to say, do you find yourself more inclined to spend when you're with wealthy friends than with middle-class friends? If so, do you feel out of your element financially-wise when you do hang out with them? How do you maintain your budget while still enjoying going out with people of a higher wealth level than you?

I guess it comes down to whom we're buying our stuff for. Ourselves? Or others? Because I enjoy designer clothes, but I was recently talking with a friend who pointed out that sometimes I give off the rich-kid-haven't-worked-a-day-in-her-life type of vibe, which is SO far from the truth! But apparently, because of my passion for style and clothing, I somehow give off that impression, which makes me kinda sad. So where's the balance? I enjoy clothing, but I don't buy it to show others I can afford it. Unfortunately, that's what people will inevitably infer. But if I let their opinions affect my purchasing habits, I will ultimately be buying clothes to be more sensitive to others, so I'm still buying FOR others if that makes sense.

Monday, August 24, 2009


"I'm not obligated to be holy I was created to be holy, when I am not living in holiness I am living in loneliness, be holy & u will be happy."-Jaeson Ma


Who knew that Twitter posts could be so thought-provoking? I especially love the line "when I am not living in holiness, I am living in loneliness." You know why that's true? Because when we are in holiness, we are united with our Creator. When we choose to turn our backs and walk away from the very Giver of life Himself, we walk into sin, and God cannot follow us into sin.

And yet the curious part is that even if we've walked 1,000 miles away from Him, whenever we decide to give up our brokenness, to submit once again to the furious love of our Abba Father, we find that He is closer than a step away, waiting to reach in and banish the darkness with His holiness and light.

It's kind of like sitting in a dark closet with the light off, scared of all the monsters that lurk about. When you ask Him for help, He turns on the light and you can see every facet of your life so much clearly.

So, here's to light switches.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

creepy or cool?

I can't decide. I got an email from Etsy with this week's finds. This ring stood out to me. It's a human molar set in an 18k gold Victorian inspired ring. What do you think?

It's something I would expect to read about in Harry Potter or something. I kinda like the mysterious vibe, but it also gives me the heebie jeebies. Either way, it's inspiring as heck. Love the vintage feel and unorthodox "stone." Makes me think of this season's edgy and lace trends.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


God wastes nothing.

I read Rob Bell's new book, Drops Like Stars, and in it, he talks about feeling discouraged looking back at his life because of how wasteful he's been with it. When those feelings occur, his spiritual mentor points to a sign on his wall that says, "God wastes nothing."

So profound. And pretty close to home. I just can't shake the feeling that I'm wasting my life here. I certainly feel like this summer has been one extravagant waste. But changing the emphasis from my perspective to God's, I know there has to be more. There has to be a reason. While I can't see how my straightening of the bookstore is affecting the kingdom of God, He can. And I guess I should know by now to trust His eyesight, Him being omniscient and all, but walking by faith is so much more difficult when I'm actually forced to trust His plan.

Anyways. Here's a verse God gave me. "So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless."-1 Cor 15:58

Friday, August 21, 2009


For all my grandeur in my previous post about blogging daily, I totally forgot about my renewed commitment until someone mentioned blogging. Thus, I am quite dubious that I will remember to blog every day.

I am also extremely doubtful of my ability to last for 17 days virtually alone. I feel like my mindset is turning into that of a survivor-to simply get through the next 2 1/2 weeks, instead of enjoying that time. But we weren't meant to just exist; we were meant to thrive, full of meaning and hope and passion and life.

In a moment of sincere frankness, I think I just feel abandoned. This summer has been quite the challenge, and it would be a lie to say that God turned His back on me, but I definitely feel alone and forgotten. Don't get me wrong, God is faithful and has provided for me, but I've had some pretty low lows here. A couple days ago, two dear friends of mine visited, and I felt like the old me, the real me, was back. I haven't laughed that much all summer. I felt vibrant, filled, loved, and cared for. And happy. And now that they're gone, it is even more miserable knowing that I'm being forced back into the shadow version of myself.

This makes me begin to question myself, and even wrestle with some feelings of guiltiness. Am I depending too heavily on people to feel fulfilled? Shouldn't God be all that I need? If I'm drinking straight from the source, where is my joy? But then I feel confident that as we draw closer to God, we also find ourselves craving community more. And now I just feel confused, wondering if my desire for community is healthy or pointing towards a discrepancy in my spiritual life.

Overall, I think it's safe to say my overarching question is this: How in the world am I going to get through these next 17 days?

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I just reread the two blog entries I've posted. Referring to my new year, new blog post, you can definitely tell I did not stick with my hopeful plan of keeping a regular blog. Now that I have so much free time on my hands, I'm going to renew my commitment to blogging. I'm aiming for a post a day.

Lately I've been really interested in finance. Good thing I'm a business major, hah. I've been reading a bunch of personal finance books and blogs, and I have been spending the bulk of my time working out a budget and writing out my goals. Look at me being all responsible! Haha. I'm currently working at an extremely low paying job (try $175 flat wage for 50 hours of work per week) and I feel so frustrated that I have basically no money to use for my lofty saving and investment aspirations. Weighing the pros and cons of getting a job this school year, I am again frustrated and impatient by the fact that I have basically zero time to spend working. Being a full time student and involved with two ministries definitely sucks up available time. Include the hour quiet time I am going to try to make a priority every day, and I feel like I have no time leftover for anything else.

On a different note, I am loving the irony of this blog next to my last one, transcendentalist. Isn't it funny that I can be such a free spirit yet so tied down to reality? It must be part of my INFJ personality.

Unsure if anyone even bothers reading my blog at all, but if so, what's been on your mind lately?