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Allegra Vieux

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January 29, 2014

The day I lost my dignity

January 29, 2014 | By | 5 Comments

Hello my blogging friends,

Last week, the blogging team was given a challenge. This challenge was to share a moment of vulnerability to enhance reading experience. You’ll have to let me know if this works in the comment section.

Without further adieu, I present

The Day I Lost My Dignity: A story of fear, heartache, and embarrassment.

One time last year, I was feeling a little loopy. I had stayed up all night one Monday attempting to get a project done in the 24 hour lab, one of the feature’s in the library on campus. I had classes that day, so I was awake all day Monday, then all night, then all day Tuesday. It was now hour 34 of being awake when the incident happened.

The sun was setting. It was a beautiful day in April. I drove my car over a hill to see some gentlemen preparing for a fish fry. Among the men in this group, I noticed my friend Stephen Rowell in the distance.

In order to fully understand the story, you have to understand all that this Stephen Rowell. Picture 4 Picture 5 Picture 6You may remember around this time last year, I posted a Vlog featuring an “interview” with Steve. If not, I’ll give you the gist on what kind of guy he is.

Stephen answers to no one. He is his own person. He has looked like he is 35 since his Freshman year and has been mistaken for a parent or professor (as pictured above) on numerous occasions. He was “secretly” in love with me for a good year and I finally had to shoot him straight for him to get the idea. He now is dating an amazing woman of God, and I couldn’t be happier for him!

Stephen isn’t great with schedules. He’s the guy that shows up 10 minutes late to classes regularly but walks in with a Venti Vanilla latte in hand and iPad in arm, greeting anyone and everyone. I wouldn’t call him disruptive, because the professors are usually delighted when he comes in. He’s the guy everyone wants to be around because there’s never any guessing what’s on his mind.

That being said, on this Tuesday late afternoon/evening, I may have had sour feelings toward Mr. Rowell. It may have been because I stayed awake for a meeting with him that he missed. It may have been because he went fishing for this fish fry. He may have had another valid reason for not showing up to said meeting, but none of them mattered. What mattered was how tired I was, and how carefree he was, setting up the grill for the big event of the week.

As my car descended the hill, I stopped when I was level with the crew. I hit my brakes, rolled down my window, and shouted, “STEPHEN!!

Stephen looked at me like a deer in the headlights. He slowly meandered over to my window, leaned down, and I couldn’t shake the look on his face. He looked troubled, concerned and in doubt. I asked how he was doing, and he began talking aimlessly. Very out of character for him. He was looking down into my car and making little to no eye contact. Whatever was troubling him was far bigger than this missed meeting that was bothering me.

A couple days later, I received a few text messages from Stephen. In this series, he said something to the extent of “Allegra, I think we need to clear the air. I’m sorry I embarrassed you when I crapped my pants in front of you the other day. I hope you know I wasn’t feeling well and it doesn’t happen often. I hope you don’t view me differently because this has never happened before.”

I wasn’t embarrassed by this moment of Stephen’s weirdness until THIS MOMENT. If he wouldn’t have texted me, I would have gone on with my life as normal, but instead, I had my most embarrassing moment in Dewey’s Book and Bean, getting a text that my friend Stephen, soiled his linens, right in front of me, on a Tuesday afternoon.

Over and Out!

 

 

Allegra Vieux

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January 22, 2014

A day in the life

January 22, 2014 | By | No Comments

So a lot of my followers have asked, “Allegra, what does your typical day look like?”

So by popular demand, here you go.

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Wake up.

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Go to class.

See friends at lunch.

 

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Back to class.

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NAP.

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Homework.

Leadership Society.

Leadership Society.

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FRIENDS.

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More Friends!!

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Applebee’s.

…. &Repeat.

Allegra Vieux

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January 19, 2014

Make it Like Your Birthday Everyday

January 19, 2014 | By | No Comments

I’d like to start this blog off wishing myself a happy birthday, as it was on Tuesday.And then I’ll wish my birthday twin Will a happy birthday, too.

…And then the same for my bestie Konner whose birthday is today!!

And next but no less important than those above, I’d like to wish my roommate Ashley a happy birthday, because anytime any of her friends have a birthday, she claims it for herself and accepts gifts.

…aaaaaaaaand Finally, I’d like to thank Katy Perry for writing the song “Birthday” which trumps 22 by T-Swift. (go listen)Picture 3

So I turned 22 this week, and it happened to be the first day back to school. This is the first year I’ve been in school for my birthday, to which most would think, that’s a bummer. I’d venture to say quite the opposite. Sure classes started, but the work load isn’t too heavy the first week of school. Everyone is around and hanging out. It has been a week-long party!

This is how it’s gone.

Tuesday morning, I woke up to this sign with a box of donuts and a birthday cup from my roommate Kassidy. She’s so clever! Also, she is officially a high school English teacher in the Independence school district! I’m so proud of her- she got the job and she’s barely started student teaching! When you see her on campus, congratulate her! Also know that she is Miss January in the Athletes of MNU calendar. LOVE HER. IMG_0238

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Then I went to classes and was pleasantly greeted by my friends and professors wishing me a happy birthday! Then after my last first day of class, Konner and I got our nails done at Lovely Nails in Olathe! They are seriously the nicest ever and do such a great job! Highly recommended. Then, we spent the afternoon together until we went to Korma Sutra, which is my favorite restaurant EVER! Also HIGHLY recommended- Thanks to my roommate amazing roommate Rachel for organizing it!

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Then me and 389 of my closest friends went to a bowling/laser tag/put put place where I successfully scored a 43 in bowling with my bestfriend Emily- yes. that score is between the two of us. yayyy

This ended around Midnight when we all came back to the dorms and ate ice cream cake from Kon-Kon! She got it Dora and Diego for a double birthday party!

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Since then I’ve gone out to lunch with my friend Lauren at Spin Pizza, had Indian food twice more with my sister and parents, and pretty much have been living the birthday diva dream!

I do have to say, the best gift I’ve gotten has to be my new roommate! Kara transferred from Point Loma and was randomly placed in our room. Is it too soon to say that it’s love? Maybe. Does it feel like she’s been here since the beginning? Definitely. This is a picture which I’m sure she appreciates…taken as Konner and I hazed her and her boyfriend Bugs (also transferred- he’s a QB on the football team.)

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Then last night began the celebration of Konner’s 21st Birthday! We started at Holy Land Cafe for a ladies night dinner, then came back to my pad to her presents and candy!

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IMG_8642 IMG_0426This morning we went to an amazing church service at Mission this morning, out to lunch at Salty Iguana, and tonight… who knows?! Sky is the limit with these amazing friends.

Over and Out!

Allegra Vieux

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December 23, 2013

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig

December 23, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

Hey blog world.

By now, you’ve probably figured out that it’s officially Christmas Break, almost 2 weeks in counting! I’ve successfully completed 2 TV series from Investigation Discovery on Netflix, along with a season of Desperate Housewives and 6 movies.

Aka, I’m bored out of my MIND.

At home I have my parents, my two little brothers, and my 2 dogs: Patch and Bailey. My dad has been out of town for work and his flight was delayed. My mom works all day. My brother, Alex, works 2 jobs when he’s not in classes. My baby brother, Asher, is a senior in high school, therefore his break just officially started…

and then there’s me & the dogs. I think I knew I was going crazy when I caught myself talking to them for extended periods of time. No need to be alarmed: They are intuitive, intelligent, and involved so the conversations were not lost on them. I only wish they could do more than bark and howl back at me. (pictured below: Bailey on the left and Patch on the right.)

Picture 10How I’ve kept myself occupied: Netflix, Pinterest, baking, and cleaning. Usually, I shop. But given that it’s Christmas I’ve decided to cut back on spending. Also an ice storm hit Oklahoma so that may have influenced my penny pinching decision.

I’m probably like a good 107% extrovert so it’s only killing me a little to be on break. The good news is my sister and nephew come home tomorrow (Tuesday,) my dad’s flight gets in around 9am, my mom took the week off, and Asher starts being around so I’m sure I’ll be sick of them in no time.

In the spirit of Christmas, I have a couple of gifts for my faithful 3 readers out there.

1. Free Music!

tymayfieldchristmassamplerI hope you’re enjoying the music playing above! It is a new Christmas song covered by my friend, Ty Mayfield. This year, he is giving away his Christmas Sampler on Noisetrade! It’s an upbeat, fun, bluesy/jazzy mix with some of his original songs (including a Christmas orig,) and the cover you’re listening to! You will LOVE it- Money back guarantee. Download it for FREE HERE !!!

2. My favorite Pinterest Recipe!

I’ve found the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie recipe on Pinterest…and I’m not normally one for actually doing what I pin! It’s amazing, therefore I will share it with you.

perfectchoccookie(Original post here: http://theperfectchocolatechipcookie.com/instruct.php)

Ingredients:

2 3/4 c  all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 c unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 c Crisco

1 c light brown sugar
1 c minus 2 T white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

The key with these cookies is to follow directions closely! I’m not one for this either- every time a recipe tells me to do something oddly specific, I say to myself, “why??” and do it the easy way. I’ve tried to add comments for the picture-directions to help you identify the “why” behind the matter.

Picture 4Mixing the flour allows the final dough to have an even distribution of ingredients without over-mixing it.

Beating the butter and shortening gives the dough a better rise in the oven, making the cookies lighter. Butter is good for taste and shortening is good to make the cookie softer.

Picture 5Adding the chocolate chips before adding the flour evenly distributes them without over-mixing the final dough.  Do not over-mix or it will discolor the dough.

The flour to be just incorporated, is the point when you no longer see white spots of flour.  Do not overmix! Over-mixing will ruin the cookies.  They will bake flatter and look greasy.

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When shaping the cookies, you will know if you have the fat/flour ratio right: too little flour- it will stick to your hands, forms a messy looking ball, just right- won’t stick to your hands, but just barely, forms a smooth ball, too much flour- dough has to be forced into a ball, crumbly dough, rough looking ball

The same problems occur when over-handling the dough as over-mixing it.  They will bake flat and look greasy.  Handle the dough as little as possible while still shaping them properly.

To freeze, place the dough balls on a plate side by side, cover and freeze at least an hour.  You can then bag them and they won’t be stuck together when you take them out.

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 It takes most ovens much longer to preheat than when it beeps to tell you it’s ready.  An oven thermometer is very helpful.  When most ovens beep, they are usually 50-100 degrees too low.  It will ruin the cookies to bake them at the incorrect temperature.  Let the oven heat longer than it allows for “preheating.”

Determining when they are done:

underdone- the are tall, shiny in the middle, pale in color, fall apart when transfered, fall through on the cooling rack

perfect- domed, puffy, show a few signs of browning, look a bit underdone but are not shiny on the top, hold together during transfer It is important to wait 2 minutes before transferring them.  They continue to bake from the heat of the sheet without being over-baked in the oven.  Also, they will hold together better and be less likely to fall in the middle if you wait.

…And if they don’t look like the cookies above, here are the possibilities to what went wrong:

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I hope you enjoy!

Have a holly jolly Christmas, and let me know how you feel about the music and the cookies!

Over and Out!

Allegra Vieux

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December 11, 2013

What Strategic Management taught me about Yoga Pants

December 11, 2013 | By | 10 Comments

yoga-allianceBlog world: It’s finals week. I’m not going to bore you with another post about it, but I did just kill my Strategic Management final. Whoop!

Strategic Management is the business capstone, and I learned so much in it that I couldn’t even begin to tell you about how awesome of a class it was. However, after taking my final, I feel pretty confident about the information I learned.

Has anyone been on Facebook lately? Can anyone tell me why I’ve read more about yoga pants than the fight for world peace in the last 3 months? I’ve seen so many religious/Biblical arguments on the subject, most of which are against wearing the polyester/spandex blend articles of clothing.

First of all, I don’t know why everyone has to agree one way or another about everything all the time. But since I’m forced to pick a side, I’m going to refrain from using Biblical references to manipulate my audience. The word of God doesn’t have much to say on Yoga pants specifically, so I’m not going to mold it to defend what I think it should defend. Instead, I’m going to walk you through everything I’ve learned in my Strategic Management class and bring hopefully a refreshing perspective.

Without further adieu, I present

What Strategic Management taught me about Yoga Pants

So in my class, we had to read 1. a text book, 2. Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey, and 3. Good to Great by Jim Collins. The source of my information comes from those three books and the infinite wisdom of Dr. Jamie Myrtle.

In Covey’s book, the first habit of 7 is Be Proactive. The big idea is that our basic nature is to act, not to be acted upon. Holding people responsible for their actions is not demeaning, it is affirming. Don’t be scared off because of the language I’m about to use, because I’ll break it all down. Covey talks about the theories of determinism, aka, why we become who we become. Genetic determinism says “I am who I am because of my heritage or genetic makeup,” Psychic determinism says “I am who I am because of my upbringing and childhood circumstances,” and Environmental determinism says “I am who I am because of the environment around me.”

So there are a lot of things that can determine who we are if we allow them to. When we live using a reactive paradigm, this is essentially what it looks like.

stimulus-response

“Something else caused my reaction.” This is a victim mentality.

Covey talks about the space between the Stimulus and the Response. We have the freedom to choose. This is called being proactive. The model looks like this:freedom-to-chooseAll that to say, no one can force you to do anything. You have the opportunity to choose. Just because your mother makes chocolate chip cookies doesn’t mean you have to eat them. Just because someone cuts you off in traffic doesn’t mean your day is ruined. Just because a girl wears yoga pants doesn’t mean you have to lust after her. Similarly, just because a girl is wearing yoga pants doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. The freedom to choose, friends. Look away. Are yoga pants form fitting? Yes. Are skinny jeans? Yes. The thing here is that they cover more than most shorts, skirts, or dresses. I’m not seeking to condemn, I’m just telling you how it is. People are going to wear these pants whether you rant about it on Facebook or not. Nobody’s forcing you to wear them, therefore: let’s not waste time and energy trying to force people out of them either.

In the book Good to Great, Collins talks about good vs. great leaders. There are 5 levels of leadership, as pictured below.

level-5 leadersThroughout the text, Collins compares level 4 and level 5 leaders. When things are going wrong inside an organization, a Level 4 Leader will “look out the window” to find it, or push blame on others. He/She will also “look in the mirror” when things are going well. This is where Level 4 and 5 leaders contrast.

Level 5 leaders look out the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck). At the same time, they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly.

When things in your life aren’t going well, do you look to yourself first, or to the outside world? If you are struggling with lust, do you first cast blame on all the yoga-pant wearing girls around you that you have no control over, or do you examine your own heart? If you are insecure about your body, do you blame the media or other girls who rock yoga pants, or do you look to the real issue: your own heart?

Don’t be thrown off by what I’m about to say.

The Macro-environment effects you. The external, uncontrollable factors in the environment will influence your decisions. We can evaluate which are the relevant factors in the macro-environment through a PESTEL analysis.

Political factors (taxes)

Economic conditions (local to worldwide, age distribution)

Sociocultural forces (ethnic values, family structure, cultural attitudes)

Technological factors (updates in cellphones, computers, electronics)

Environmental factors (the natural environment)

Legal/regulatory conditions (new legislature)

Hang with me.. it’s about to get easier. Okay so when we think about all of these factors, it totally makes sense that yoga pants are booming in the US of A, specifically in Economic and Sociocultural forces. People are busier than ever. Women are working and child-rearing. With the rise of divorce, there are many single, working moms. One of the things I like about fashion is that it follows societal trends, not the other way around. Due to all of this, women feel more free to wear their workout clothing in the midst of picking up groceries from the store while the kids are at soccer practice after working 8-5 with a 30 minute workout at the gym over lunch. Fashion followed this- it is now trendy to wear yoga pants in public. The factors in the macro-environment have led to the popularity of comfortable, chic, informal clothing. If you just don’t like the trend, that’s a completely other argument. If you think there is a moral issue with the trend, then you are saying there is a moral issue with the entire society, and your yoga-pants argument is illogical. Fight what the real issue is here, such as women raising children on their own- volunteer to help some single moms in your community.

Okay it’s time to land this plane. As I know that everyone will continue to argue this subject, I would like to assist you in doing so. In Covey’s novel, he discusses a Win-Win character. Here are the 6 fundamental attitudes about conflict you can have in life.

  1. Win-Win: Both interests are met
  2. Win-Lose: I win, you lose
  3. Lose-Win: Victim mentality, people pleasing
  4. Lose-Lose: War. 2 people who won’t back down from their interests
  5. Win: I don’t care what you lose, I just win
  6. Win-Win or no deal: Both interests are met regardless of how long it takes to work it out

The point is this. People are more likely to hear your point of view if you listen to theirs first. There is difference between listening and waiting to respond. Be sure to stop formulating your argument to listen to the interests of those around you. Maybe we can find common ground this way instead of an ageless argument.

Okay so that’s what I learned this semester. I’d like to thank Professor Myrtle for the wisdom. Peace, Love and Yoga Pants.

Over and Out!

 

 

 

 

Allegra Vieux

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December 3, 2013

Going to Juarez, be right back!

December 3, 2013 | By | One Comment

Hey blog world!

So I spent last weekend in Juarez. Crazy, I know, but it was pretty tranquil and the people were wonderful.

I went with my gorgeous friend Taylor. Her grandparents have a branch of Compassionate Ministries, which gives relief to areas in the world through supplies. Normally, they make a trip to Mexico before Christmas to give Nazarene pastors and their families gifts and clothing and other various things in time for the cold, winter season. They have a banquet and there are like 20 pastors from the area with their whole families in a restaurant. Taylor and I went in place of her grandparents this year. She speaks English and French, so my pseudo-Spanish skills came in handy. We flew to El Paso Friday night, met up with the other 6 people on our team, went into Juarez for most of the day Saturday, and flew home Sunday. It was quick! Don’t worry, I documented our weekend.

This is how we remembered where we parked at the airport.

This is how we remembered where we parked at the airport.

Successfully across the border! I love this city.

Successfully across the border! I love this city.

This is Juanita. She is a pastor's wife with a killer sense of humor. She many times offered her school aged boys to me when I commented on how cute they are. Hilarious!

This is Juanita. She is a pastor’s wife with a killer sense of humor. She many times offered her school aged boys to me when I commented on how cute they are. Hilarious!

Taylor, Ana, and baby Santiago! Ana is a pastor in Mexico and this is her nephew! Her brother (Santiago's dad) is also a pastor, and they look just the same.

Taylor, Ana, and baby Santiago! Ana is a pastor in Mexico and this is her nephew! Her brother (Santiago’s dad) is also a pastor, and they look just the same.

Me with my new friends! They are wonderful women of God and like to laugh!

Me with my new friends! They are wonderful women of God and like to laugh!

Me and Taylor at the airport. Isn't she adorbs??

Me and Taylor at the airport. Isn’t she adorbs??

Okay so I’m also kind of a jerk friend. Because Taylor doesn’t speak Spanish and would mostly smile and nod along with whatever I said, I may or may not have misrepresented her multiple times. For one, I asked the pastors if they had any single young men in their congregations because my friend wants to get married to a Mexican man. Then told them it was a practical joke. Juanita heard what I said, and responded with, “Tell her if she marries a Mexican man he’ll want her to have 8 kids!” (this captures her sense of humor tremendously.) People also asked if she was the Doctor’s granddaughter, and then asked what her name was. Taylor isn’t exactly a name in Spanish, so after a couple people struggled through her name I came up with a solution. Her name sounds very close to the Spanish word for “trailer,” so I told them just to call her “Tráiler.” Problem solved!

Here are some obligatory pics from Thanksgiving. I got inspired by my hours of Pinterest endeavors.

We even spray painted the sticks navy blue.

We even spray painted the sticks navy blue.

Yeah my family never decorates for Thanksgiving.

Yeah my family never decorates for Thanksgiving.

yeah we never set the table either.

yeah we never set the table either.

We do this a lot.

We do this a lot.

I know. My nephew Lennox is the cutest.

I know. My nephew Lennox is the cutest.

Also the Today Show stopped by campus this afternoon to shoot a story about Granny Franny. I made the B-Roll, but Joelle Garguilo is the best! She seriously has a heart of gold and loves life. Thanks for hanging out with us, Joelle!

JoelleGarguilo

…Random events make for a random blog post.

Over and Out!

 

 

Allegra Vieux

By

November 16, 2013

Tis the Season

November 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

(Please enjoy the sweet sounds of Sleeping At Last while reading this post)

Attention Blog World:

You may have been misled by our blogfeed as of this week. You may think based on the title of this post that the current season is that of TWIRP, which as you have probably figured out by now stands for MNU’s annual tradition: The Woman Is Required To Pay. While I did not TWIRP anyone, (see my post about dating,) I’m here to introduce a new topic to our faithful 6 readers out there.

The holidays are upon us! It’s official. Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away, Christmas is 40 days away, and the new year is 47 days out! (ish-depending on how you count.)

I have spent approximately 40 hours this week on Pinterest looking at fun Christmas decor and Christmas crafts and Christmas vegan crockpot recipes, all the while listening to Christmas music. The Target Christmas commercial really gets me in the mood and I’ve been to Target about 3 times this week just meandering throughout the seasonal section. I love the Holidays!

Now, before you formulate your comment about how much you hate that I’m skipping over Thanksgiving and jumping right to Christmas or how Christmas is too materialistic, I’d like to address them right off the bat.

1. Happy Holidays is about the season, not the individual days.

I think it’s absolutely absurd that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years have to be separate. When I say “Christmas,” I’m not talking about one single day- It’s the season. The one thing I’m thankful for most is Christ, so the whole season is a time to be Thankful. To separate the holidays is to abide by the materialistic component. There is no research in what I’m about to say, but I think it’s poetic that the Christmas season is kicked off by Thanksgiving: a time to reflect on all the things we are thankful for, which then leads into the birth of our Savior, which is the top of the Thankfulness chart, and then into New Years- a time to put our reflection to action start new.

2. Focus on the lasting, not the passing.

It’s possible to focus on the lasting memories made at Christmas time, and not just the passing material gifts. Let me give you an example: I was in 1st grade and woke up on a snowwy Lawrence morning to what seemed like a MILLION Christmas presents under the tree. It’s always been one of my mom’s things to make sure that we open presents for hours- One year when we were broke, she even wrapped up necessities like cleaning supplies and a new toilet seat to give us the “Christmas Miracle” feel. ANYway, while I remember waiting patiently to open what felt like my hundred presents, I don’t remember what I got, except one prized gift.

Picture 3 Picture 4

Yes, my Nsync “Home for Christmas” album. I’m listening to it as I type! While it may be that I remember this moment so clearly because I then and still on occasion believe Justin Timberlake is who the Lord has set aside for me, it meant so much to me that my mom went the extra mile. She took interest into what I was interested in, which is the biggest service you can do for a person IMO (in my opinion.) I didn’t even ask for this CD, but she knew how much I love(d) Nsync and got a special CD for me and even marked it, “From Santa.” I totes knew it wasn’t from Santa because I didn’t put it in my letter I sent him, and that made me love it even more. It’s not about the gift, it’s about the demonstration of love.

3. “The Man” is not out to get you.

As a marketing student, I can tell you that I’ve had a lot of conversations about campaign ideas, none of which started out with, “How are we going to drive America into materialistic death today,” OR “We gotta get those people to stop focusing on the God component of Christmas and more on the cheap crap they’re gonna need under the tree.” If you feel like you are having a hard time focusing on “the reason for the season,” it’s not because of advertisements, it’s because of overindulgence. I’m just as guilty of this as the next American Citizen. Turn off the TV, put down the ads, stop filling your Cartwheel coupon book. The things advertised are not meant to be the focus of your holiday- they are meant to enhance it. It’s kind of like makeup. Makeup is not your beauty, it just enhances it. (Realizing that this as well as any other analogy eventually breaks down, don’t think about it too hard.) It is your own choice to be consumed by consumerism, so take some responsibility.

While it seems like the whole world revolves around Christmas this time of year, it is definitely important to realized that it doesn’t. For many people, Christmas is just another day. It is a privilege to be able to take time off and spend even a day with loved ones reflecting on all that we are thankful for.  A heart wrenching statistic I recently read was that 100 million people in our world are homeless. A related stat estimates that 80% of humans trafficked are homeless when taken. This post is not to guilt you by any means, but it is important to keep in mind the bigger picture. Slaves don’t get time off with their families.

I found this Slavery Footprint tracker online through Amor’s Blog. I was shocked to know that I personally employ 43 slaves. It takes like 5 minutes to calculate, and I would encourage you to try it.

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While you may have many different feelings regarding your results, I want to encourage you that there are things you can do this Christmas to contribute to making our world a better place. Part of my internship this summer was creating an advent calendar called “24 Days of Disruption.” This is a cool 24 day challenge to Disrupt your ordinary Christmas and become more Christ focused this season.

Here’s a blog post with more information: Picture 6

If you don’t click any other link I’ve provided, please read and watch more about this. Do Christmas differently this year. As your pinning your crafts and shopping for gifts and baking pumpkin bread, remember to take time and think about those who are not as fortunate. Commit to 24 Days of Disrupt and start new traditions to drive out the American tradition of worshiping “stuff” in the Christmas season. Take responsibility and action: you have been called to live a life higher than an imprisonment by your own things.

Happy Holidays!

Over and out!

 

 

Allegra Vieux

By

November 13, 2013

Mission Impossible

November 13, 2013 | By | 4 Comments

Hello Blog World.

This video is part of the worship service at my church on Sunday. Funny story about that.

So I guess you could say I’m the type of person that likes new things. I like trying/starting new things, and it doesn’t take much for me to get really EXCITED. I enjoy looking for new music, activities, playing new games, going new places, etc. And on the contrary, I get really bored with the same things over and over. I get bored easily and withdraw most often. I lose interest and move on to something… well.. new.

Last year in chapel, a guy came and spoke about Moses and his staff. He talked about how Moses, somewhere along the lines, acquired his staff, and no matter what situation Moses was in, God used the staff to help him lead the Israelites. He related the staff to our degrees. The main idea was that we could all be church planters regardless of our degrees, and we could all go into ministry and yada yada.

Then he said the words “We’ll have free pizza in the Tipping Point tonight and talk more about…” and I pretty much didn’t listen after that because I was so there. (in addition to new things, I really like free things.)

So I go to this meeting to hear about what the church planting process looks like from the ground up, because it has always interested me. Side note-I helped with a church plant on the plaza not too long ago, and it was really cool to see it come together. We met in the movie theater to attract people who were looking for a more casual worship experience and hopefully bring in some who weren’t comfortable walking into a church building. So I’m at this meeting enjoying new people and eating pizza that I didn’t pay for, and then like 5 guys who were all planting churches in the area talked about their vision for their individual plants, and proceeded to try and recruit us MNU students to help them out.

Okay so I’ll admit that I wasn’t super interested. I had just gotten settled into a church in Olathe and was making connections and really felt like I was in the right place. Our worship was awesome, our preaching was out of this world, and people were going down to the altar in masses of like 17 every week. I was cool with it. Also, it was a big congregation so I didn’t really have to be involved, although I was going to Bible study and giving and all that jazz. The point of this is, as soon as we were dismissed I tried to bolt out of that place because I didn’t want to lose my life to promoting a new church especially knowing how much school work I had to do.

Then, to my dismay, this dude Jonathan stopped me and started asking me about my life.

If you don’t know me, I’m a talker. and because I like meeting new people and new things, I became a little intrigued.  He said, “My hope is that we’ll be meeting in the movie theater in Overland Park at 135th and Antioch.” 2 things about this jumped out: 1. My Aunt and Uncle live 10 blocks north of that theater and 2. I helped plant a church once in a movie theater. So he gave me his business card, told me to email him because he wanted to talk about marketing ideas with me. So I gave him a fake smile and nod and told him I’d be in touch. he he he

Yeah okay so he somehow remembered my name and found me because I got an email from a professor asking if it was okay for him to give my email to this guy. Dang. I was like, “okay yeah I guess…”

So then after approximately 16 emails (I made it nearly impossible for him to get a hold of me,) I finally responded and he took me to Starbucks. We talked about social media and analytical junk that I won’t bore you with, then he asked me to meet every week. I was like, uhhh peace out. (Actually I probably went one or two more times for the free Starbucks and then told him I was busy.)

Since we’re being honest, I was getting a little interested, but not enough to exert much effort. Well this Jonathan dude exerted a lot of effort and sent me an email for kick-off Sunday with the order of service and a list of who was working where.

and….

there…

was…

my…

name.

I was like, dang. This poor guy doesn’t get it. I guess I’ll show up this week, help with Audio/Visual, and then let him down gently. Because at least this way, I can say I tried and it just wasn’t for me.

So 9 months later I still go to this church and it’s not because I don’t have the heart to tell this guy that I’m not interested. I guess you could say I fell in love? It ended up that this church was like, designed for me. I still help with A/V and want to be even more involved. Turns out, this Jonathan guy can bring the word like nobody’s business. Then there’s Hurley and Tim: They are real musicians who have real musician friends who they bring with them to lead worship every week. Translation: It’s always different! This week, Hurls brought her rapper friend Rye-On and he free-styled  during the set. It was incredible.

So in the spirit of new and free, I have to give a shameless plug for Tim Cone, who also leads us in worship at Mission Church.

Picture 1 Picture 2

If you go to spacesuitmusic.com you get his new album for free. I don’t promote things that suck, so you should probably just go do it. It’s amazing and I’ve had it on repeat all day. I’ll make it even easier for you: Follow this link! NEW FREE MUSIC FROM TIM CONE

aaaaaanndd if you’re ever in the area, I would definitely recommend Mission Church KC. Never a dull moment!

Over and Outtt!

 

Allegra Vieux

By

November 4, 2013

Nazarene Musical 3

November 4, 2013 | By | No Comments

…This is my life.

Meet my friends Konner, Jonathan, Will, Charles, and Josh.

Watch More Here!

There are days when I feel like my whole life is a musical… and that’s probably because it is.

Over and Out!

 

Allegra Vieux

By

October 30, 2013

Mourning the Death of a Relationship: A word for the hurting, the healing, and the hating

October 30, 2013 | By | No Comments

man_crying

crying-girlBreaking up is hard to do.

I can’t take credit for that wisdom, but in my experience, it is true.

When a relationship ends, it’s almost as if a whole person dies. When 2 people come together and form a dating relationship, the dynamic of the couple is like a 3rd friend. When that time is over, it’s like the third friend has left on bad terms, or even died but no one wants to acknowledge it. It affects everyone around, even those who weren’t involved. The two newly single people can catch a glimpse of each other from across campus and everyone within the local zip code feels the tension. I think it has something to do with quantum physics, but I’m no science major so don’t quote me on that.

There are 3 major people groups involved in a break up, as listed below:

1. The Hurting: The one who got broken up with- maybe didn’t see it coming.

2. The Healing: The one who broke off the relationship.

3. The Hating: The friends of the couple, or highly opinionated acquaintances.

Keep in mind that in whatever I’m about to say, I’m on your side. I’m writing as the completely unbiased third party, and won’t give you half-truths. There are absolutely situations that one person is completely wrong, but this is from the stand point that things just didn’t work out. If you are in any of these positions, I feel for you. It’s aca-awkward. So let’s dive in and relieve the tension.

To The Hurting: Be glad you’re not in a relationship with someone that doesn’t value you for all that you’re worth. Last week I kind of put Bruno Mars on blast, but the dude also has good things to say. For example, I wake up to “Treasure” every morning. The whole song is a booster, but there is a line that is fitting for this subject.

You’re wonderful, flawless, ooh, you’re a sexy lady”

Lady or gentleman, you are wonderful. You are flawless. You are sexy! These are all Biblical. Don’t mistake a relationship fizzling as a reflection of your identity. The addition of a significant other does not change who you are. The absence of a significant other does not change who you are. I have no reason to lie. You are a dream come true. A masterpiece- Don’t get in your head and make everything a reflection of you. Start listening to the truth and tuning out the lies. To quote B. o. B., “You the whole package, plus you pay your taxes.” I know for a fact the first statement is true, and if the second is true, then you’re set for life.

To The Healing: Props to you for having the courage to end something that isn’t going any further. It’s never easy to let someone down, but the shorter the delay, the better. You may be concerned that your sig (or in this case ex-sig) is drowning themselves in tears or cookie dough ice cream, but don’t take that on. Don’t give yourself the credit of making or breaking someone’s life. Sure, this is painful for everyone involved, but you’re not the center of the universe, therefore, you cannot send anyone into an apocalypse. They will be fine and so will you. Be prepared though- this takes time. Don’t expect to go back to being friends within moments of ending it. That’s not good for you or them. Let them lay low for a while, and don’t force a conversation or moment to happen.

To The Hating: This blog is mostly for you. If you are a friend of a sig, then there’s no such thing as a third party. You probably have opinions. You probably have the best of intentions in supporting your friend. Sometimes, the lines of supportive and destructive get blurred. Things that start so positive end really horribly, like the riot in the movie, Hot Rod.

hotrod5If you’re not familiar with the movie, the main character, Rod, played by Andy Samburg, is trying to raise funds for his dying stepfather’s heart transplant. While on his way to the fundraising event, the whole community comes alongside him and walks together with him. The song “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham plays over the dialogue and it is truly an inspiring moment in a weird, satirical movie. (Side note- this is my FAVORITE movie ever! Watch it if you haven’t because your life will be CHANGED!) Then the inevitable happens: a riot breaks out and the whole moment is killed in a matter of seconds.

I’m going to go as far to say that this actually happens more often on campus than we acknowledge. For example, a couple splits and the girl and guy go back to their respective same gender friends. The said friends both start consoling The Hurting and The Healing, and come alongside them in support. Somewhere along the lines, the opposing party (usually, The Healing,) becomes the enemy and it is a battle to get as many people in your army as possible. Tearing others down won’t make anyone any higher. This brings me to my first point:

Blowing out someone else’s candle will not make yours shine brighter.

One time, it was one of my professor’s 50th birthdays. My friend Emily and I got a small cake for him with 50 trick candles on top. We waited for him to go to class and proceeded to light all of said candles with the intention of disrupting his class and having a good laugh. The plan backfired. We definitely disrupted his class, because the flames came together and created one HUGE flame measuring up to 2 feet in height and nearly causing the entire business building to burn down. We busted into class, sang happy birthday, and then he made a wish, and tried to blow them out. This was the moment when I decided I hated trick candles, because the flames came back with a vengeance. The Lord was on our side, as it was a rainy day, and we RAN through the first floor of Metz, burst outside, and launched the now wet candles into the bushes. The cake was covered in rainbow wax and riddled in holes.. DEFINITELY inedible.

What if we, took our candles, and put them together to burn bright, instead of using them like torches to lead a riot? Maybe this is corny, but what if we loved our neighbors by supporting the good instead of condemning the bad? When talking to our Hurting and Healing friends, let’s make a point of reaffirming their qualities instead of bashing the bad. Forget boyfriend bonfires and remember the candle fiasco: it will change your paradigm.

What do you do if your Hurting friend is bashing their Healing ex-sig? It’s easy to jump on the wagon and want to join in with what they are saying. This brings me to my next point:

Not everything is black and white.

Keep in mind that the side of the story you are hearing when your friend is upset is tainted and not the most accurate. Don’t take those statements to the bank. Reaffirm your friend, and keep their candle shining, maybe even relight the flame. Use your powers for good and not for evil.

Do we all remember when Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were married? They were my favorite Celebrity couple second only to Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. I remember the day like it was yesterday: I was watching Newly Weds on MTV and the screen went black for a Public Service Announcement: that Brad and Jen called it quits. People went nuts! If people were in support of Jen, then they wore pink ribbons, but if they were for Brad, they wore blue ribbons. It originally had to do with Aniston backing Breast Cancer Awareness, known world wide for the pink ribbon, and Angelina Jolie with the blue ribbons for Child Abuse Awareness, and because Brad switched partners he switched causes or something… the point is that choosing sides and viewing things as black and white gets you no where except for down a destructive road leading to drama, and nobody wants that!

Real talk though- One of the things I think Christians miss the most is unconditional love. It’s a tough concept to grasp. This brings me to my final point:

It is possible to support a person without supporting their decisions.

We’ve all heard the stories about the engaged couple we don’t agree with and the battle among the friends on deciding if they are going to go to their wedding or not because they don’t support the marriage. Perhaps you’ve had to decide whether you’re going to a wedding or not, or maybe you’ve just had to decide if you’re going to buy Miley’s new song because it’s catchy but you don’t want to support her craziness. Similar principle.

I don’t preach often. But this is a subject that gets me hyped.

I don’t think Jesus died to give us the power to judge and condemn and make known our opinions. He died to give us life abundant. To not support someone because of their decisions is the farthest thing from the Jesus way of life. Jesus went to the cheating tax collector’s home and shared a meal with him. He hung out with the prostitutes and touched the sick and unclean. And what’s cool is, despite my decisions, regardless of my actions, and irrespective of my choices, He’s there for me and continues to support me. If He didn’t, that would be conditional love, and our gospel would look a whole lot different.

Let’s now apply this to a break up among our friends: You may not agree with The Healing’s decision to end things. That doesn’t give you the right to step in and assume the role of God by judging them based on their actions. This does not give you divine permission to hate them, start a riot and put people against them. That is called slander, and the Word of God is clear about this. You may not have agreed with The Hurting’s decision to date The Healing in the first place. That doesn’t give you the right to bash anyone. People of the Christian world: Can we please eliminate the expectation of meeting a certain living standard to start loving and accepting others? If this were the law we lived by, we would have no need for the cross, and I, personally, would be screwed.

I want to leave you on a lighter note- and I think this video below sums up everything nicely. Watch how Sophia Grace builds up Miley with the truth and just radiates with love for her. Let’s love both The Hurting and The Healing the way these little ladies love everyone!

Sophia Grace and Rosie on Ellen

If you made it this far, then well done!

Over and Out!