Burn, baby burn

So, apparently, if y’all didn’t know… Trees and plants, in general, are more prone to catch on fire when moisture is removed which explains why forest fires are more likely to happen in dry seasons. I thought this was an interesting fact because I never questioned why forest fires happen. Forest fires often occur naturally and it may be a surprise, but forest fires create a lot of benefits for the environment.

Forest fire

I’ve grown up fearing forest fires because everytime I heard about them on the news and it seemed that they were portrayed as a demonic other. They were something to fear. Just the thought of fire can instill fear in us. It’s powerful, uncontainable, and contagious. It latches on to anything that will allow it to burn and to keep it alive and it needs something to burn off of.

Though fire may seem vicious, it brings plenty of benefits to the environment.

1. Fires remove the plants that don’t belong and it burns away all of the undergrowth which allows for more sunlight to come in and reach the forest floor so that plants can grow!

2. The ashes left after a fire can be nutritious for the surrounding soil and vegetation.

3. The burned trees leftover can provide shelter for animals. Who doesn’t like free shelter?

Basically, forest fires clear everything out and serves as a catalyst for regeneration and growth. It brings biodiversity and expands existing wildlife populations. Hoorah!

Recently, I’ve been meditating on a thought presented by my pastor: we need to set the wood so that God can set the fire. I’ve been thinking about what it means in my own life and have been praying for God to set the fire in my life. To be honest, that prayer scares me because fire is intimidating. Oftentimes, we want fire, but we don’t know how to keep it going. Fire has to be fed so that it can grow, similarly to how we feed wood into our bonfires.

I asked God where I could get the wood to set and I would be willing to place it down for Him to light up. He spoke to me clearly and knowing how I love metaphors, he presented the idea of a forest fire. As I mentioned, I don’t think of forest fires fondly, but the Lord revealed to me that the forest is where I would get the wood and he would create a forest fire. I told him that forest fires weren’t good and that I didn’t want a forest fire to happen…but again, I knew I had to be open if I wanted a real fire to happen. The Lord spoke to me so clearly on sacrifices and that I would have to sacrifice a lot if I wanted him to set a fire. See, I realized that my forest is what I have been growing and maintaing in my life. I have different trees, but they’re all my trees I have nurtured and grown. A few of my trees I’ve grown are pride, fear, and time. That’s just to name a few, though. I’ve got a whole forest of trees and bushes.

We want the fire, but we can’t always expect a fire to appear out of no where for us. What the Lord wanted me to do was to be active. I had asked him where I could get the wood for Him to set a fire. And here’s what He told me. He told me that I needed to cut down these trees I had built–what I felt entitled to and lay it before Him to set a fire. Dang, that seriously hurt but I am more than willing to do so. These trees have covered me and given me security but the Lord wants to burn it all down. He wants to set a forest fire in the forests we have built for ourselves. The forests that you are hiding in and allowing undergrowth to takeover and block the rays of sunlight are harmful—we need fire.

Christians often want “to be on fire”, but forget that when they were first on fire for the Lord was when they laid down their lives–their entire forest to the Lord. But over the years or over a few months, they have started building their forests again, never sacrificing anything to the Lord. No longer are they “on fire” for Christ. I have slowly, but surely with God’s grace, have been cutting down my trees so that I can set the wood and He can set the fire. This is the desire of my heart. Just like a forest fire, I want:

1. To remove the plants that don’t belong in my life and kill the undergrowth so that I can really be exposed to sunlight

2. Ashes to give protein to my life through the reminder that I am merely dust and I need God to feed me with protein.

3. My burnt trees to teach those around me and provide shelter through my own experiences so that I can carry their burdens.

I wanted fire, and He revealed to me how to set the wood and where to get the wood. It wouldn’t be a sacrifice if it didn’t hurt and it wouldn’t be a sacrifice if it wasn’t something near and dear to us. If you want “to be on fire” for Christ, begin to ask Him where to get the wood and He’ll set the fire. Whether it be that you want a fire to be set in someone’s life or your own, lay yourself down. I’m learning that it seriously hurts, but after the forest fire is set, it brings new growth and biodiversity in my life. I no longer will am nurturing my trees, but His trees that will bear fruit.

Forest fires are seen and become big news on television, so if a forest fire is active in your life everyone will see. It’ll lead to expansion for His kingdom. Keep feeding the fire, because it laying yourself never ends but be comforted that the Lord is gracious and man, he is merciful, too!

I’ll set the wood and Lord, you set the fire.

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Be still my heart

Be still, my soul

Be still, my heart

Be still, my dreams

Be still, my desires

Be still, my emotions

Be still, my ugly thoughts

Be still, all of my complaints

Be still, my burdens

Be still, and know that He is God. He is Lord and He is sovereign.

I’m learning to thank God and praise Him for every bit of blessing He brings my way. What a God I serve. Life isn’t all fine and dandy but I am thankful for a god who has poured on me blessings after blessings and who is there to go through each trial with me–helping me persevere.

Praise God that He is greater than me and that He is God and I am not.

Winter Warmth

So, it’s January and it feels absolutely wonderful. Especially since I was just in some seven degree weather in Tennessee (didn’t last long). I’m slowly becoming more sensitive to the cold since living in L.A. We are so spoiled here with sunny days and perfect weather almost everyday. I appreciate the west coast since I never really have to store any of my clothing away for the winter or summer. While I was at home, I found this fantastic short sleeve flannel-like shirt at Goodwill for a whoppin’ $2! Yes, my friends, it is quite wearable. I like its boxy and masculine shape and the option to dress it up or dress it down. My thrifty find makes me feel so gouda.

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 Photos by Andrew Shiah

Thrifted shirt, J.Crew Factory cords (on sale), Anthropologie shoes, Michael Kors leather jacket, Dillard’s necklace

NYE Eve

This morning my family and I had our traditional New Year’s Eve pancake breakfast at one of my favorite breakfast spots in Nashville–Pancake Pantry! I would show you a photo of our food, but we were so hungry that we scarfed it down within seconds. But you can trust me that it was indeed delicious. Anyways, today was a new kind of cold that hadn’t hit yet and the line for Pancake Pantry wrapped around the building so I was thankful for this lovely trench coat. Bundle, bundle, bundle!

Well, our breakfast was on New Year’s Eve Eve, but I’m looking forward to New Year’s Eve to get all dolled up celebrating a fantastic year! YEE! What are your plans for New Year’s?

IMG_0752 copy IMG_0746 copy IMG_0733 copy IMG_0745 copy IMG_0744 copyAnthropologie trench coat, Urban Outfitters overall dress, Free People thermal (similar here), Target tights, Free People beanie, Frye boots

 

Sweater Weather

Christmas was quite the joyous time. Actually, it was extremely relaxing and I got to spend time with the people I care about the most. Since it wasn’t a white Christmas, I thought I’d wear a fuzzy white sweater with a white button up that I got for Christmas to make up for the snow. It sure was sweater weather.

During Christmas, I try to remind myself the purpose and meaning of Christmas and all I kept coming back to was the idea of selflessness. I’ll be honest, it’s easy for me to think about my needs and my wants, but Jesus came down to seek our needs and our wants. He was the perfect and ultimate example of selflessness and we are reminded to strive to be humble and selfless just like our God. Praise Immanuel who came to be nothing!

My friend, Leslie took these shots whilst I felt awkward. Oops.


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LC sweater (similar here), Abercrombie & Fitch top, Target skirt, Anthropologie boots

Gettin’ Corky

For winter break, I made sure to make a list of things I wanted to do but never have the time to do at school. Well, here is one of my first projects, aside from the juicing adventure, that I found online and went for it! It was pretty simple, but it did take a lot of time. Every stitch was made with tender loving care. This is an easy gift craft because who doesn’t need a case for their treasured laptop? And it’s super cute! This one is a bit rough since I made it in the wee hours without a ruler and I got a little bit impatient, but the next batch I’ll make will be much better.

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(DIY found here)

Get Juiced

Well, I’m juiced. There seems to be a recent trend of fresh juices and luckily I found a brand new juicer tucked away in one of our kitchen cabinets. Yes! Finally, I can make affordable juice and go on my own juice cleanse if I wanted to. Eventually, I’ll get there. For now, I’m exploring different recipes and I just wanted to share one of my favorites if you’re easing into the green side of juicing. Seriously, juicing is so easy and fun.

Tarte Ginger // 2 apples, 1/4 pineapple, 1 lime, 1/2 cucumber, 1/2” ginger root

Medley // 2 apples, 1/4 pinapple, 1 lime, 1 cucumber, 1/4” ginger root, 3 stalks of celery, 6” carrot

I hope you enjoy and I’m juiced to share more of what brings me joy!

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On the Rocks

In this post I want to feature a necklace that I absolutely adore and, coincidentally, seems to be appropriate for what I’ve been learning. I was wondering what I should name this post and thought I would play off of my necklace which is made of purple stones, much like amethyst. Well, we are talking about stones and rocks.

Now, this may be reading too much into stones and rocks, but I like to overanalyze things sometimes (only sometimes). I’m at home for winter break an empty schedule, unlike my school schedule. It’s truly a blessing to be able to come home and relax, but am I relaxing right? I think there is a right way to relax and a wrong way to relax. Relaxing doesn’t mean you sleep for hours on end and stay up as late as you want (which I’m guilty of) and do literally nothing. Yes, from time to time, do nothing, but what I’m saying is that there still has to be some sort of structure and a sense of direction. I want to move forward in my times of relaxation and not remain idle. When you relax, you don’t just throw Jesus off your schedule or your radar because you don’t want to think about anything. We, and myself included, need to remember that the most peaceful place is with Jesus and in His presence. He isn’t there to constantly pick out your flaws and tell you to work on them, but He is there to just be with you. . . to relax with you. So many times I’m standing on the wrong rock–my rock. When it isn’t strong enough or I’m not comfortable, I chisel at my rock until it’s smooth like a stone. Now all I have is a slippery stone that I can’t even stand on and all I do is fall. Am I relying on my own mere stone or The Rock?

So many times, I forget that I am standing on the firm rock of Christ and nothing can move that. In a season of changes (college years), I am relying on my rock to keep me at peace and at home. And when I come home, I am also coming home to Him to find my rest and the most satisfying relaxation I could ever need. Take advantage of your free time to grow near to Him and be with Him because He absolutely adores us. Don’t wish away the break because you want to be back with friends or your significant other because I know it’s already hard enough to place Christ at the top as a college student. Our rock is worthy.


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Knee Socks

I like to dress to the weather and anytime I get ready, I check the weather and dress accordingly, which I’m sure everyone does. Since it wasn’t very cold again, I decided to whip out some knee socks and layer to make up for any cold to come! Today was an extremely exciting and productive day for Christmas shopping since there are such great deals at the outlet mall. I highly recommend last minute Christmas shopping so that you can snag the deals of the season!

Also, I’m featuring the sweetest and most stylish mommy you’ll ever meet. She’s also the best person to shop with!

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IMG_0607Target hat, Love fire denim dress, Chelsea & Violet cardigan, Francesca’s necklace, Anthropologie boots, elisha c. bracelet, vintage Movado and Seiko watches

Home for the Holidays

Well, I’m home in Tennessee for the holidays and I couldn’t be more thankful for a better place to be! It’s pretty chilly here compared to the warm LA weather, but I’m not complanin’ (okay, maybe a little bit), but it feels most like Christmas when it’s cold. Luckily, it wasn’t too chilly with the sun out so I opted for a mid-length shirt and my favorite puffy vest. I leave the vest at home every year for the winter, but I’m starting to question whether it should join me in sunny LA.




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