Wednesday, April 23, 2014

With graduation approaching quickly, I’ve been asking God more urgently what life will look like post-college. How will he use me? How can I worship Him through my passion for work? ...That’s a glimpse of what my prayers have sounded like for the last year.

As I prayed, a certain verse kept coming back to me — Matthew 9:35 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless.” This is a verse God laid on my heart freshman year, and I have held onto it for years as a reminder that my God is a compassionate God, who longs for intimacy and reconciliation with His children. It’s a verse He wrote all over my heart — and He used the same verse to answer my prayers in this season. To illustrate what my life, and my ministry, should look like from now on. It was an intimate answer to my prayers.

For me personally, I believe a part of it is to be a light in the marketplace; to go to the crowd and to show compassion. To rub shoulders and work alongside non-believers. To pour healing into those nooks and crannies of daily life. Ultimately, to bring lost souls home.

During that same time, I was presented the opportunity to go with CFC, my church on campus, to Japan for a summer missions trip. I'll be honest: I was not interested, whatsoever. Because honestly? I never had a heart for global missions... Don't get me wrong, I wanted to — I wanted to hand God a blank canvas and tell him to do big, big, big things with my life. I wanted to experience beauty for ashes and I wanted him to use these hands and feet of mine to expand His kingdom. I wanted to say the sky is the limit—I will follow him to places where my faith is without borders. But, it was a lot harder than I thought it was. Overseas missions was terrifying because down to the core, I knew I couldn't do it alone. I must depend on God. 

So, I began praying... Asking God if this was the next step. I wanted this decision to be planted by God and carried through by God. I didn't just want to take a step because it was a good thing to do or because a lot of people were doing it. I wanted to be wholly sober throughout the process... which inevitably included a lot of wrestling and fear. Some of my concerns were legitimate (safety, family, job situation) and others were selfish (comfort, shower, pb&jelly sandwiches)... One by one, the concerns slowly dwindled away and all that was left at the table was me, my fear, and Jesus. I began to have different conversations with people, and I realized missions in Japan was very similar to my personal prayers at the time — doing daily life with the people, using your gifts to empower the church... Yes, it is about the lost souls in Japan, but bigger than that it is about developing a heart that beats for the gospel, that beats for His kingdom – in whatever context. I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to say, God, here I am.

Right now, Japan has a Christian population of 1.5%. It’s a society surrounded around idolatry, materialism, and social pressures – and those are just a few of the hindrances to the spread of the Gospel, on top of earthquake and tsunami repercussions. Japan needs compassion, it needs relief, it needs Jesus.

I am going with a team of about 15 other college students, and we will partner with a church in the city of Osaka called J-House. Our main goal is to support the J-House ministry by sharing the gospel and connecting to college students through English teaching, creative arts, and friendship. We will be from June 14th to July 14th. We’ve already begun weekly training which includes prayer meetings, fasting, memory verses; and will begin daily intensive training in mid-May.

My prayer throughout this whole process is not just to train for one summer, but it’s to train for the rest of my life. I’m asking God for a heart that cries for Japan, but also for a heart that cries for lost souls everywhere – in my future workplace, and in my future community.

I'm not going to lie, we haven't even begun intensive training or entered the mission field yet but already it's been tough for me. A majority of the time I lose my conviction and doubt if I should even be going. My parents send me messages daily asking if I can just shorten the trip concerned about safety, and as my friends talk of their summer vacation plans, I feel that major #FOMO going on... It's my last summer before I move to Minneapolis, yet I am choosing to devote two months of it to a missions trip, is it worth it? I ask myself sometimes.. But then there are other days, — rare, but they do occur — when all of these worries and pro/con lists are hushed, and I kneel before the Lord and He whispers radical obedience in my heart. He whispers and it feels right.

And that's kind of where I am right now. Training, praying, fundraising, and trying to hold onto those whispers. I know now more than ever, I am in need of partnership... In need of prayers, in need of support. If you'd like to pray, please keep Japan, the team, the lost souls, and myself in your prayers. :) If you'd like to support in a different way, I encourage you to check out my Etsy shop and consider purchasing a prayer card (or any card)! The funds will go towards the trip and be a reminder to pray for the nation. :)

I'm sorry this post was a lennnngtthyy one but thank you for reading it, and I will be sure to keep you all updated as I walk in foreign territory. :) We're required to keep a journal during this time to record our prayers and thoughts, and I want to try to share some of them here throughout the process to be as open with you all as possible. :)

Have you gone a missions trip before? What are your feelings about missions? I would love to hear your story! 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter time is always a bit craaazy over here. :) Each year, there is a sunrise service at 5 AM, a baptism service at noon, and an extravagant Easter dinner in the evening where all church members are welcome to celebrate and break bread together. This day was a bit more special than usual because one of my small group members got baptized and I was part of the planning team for this year's dinner!

The missions team is responsible for the planning and cooking — which is a lot of work because the event hosts 600+ people. On Saturday from noon to midnight, we cooked food, set up the gymnasium and decorations, and prayed over the next day. It was one crazy weekend with little sleep and nonstop madness. I went to bed Sunday night exhausted with aching feet and sore arms, but with a big grin on my face because it really was such fun to bond with my team members and an honor to serve the church in this capacity! 

- These devotionals carried me through the week: #shereadstruth
- My pastor did a great series on Ephesians regarding Easter: sermon series
- How I spent Easter last year: in greece

The weekend in photos:


Monday, April 14, 2014

The best part of buying homemade goods is the packaging. There's so much thought and personalization behind it, and I really wanted to be intentional about my own packaging as I printed and shipped my first order, today. I knew I wanted to include kraft paper, a handwritten thank you note, and a Japan prayer card within each envelope — and I had to force myself to stop there. I was tempted to purchase customized stamps, stickers, and paper tissue to dress up the packaging, but it all costed a pretty penny. The Target dollar section is a goldmine when you don't want to spend too much. :)

Here is a peek into my workspace:

I'm sorry all of my posts have been on my Etsy shop lately — it seems like that has been the one thing consuming my mind. I'll try to lay off a bit and write more life lately and faith posts, especially with it being passion week and all. :) Thank you for holding tight and I hope you are having a lovely passion week thus far! 

Don't forget to like Coffee & Honeycomb on Facebook! :)


Friday, April 11, 2014

I launched Coffee & Honeycomb Design Shop yesterday and have already made three sales!!! I know that's not a large number to most people, but to me, it meant the world. :) I'm thankful for the positive feedback and encouragement I've received so far! 

A lot of this (this meaning small business, etsy, designing) is still new to me, so I'm figuring things out as I go along... Like where to find inexpensive shipping materials. How to present your products in a presentable way. Including branding items to make the process more unique and personal. Pricing. Just, everything. I'm realizing that more people who want greeting cards and wall art don't want the digital file because it requires more labor for them (printing, cutting). People have been asking for physical items; so I'm trying to adjust to this demand! A few of my listings have switched from digital to physical, and I plan to slowly move everything over to physical soon. 

It's a lot of guess and check. Elise Blaha's old posts on "running a small business" have been tremendously helpful. I've been digging through her old archives to find insights and inspiration, and she has a lot of information from where she orders materials to the branding process. What about you? Are you small business or ersy owner? Any tips you've learned along the way? 

If you hadn't had a chance to check out the etsy shop yet, here are some things you'll find. (: come stop by! 


Don't forget to like us on FACEBOOK & spread the word to all of your friends. :) Thanks!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I don't know about you, but I am jumping up and down for JOY. Pure freaking delight. 

This shop has become my baby in the last few weeks, and I worked my butt off to get it up and running! I would love, love, love it if you took a look around and shared the link with all of your friends. Help me spread this baby — I think you'll like it, too. (:

I initially launched COFFEE & HONEYCOMB DESIGN SHOP because of my love for paper and design, but mostly as a means to fundraise for my upcoming Japan missions trip! There's a set amount each team member is required to fundraise — and that amount is pretty stinking steep. So, this baby of a shop was born. I thought it was a brilliant idea! To take the mission from this blog (gracious words are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones) mixed with my love for digital designs to create work that people could actually buy and support my trip! Once I got started, I dove in and pour all of my heart into it... Let me tell you, it is so, so, so fun. Sigh beans.

ANOTHER PSSSSSST! Coffee & Honeycomb is now on facebook! Click "like" and you'll find all the latest updates on posts, Instagram photos, inspiration, and Etsy listings there in one easy spot! I would love to chat with you there. Who knows, maybe there will be a prize in the near future... :) I promise to inspire and delight the heck out of your news feed, daily.

A BIG, BIG, BIG THANK YOU to all of you guys who show up here with me. You guys keep me inspired and encouraged for days. Without this blog, I never would have discovered my love for design, my love for typography, and such a great support system fueling my work! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Okay, too much talking... HERE IT IS! CLICK, CLICK AWAY:



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I plan on introducing my Etsy shop really, really, soon! (and even making it Facebook official. Mehehe.) I already have 20+ items listed including greeting cards, custom invitations, and typographic prints; and it's given me a better sense of exactly what Coffee & Honeycomb Designs is... What kind of home does the work belong to, what kind of work is it, essentially, what is the brand identity at its core. To be honest, it keeps changing. As my taste and style evolves, what I see this shop to be has been, too. Today I made it a goal of mine to narrow the shop down to four main colors: the color scheme. It was such a fun project, but also a tricky one considering I am one indecisive human being and I have a deep affinity for black and white. I tried to venture out a bit into colors that could create a bigger space to work, but still aligned closely with my minimalist style...

Now, I know the shop isn't up yet, but I wanted to give you guys a sneak peek of what I have been working on and this branding process I am currently in. :) I hope you enjoy and get a bit more excited for the launch — I know I am! Feedback, as always, is welcome. Cheers!



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Big news. Really, really, big news. News that all still excites me to my bones.
You ready?

First of all, I am going to Japan this summer for a one-month long missions trip. (!!!) 
It took weeks of wrestling and long conversations with friends to make the leap, but now that I have, I haven't regretted it yet. (Full story to come.)

Second of all, I am launching my etsy shop, COFFEE & HONEYCOMB DESIGN SHOP. This shop will be full of digital prints, custom invitations, and custom logos! (Link to come.)

Last but not least, I am employed. Did you read that right? I AM EMPLOYED. (: Starting this September, I will be a Marketing Communications Planning Associate at General Mills. A bit long, but doesn't that name just sound GOOD? General Mills was my top prospect because it had such a wide portfolio of brands (including some of my personal favorites) and outstanding work culture — I feel so fortunate and excited to launch my career there!

:) That's it! That's my big news.
So many reasons to be thankful this season. What a wild and rewarding semester it has been. I still can't believe I'm going to be graduating in two months and entering real world...
Can you say #postgradproblems or what?

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground