Wednesday, October 24, 2012

European Etiquette

For all of my dearest friends...who ever wondered...what exactly is this whole "EUROPEAN CULTURE" thing that you're so obsessed about...this is for cough cough "funny" Lithuanian perspective...

Someone once told me that Russian women are the most beautiful women in the world...Reality's true....I'll just stop right there. and I'm Russian btw....Lithuanian women? Russian women? the same....=P Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania are known as the "Baltic Beauties" or so I've heard from my dearest Lithuanian cousins. When we Baltic Beauties wake up in the morning, we can't help but smile brightly when we look in the mirror. We don't even need to worry about make up. (and if you're lucky like me, your hair looks crazily awesome as well) We're naturally beautiful. It's in our eastern european genetics....

How a European carries oneself. Well, if you've ever wondered about my "Lithuanian seriously poetic haunting death stare"...LOL It's normal in the European culture to have a very serious expression on your face, and walk in a confident, tall posture, with your chin slightly raised. It's just what we culturally do. If you're riding a bus in Europe, EVERYONE is deathly silent. No one is talking to each other. If you laugh, RIGHT AWAY they will be able to point out that you are American. (Not going to lie on this one, this past summer when I was in Macedonia, I LAUGHED ALOT on european buses...)

A European's eating habits are distinct as well. First of all, eating food with a fork and a knife is pretty much a dead give away if you have European food ettiqutte. I remember last year when I was in college, I literally was the only European soul that ate with a fork and a knife. A true European man...he ACTUALLY cough cough has this etiquette too. I honestly admire this alot about European men. As the saying goes, "A European man eat's his mama's food". By this, we Europeans or I pray at least some of  us still like to eat healthy and close to natural food as possible. If you have ever wondered why Europeans are so skinny...obviously many other factors other than food influence this (smoking, exercise, genetics etc) it's because their eating lifestyle is simple and healthy food. For me, being Lithuanian, by "healthy food" I mean eating natural meats, veggies, cheeses, kefir (Russian jogurt) and fruits. The Lithuanian food lifestyle is more on the low carb side. I'm sure you've heard this, if not the PORTION SIZES in Europe CAN be alot smaller. I learned this summer, depending what REGION of Europe you are in such as Southeastern, food portion sizes tend to increase. Having smaller portions and smaller plates is normal. It's expensive to eat out at restaurants so most people just make their own food.

Eating a meal as a family is a very important cultural element in Europe. Also when one sits down for a meal in Europe, the food is usually already on the table, you have your plate and eat like that.

I've also noticed in some cases that we Europeans would rather buy a piece of nice and quality clothing than food. Looks are HUGE. Every European country has it's own unique and colorful style. Fashion is a daily habit, especially for my generation. I've said this many times before a European WOULD NOT be caught dead in sneakers, sweat shirts, sweat pants, or baseball caps. That would be mere fashion SUICIDE. From a very young age, we are taught to "dress up".  When you're walking the streets of Europe, everyone simply just looks so stylish or professional. Wither it be skinny jeans, converse, scarves, colorful sweaters, black leggings, high heels, or flower print summer dresses...the artistic color is found everywhere... One of my favorite European fashion sayings by my favorite French author Mireille Guiliano, (my paraphrase)  "A French woman dresses up to take out the trash, because she never knows who she may run into". All I can say to that is....AHMEN.

I will FOREVER LOVE European culture. It's part of who I am, and even living in America, when I have to stand alone in this European Passion most's SO worth it....=)

Monday, October 8, 2012


I've been wanting to write out what I personally like to call 
THE PASSION PRAYER...for the longest time.
God gave me these words when I was on my missions trip to Macedonia, May 2012. I pray this prayer over ALL of my family, relatives, friends, my dearest brothers and sisters all over the world, every person I've ever met...and I guess you could say the more mysterious/controversial side of this prayer, is that I pray this prayer over "strangers"....people I've simply never met,as I'm walking the streets of this beautiful life. I believe every morning when I wake up and I'm walking somewhere wither it be work, or just enjoying life, the people I see I know God placed in my path for a reason, so I say The Passion Prayer over them. So the instant I met you, I secretly prayed this prayer over you dear friend, without you even knowing....How much more "Russian spy?" can one get? =P  I honestly believe EVERY dear soul I've EVER met in this life is NOT AN ACCIDENT, but a DIVINE APPOINTMENT. So...if you've ever wondered what was REALLY behind those scandalous  Lithuanian deep brown hazel eyes....

Father God, into your hands I lift up my dear brother/sister.
I pray in Your mighty and holy name,
that You would revive those passions, visions, and dreams that have been made dead inside their heart.
I pray that you would make them alive in You again.
I pray that You would give them the boldness, courage and fearlessness to pursue these passions, visions, and dreams until their last dying breath.
I pray for any struggles they may be going through that You would be with them every step of the way, smiling down upon then.
I pray for all the joys of life they are experiencing that You would give them the heart to keep that sweet spirit.
Into Your loving hands I commit my dear brother/sister to You Jesus.

CUTE. Christianity.

Today as I was walking back from downtown Minneapolis, God inspired me to write these following words.
As I was looking back on Monday night's bible study...(.just an FYI Steiger International's Platform bible study is SO FREAKIN AMAZING, you've pretty much missed out on life if you haven't gone yet...just saying....) It FINALLY hit me...
I was thinking of how judgmental the American church can be.( I mean this in general, I'm NOT pointing out ANY specific churches, just to make myself clear from the beginning)  Honestly, there are times I feel like such an outcast. Let me explain. So basically, I like to dress VERY artsy. It's just simply who I am. Black knee high high top shoes, wine red colored shoe laces, fishnet leggings, red dresses, and black leather jackets, wild 80s style hair and wine red lipstick. Being inspired by color, art, and fashion is the essence of who I am. To not let someone express their artistic self of who God created them to be, is simply...SUICIDE. Walking the streets of this life, this world is SO FREAKIN COLORLESS. Everyone is the same...Same...SAME....where is the vibrant laughter that sticks out in society? I believe when it comes to Christianity there are many ways one can express themselves. For me, I've realized that the colorful way I dress, It blends in with the hardcore European/Russian music punks. I look exactly like them with my Eastern European facial structures, and my clothes. What makes me different is that I have a fire inside my heart for Jesus. I believe that God truly uses how we express ourselves on the outsides to reach our dear brothers and sisters for His kingdom. I'm NOT "choir girl Christian" who dresses in black skirts, a cream pink blouse, and has my hair perfectly straightened. HELL.NO.  and you know what? There's NOTHING wrong with that. Express yourself in the way God created to be. With that thought in mind, He will use every essence of who you are,  to reach that certain people group, including that artsy side that He has given your beloved and blessed soul.

I've always sensed there was something different about me from day one. I could just tell everyday that I was somehow set apart from the rest of society. Even if my parents would have never told me I was Lithuanian, I just knew in my heart something was different. I look back on this beautiful life, and ever since I was a baby my mom (she's quite the amazing artist herself, she paints with oils, acrylics, these absolutely beautiful colorful Lithuanian masterpieces) would do arts and crafts with me, teach me how to paint, the whole arts spectrum. Art was in my blood from the beginning. I discovered Christian music when I was 8, specifically, I discovered Christian PUNK ROCK music when I was 10 years old, I'm talking like FM Static, and Hawk Nelson. This is where I believe I got into the whole "punk rocker essence". To me, there was something simply so fascinating about cute Christian musician men with blonde fohawks, dressed in black skinny jeans, leather jackets, and the lace up leather boots. I just freakin LOVED the look. I also remember going to Chrisitan music festivals between the ages of 10-18, I would love to creep on the "punk rock" fashion style of all the Christian musicians.......Also, throw in the many times I traveled to Europe when I was growing up....I went to Lithuania when I was 1,8, and 15. Rome, Italy at 16. London at 8. Iceland,Norway,Finland at 15. Macedonia,Serbia,Bosnia,Montenegro,Albania,Kosovo,Austria this past summer at 19. So having been immersed in this beautiful European culture, I've gotten to experience quite a diverse spectrum of  what is known as the "Euro style" 

So combine the elements of colorful artsyNESS as a child + Christian musician punk rock look + Euro style = Aistė Miškinytė's fashion.....=)

I've always had the mindset of "European fashion" for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my parents would dress up for every occasion you can think's simply European ettiqutte to look good wherever you of my favorite quotes from a French author (her name slips my mind) is "French women dress up to take out the trash...cause they never know who they may run into"....that's pretty much how I feel when it comes to dressing up. In America, sometimes people look at me weird, or are like "Why do you dress up all the time!?!?!....I've NEVER seen you in sweatpants or a sweatshirt or sneakers!" What I say to that?...AHMEN...If there's one European fashion's that, "A EUROPEAN would NOT be caught dead in public in sweat pants, sweatshirt, or sneakers"...if you don't believe me...honestly...ask one of your European friends for their insight on this. I feel like sometimes in America, my sense of colorful fashion is looked down upon and not appreciated, and I DO KNOW for a fact I stick out, and you know what I DONT FREAKIN CARE...This world needs more people who are willing to take the risk and stand out with their God inspired artsy fashion!

So whatever artsy style God has called you to express yourself by, don't be afraid to completely embrace who you are...He will use your sense of unique fashion for His glory!