Category Archives: Thoughts on Life

The Cross is Offensive?

So I discovered a article regarding the 9/11 Memorial. It is almost finished and what an awesome thing for the country (and the world to see). My best friend Gabby and I had the opportunity to see the construction site of the memorial and see the museum dedicated to the day that shook our country and the world.

The memorial is to be opened on the 10 year anniversary of the attack. This year. And the article really took me back…


The article talks about atheist groups wanting to get rid of a cross placed on the site. The cross isn’t just a built cross, but a cross formed naturally from the beams and flames of the World Trade Center.

The group wants it to be taken down due to ‘equality’ purposes. But wait… isn’t taking the cross down disrupting OUR (Meaning Christians) right to equality. Us taking that cross down demonstrates that your beliefs take precedence over ours. That is not equality.

Now… To make one thing clear. I am by no means saying that MY religion is more important than any other and I understand where the Atheists are coming from. However, I would like to say that our country is a Christian Based country and I don’t think the Atheists are being quite understanding enough.

The symbol the represents Christianity represents the power of prayer and has comforted millions of people where no hope seemed to be found.

I do not think that this cross was put here to represent all victims of 9/11. I rather think that it was placed there for comfort to those who are Christians and the victims who were Christians.

The whole religion topic has become overly-sensitive. What is so wrong about giving hope and comfort to millions of people?

The cross is a universal symbol. Yes. It does represent Christianity. However, in this particular circumstance, I think it rather represents hope, comfort, and love for those lost.

God Bless those victims. I hope our country can truly become tolerant of all religions and cultures.



Break the Pattern of Infidelity

Since I am such a wonderful news intern at the radio station, I was browsing CNN for some interesting Headlines and News when I came across an interesting title: “Lets Hear about fidelity for a change.” 

Can I please get an “AMEN!” to that?

Needless to say I had to read it.

In the article, Laura Sessions Stepp talks about the issue (which really shouldn’t be an issue) of monogamy. Monogamy is pretty much faithfulness to your partner. Her article was in response to another CNN blogger who condoned polygamy with the reasons of “sexual and emotional boredom.”


As was so taken-aback by this. What is society coming to? Polygamy is NOT okay!!!! Last I checked, being in a relationship means to be faithful to that person. Polygamy (whether it is consented or not) is an insult. Are you SO bored with a person (emotional or sexual) that you need to find someone else? WOW.

In the article, it talks about how people are getting married later and later about 27 years old and most young couples have reported that they have been “unfaithful” to their partners at one time or the other just so they ‘could tell if they were with the right person.’

1. Your relationship should not be dependent on sex.

2. You should be with a person because it feels right and you KNOW.

3. The solution is NOT to go and sleep with someone else to solve the problem.

I really would like to acknowledge Stepp for her article (which there is a link below) to give people hope that someone out there is tired of seeing failing relationships on TV, movies, and within celebrities. Negative relationship news draws in media and gossip columns like bees to honey. But here is the thing…

We are letting them.

Most people can’t wait to see a failing of marriage or see the latest pre-nup come into the public eye. Why? Because, I think that deep down inside, we all want to see that OUR relationship is better than other peoples. It shouldn’t be that way. But we are human and want to feel good about ourselves.

God wants our relationship to be so special. There is a reason that sex is meant for marriage. Its sharing a piece of yourself with someone else. ONLY ONE PERSON. How beautiful and special is that? If you put other people (cheating, polygamy, partners, whatever) into your relationship, its not so special anymore… You are just another person in their lives instead of that ‘one true love’ that, I swear, every girl wants (Disney Style).

Lets stand up with Stepp. I want to see more fidelity. A happy couple is more exciting than a failing couple. A couple that really proves the plan that God has for a couple: happiness and love for life. WITH ONE PERSON.

Below is the link for her article.

Consistency with Relationships


adjective /kənˈsistənt/

  • (of a person, behavior, or process) Unchanging in achievement or effect over a period of time
    • – manufacturing processes require a consistent approach
  • Compatible or in agreement with something
    • – the injuries are consistent with falling from a great height
  • (of an argument or set of ideas) Not containing any logical contradictions
    • – a consistent explanation

Consistency: the act of being consistent.

Not only is this important in our everyday lives: work, relationships, our routine, etc. It is essential to our spiritual life: our relationship with Christ.

But why is it so difficult to be consistent? To pray everyday, every hour. To engage in his word, To engrave it on our hearts. To really strive to stay in a relationship with him.

The strange thing to think about is that our relationship with Christ is much like any other relationship: friendships, family, romance. You need to spend time together, talk to eachother, share your hearts, and have fun. But the real question is why is it so difficult to be consistent in this relationship in comparison to others?

My family is consistent within our relationship.

Gabby is my best friend and I consistently talk and spend time with her.

I love Mat and our relationship depends on spending time together consistently.

Maybe its because sometimes having a relationship with Christ is almost intimidating. He knows everything about you, he knows everything on your heart, and he knows what you really think about him and others. I think that many times its hard to take that time to be with God because we think that we aren’t worthy. That we will be judged. WRONG.

Maybe its because this relationship seems effortless. We say to ourselves that “God already knows everything about me, so why should I have to spend time with him? He already knows everything. There isn’t anything to catch up on.” WRONG

Maybe its because we are just plain lazy and create the illusion that we simply don’t have time to engage in this relationship. WRONG.

God wants to be in your life. He wants you to share your heart with him. Yeah, he may already know, but that does not change his desire to  know. Its like a best friend relationship. My best friend Gabby and I know EVERYTHING about eachother. Its actually ridiculous at times and somehow, I always have a feeling I know what is going on. However, that does NOT mean that I don’t want to hear her life, and her heart, from her. I may know everything about her, but hearing how she feels and not just assuming is what a relationship is about. It is consistency.

Could you imagine if I was “too lazy” to hang out with my boyfriend Mat? Or if I was scared to talk to Gabby because I would be judged? That makes NO sense. So why should our relationship with Christ be any different.

I am SO inconsistent with God and I want to change that. So… lets revamp the definition of consistent for us.


Consistency in Christ.

adjective /kənˈsistənt/

  • (of a person, behavior, or process) Unchanging over a period of time
    • – maintaining our relationship with Christ requires consistent hang time.
  • Compatible or in agreement with something
    • – the healthiness of our relationships are consistent with spending time with Christ daily.
  • (of an argument or set of ideas) Not containing any logical contradictions
    • – a consistent and true relationship.

Let this be our prayer.


turning vicious…

Because I have an internship at a radio station and here advertisements constantly, I have noticed lately how advertising is evolving and changing. However, I believe its going downhill.

We are constantly bombarded with advertisements for this and that. And the options we have to choose from seem to just keep growing. Meaning more competition for everyone. So how do you get consumers to buy YOUR product over the other one?

Advertisements have turned into slander and criticism of other companies, rather than the benefits of their own. Its almost like a campaign: splattering the beliefs, looks, or principals of the other candidate for everyone to see.

I don’t really know why this bothers me so, but I think that it gives a subtle glimpse into where society is going. Can’t a company just sell its product by its own benefits and advantages? Apparently not. Just to take a look at some of the ways products are slashing their competition.

  • Verizon vs. AT&T: I went to update my phone the other day and the store is strewn with banners explaining how they are better because AT&T doesn’t have 4G while they do.
  • Tampons: I was reading in a magazine and one tampon company made a bash against KotexU by saying that “Our tampons don’t need to be in a black box in order to work.” However, KotexU isn’t innocent either. They criticize other companies for their frilly wrapping, or commercials.
  • DirecTV vs. Dish Network: DirecTV attacks dish network for their pricing and their “dishonesty” of channel availability in comparison to their own company.
Those are just a few examples of this vicious cycle of advertising. Restaurants, stores, clothing stores, grocery stores, and many more companies participate in the diminishing of other companies.
To put it simply, companies are acting like middleschool Girls: Tearing others down in order to make themselves look better. Stop the cycle. Focus on your own product.
You are giving subconscious permission for people to use this strategy to promote themselves. I would rather not relive the middle school years again by other women competing for my boyfriend by telling him all the things that are wrong with me. Or my siblings striving for my mom’s attention by saying all the things I broke or lied about.
We see at least 247 advertisements a day. And when probably more than half of those is negative, that already causes us to have a negative opinion on multiple products. Stop the trend, little girls. Stop the vicious, and get the confidence.

From Dark to Light

Dear Lord,

Calm the sea in my heart. Help me to walk upon the ocean of my own drowning doubts. Help me to take the step off the boat knowing that you will save me.

I may be blind to everything except the waves, but you will help me to see you through the pounding rain. I don’t know how you will save me, or why you ask me to step onto the sea. But, I just do as you say and hope you’ll reach out to me.

I step and you are straight in my vision. My eyes dart to the waves and my heart crashes with them. My feet falter on the water and begin to descend into the icy water. I feel lost.

But your light overcomes the darkness, and as my head goes under, I see your rippling light. The water becomes hot, warm, full of hope of life instead of cold and dread. You pull me out of my drowning, because you have the power to change any situation from frigid to warm, from dark to light.

“If only you focused on me, loved one,” you say, “you would not have began to sink.”

“I have learned, my God,” I respond, “I will keep my eyes on you, even if I don’t know how to reach you…”

God, with you, all things are possible. I will step into the sea before you part it, knowing that you will create a path. You are my dry land, my miracle.


Your Daughter

Burning World

So you know how when one thing goes wrong, everything starts to come crashing down at once? I am have experienced it more than once… more than twice… actually I can’t even count the amount of times that one thing goes wrong and then the entire world starts to burn.

So you have this burning world and all you can see are the flames.

Wow… am I a writer for a heavy metal band? Geeze… No… So lets see where that leads us…

When things catch on fire, are you look at are the flames, not what is underneath, or around it. There is a reason we say consumed by flames… but when things are burning we forget to see the before and after… and even during of the thing being consumed, and seemingly destroyed, by the inferno.

Before everything is fine, but during the flames its all that we see. We can’t see hope or light. All we feel is a burning hell. and we just wait for the fire to end… to have relief. And that’s what the challenge is. To focus on the after… suffering is suffering. But FROM it comes new growth.

After a forest burns, new life starts. We are like a forest. So a quote from one of my favorite movies, A Walk to Remember:

“Without suffering, there would be no compassion.”

After Jaime says this, Landon continues to try and contradict her by saying

“Yeah well tell that to the ones who suffer.”

Here is the thing, LANDON… everyone suffers. Despite if you have had a “hard life” or not. We have pain. But this is not the point, the point is that from our suffering, we gain compassion for others that are suffering. We experience first hand the Sins and cruelties of the world so we can reach out to others from our scars from the flames, to the ones that are burning now.  Christ did this, he went through all that we did. He endured the flames and he reached out to all of us who are burning and he encourages us to do that now.

So we may only see flames… and we may only feel the fire… but we need to focus on the after. That Christ works in weird ways. I KNOW this. From the worst time in my entire life, I gained my best friend in the entire world. Did I see than then? NO… But because of this, I know to look past the flames… to endure the fire… the heat. And Christ will soothe my burns, and give me the compassion that he had on me.

I know my thoughts are scattered… even as I type… But all i know is what I feel, and what I feel is what I write.


My thoughts are going to disappear RIGHT NOW!…

So, ironically, here I am again writing a blog while I should be studying for my last exam tomorrow.  But good news! i did well on all my other exams. Its been a long week, friends. But only one more to go! Then a fabulous weekend without trips or plans. Ahhhhh…:) Sometimes, I feel like we all just need a little break from life. Like now- who really wants to study? No one… But who really wants to fail? AH HA! No one. Now there’s the rub (Hamlet anyone?). However…

I have this problem that when I sit down and say to myself “Okay, Juni, here we go. Non stop studying. You are going to be productive today and get an A on this test,” I always find something at that particular moment that is so much more important this it delays my studying for 20 minutes to even hours.

For example, today I looked at dresses for my brothers upcoming wedding. Do I need a dress for it? Yes. But do I need to look for it right now when the wedding is in September? Probably not.

Another example: Mat text me and asked to tell him a funny joke. So of course I needed to research online for 20 minutes to find the best joke, while eventually just going with one I already knew.

Another? Of course! I booked my trips to Italy and Portugal. Okay sure. Productive and AWESOME. I can’t wait to go! But did I really need to do it during prime study time? No.  Claiming that “we need to get these tickets right now before prices go up!”… Yep. I said it. Would the prices really go up that much tomorrow? No.

Yet another example: This blog! Do I need to be writing this RIGHT now? No. Your thoughts are gonna be there in the morning, Juni. NO THEY WON’T! What if they disappear after THIS second?! Okay, Miss Dramatic.

Last but not least: I had to ask everyone what is on the test that they had in order to ‘contribute’ to my studying topics.  Seems productive right? Actually no. The test I’m talking about, although its the same class, is different in order to avoid cheating. Smart on the teachers part. So here I was, wasting my time away trying to find some sort of thing to grasp onto. A hope that SOMEONE would give me the help I need or the guidance to begin studying.

And here begins my thoughtful shpeel (shpiel? Schpeil?…)…

I feel that so many times in our lives we are trying so often to find something to put in the place of our ‘studying’. In this case, my studying is God. At all points in my life, there is always God as this ultimate goal. In my decisions, my thoughts, my heart, my desires. However, I always find that stupid thing that I really don’t need to do that gets in the way of my ultimate goal.

Like studying results in achievement in classes, God results in the achievement in life. I’m not saying that God is gonna give me untold riches and a nice house and treasure and fame. But he will give me peace, tranquility, contentment, hope. Doesn’t that sound a rediculous amount better than a wedding dress, tickets to italy, or a stupid joke? Absolutely.

However, the connection I am trying to make here is to the last distraction I was giving into. I was asking for help in all the wrong places when I know that it would fall short. I knew they couldn’t help me with what was on the test, yet I continued to ask. Some tried, but I knew all would fail. The tests were different. They wanted to help but couldn’t. So there I was, Just hoping for a comfort somewhere that someone knew the answers to the test. Or even where to begin for that matter.

We do this with our lives all the time. We always look to someone [or something] in hopes that they have the ‘answers to the test’ whether we know that they don’t have them or not. We want to find something tangible to help us. Something seen. But its going to fall short. I knew that. God HAS the answers for my life…

If he wanted to give me the answers to the test, that would be lovely as well…

So why do I keep trying to find the answers in all the wrong places? Or avoid looking for them at all: like the dress for the wedding. Its because I’m human. And thats whats beautiful. God never expects me to go straight to him all the time to ask for the answers. And even though we take the long route everyday, he’s always gonna be waiting. Honestly, I think God laughs at me sometimes as I’m frantically looking around [kind of like hide-n-seek] to find him because he’s RIGHT there. Waiting for me. To give me the answers I’m looking for…

God, “Pssst….Juni!… Number three is ‘B’… and the meaning of life is…”


Studying, Creativity, and España

What I should be doing? Studying. What I am doing? Creating a blog. So midterms are next week and while I should probably be studying for the 4 exams I have that are not in my first language, I decided to take the lower route of procrastination [like I normally do] and create a blog. I don’t know how ‘popular’ this blog will become, whatever that means, but I do hope those who read it enjoy it.

So I’m in Spain [aka: España]. In a little town outside of Madrid until May. You’d think that I’d create a blog before this considering I’ve been here since January 9th… but no. However, reading the blogs of other students in my program, I’ve decided to create one myself and record my experiences, whether anyone chooses to read them or not.

Things are different but I have finally adjusted to the culture of Spain. Unnecessarily late nights, food, late meals, siestas [naps in the middle of the day], language, home life, and the Spanish people.

I live with a host family here in Alcala. Just a mom and a dad but I live really close to campus. They are very giving with patient hearts. You have to be if you are opening up your home to a college student who doesn’t speak the language fluently. The mom, Goyi, is a homemaker and does exactly that. She cooks me 3 meals a day. She sews. She cleans. She does laundry. While I think what a nightmare that would be for my future, I can tell she enjoys it and wouldn’t change a thing. The dad, Emilio, is difficult to understand but enjoys talking with Goyi and I about politics and especially about the rules of retirement in the U.S. because he is retired. They speak absolutely NO English, so it has really forced me to learn and communicate in spanish.

Mis padres let me take a photo of them right before they went out on their Valentines Date.

The language has been the most challenging part. But I have learned so much. In the beginning, I really doubted my ability to continue the whole excursion but now I feel comfortable in getting around and using the language. I am still have much to learn but I feel that we get better with application.

The people in our group are amazing, and I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to meet them and that we can all experience the journey together. School trips make getting to know each other easier and share the experience together.  We all go to the Universidad de Alcala in a branch called ‘Instituto Franklin’. And I am sure that almost every one loves it. I feel like I’ve found my niche in the group and that we all get along without a problem

Instituto Franklin students in Segovia.

Instituto Franklin students in Toledo.

The most difficult adjustment for me has been spirituality. I am a Christian. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to some here regarding my relationship with God. I’ve come to realize that in th U.S. things are much more accessible to me. I have all of these outlets to connect with God: Younglife, Church, Bible Study, and Chi Alpha. But here, none of those are available to me. Sure, I could go to church, but the constant and exhausting translation occurring in my head from Spanish to English would be more about what they are saying, not how it is interpreted. So… I’ve grown in the Lord individually. I’ve grown in our own relationship rather than in community with other people. Though that is important, I have come to realize that all that matters really is the relationship between the Lord and Me [or us].  However, I have found a great friend here to keep me accountable that I can share my faith with. Her name is Grace [how fitting!]. We pray together [in both languages] and talk about our hearts and spiritual lives. We’ve bonded on a spiritual level which has been SO refreshing. But knowing that God has provided her to me for that particular reason is amazing and we have both come to realize how amazing God is together. He knows ALL languages. HOW AWESOME. When we went to Madrid, we saw some people worshiping in Spanish and [to say the least] we were both blown away and really moved. A picture of it is below.

Grace y Yo- Mejor Amigas.

Worshiping God in Spanish in Madrid. God understands all languages.

To say the very least, Spain has been the time of my life with memories I’ll never forget. I’ve also been to Paris, France and Fredrikstad, Norway since I’ve been in Europe. In Spain, I’ve been to Granada, Segovia, Salamanca, Toledo, and Madrid. Four months, so little time.

Until next time.