Starting Over Again

*Disclaimer: the following thoughts are not cohesively written.  So please bear with me.

Slipping away. I have slipped away. Feeling guilty of how I became too comfortable with silence; how no voice can penetrate my self-loathe; how I see life as black-and-white.

The past months have been a great struggle, looking for other ways to make my life purposeful, forgetting that my life, our life is in purpose when we are walking to the Light, not from it.

One morning, I wake up from a boiling water… where I am? How did my life turn this way? From His silence (or  more of my deaf ears), I heard Him (more of I read it but that’s the same in a sense). I heard Him say “START AGAIN.” And I am dumbfounded, not because I am shocked by the revelation but more of I am now beginning to understand what He is trying to say all along.

START AGAIN

Remember Paul? Before being Paul, he was Saul, killing Christians, or those who dare to follow the path of Jesus Christ. But then, Paul was renewed and started to believe in Jesus.
God gave Paul the chance to start again a new life with Him. And the story of Paul, along with the many stories in the Bible, is a proof that our God is the God of second chances (third/millionth).

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He wants me to start again. He never gives up on me (because If I were Him I would be giving up on me now). He has given me another chance after chance to see His unfailing love. He never gets tired in making me understand that He is the God of second chances that even though I slipped away again and again, he will never let my hand lose its grip, because in the first place, His hands are the ones holding me tight.


My thoughts have been incoherent these past few months, but I hope you get what I am trying to say. I am just amazed by His unfailing love. So amazed that I wanted it to share to the whole wide world but I seem to fail on delineating it cohesively.

-Yien-

The Year of Realizing Things

Hello there! Before I start this long mumbling and rumbling about the year that is about to end, let me just share to you this:

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So going back…………

2016 has been a very challenging year, not only in personal aspect but most likely, to any level and aspect imaginable by human mind.

I started this year in high hopes, listing down faith goals which I wanted to accomplish this year. There you have health goals, writing gigs, new house, camera, attend Church service, salvation of people close to my heart, art opportunities, Psychometrician board exam goals, and to grow spiritually. However, the problem with these goals is not that it is unattainable, but, I don’t have the faintest idea where to start. It is as if, I wanted an apple fall down in my lap in an instant without putting an effort in getting it. As we all know, that is not the case about life.

We need to do something, in order to get what we want.

And also, there you have the external and internal battles I need to brave, those uncontrollable happenings, those roadblocks, those feelings of insecurities and doubts.

Yet, there are those things that I have accomplished that are not part of my conceived plan. And that pal, is the most wonderful thing about this year.

As Spotify put it, this year has been the year of realizing things.

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2016

  1. Discovered the art of lettering.

Going back to February 14 of this year, I feel down about my art skills. I know I am not that good at arts. I mean, I am decent in terms of sketching and drawing but not that outstandingly great. So my frustration grew, I promised to myself to never again choose to believe that I will be great in arts. I bid goodbye to my first love.

But March 3 of this year, my friend introduced me to this art called lettering. And because of my love of arts, I cannot help but to fall in love to this new kind of art. And that my friend, is the short-lived break-up of me and arts. And now, my love for arts grew more than before.

  1. Rekindled my love for crafts.

You see, I love crafts, I still remember my late night project-making when I was in High School designing my notebooks and take home projects. But of course, college came and I don’t have any choice but to bury the crafter in me and raise the technical person in me.

But then, because of the rise of handcrafted stuff today, I joined the bandwagon (even though I hate bandwagon) and voila, the creative in me dances in the tune of crafts.

  1. Founded Your ArtsyCraftsy Companion

So here, due to my love-hate relationship with my day job, I came to believe that I should better get a side-hustle. With the help of my hobby of scrolling down Facebook, I stumbled upon the life-changing blog of all times, Arriane Serafico’s blog. There you have those posts about productivity, creativity, braving the freelance world, brainstorming side-hustles and FREE COURSES!!! Her blog inspired me to be passionately involved on being creative in a world full of monochromatic.

So I took a brave step forward, I ask people close to me if it is okay to be a support group with my ArtsyCraftsy idea. And not to my surprise, they said yes. And that is the beginning of Your ArtsyCraftsy Companion. (Shout out to Angel, Jed and Monique!).

Right now, I had my first paying client, she ordered 13 personalized notebooks, as in I did everything from scratch. The experience is humbling and as well as invigorating. More art projects to come.

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  1. Finally I gained weight!

Yes, I gained weight! I know most of you will cringe if you find out that you gained weight, but not for me. I am delighted to gain 2 extra kilograms. As all the people who knew me, I am a thin 25-year old lady, underweight it is. My metabolism is so fast. And I am tired of hearing people telling me to eat more because seriously, I eat more than you can imagine me eating. Follow me on my journey to 50 kilograms (no pun intended).

  1. The Purposeful Personal Branding

Earlier, I told you how Arriane Serafico’s blog helped me on my way to being a productive creative. She helped me a lot (which reminds me to email her about how she changed my life). Right now, I am undergoing a paid course of hers, The Purposeful Personal Branding. This course helped me in understanding myself and my journey to being creative. It helped me to understand my brand, my niche, my strengths, what works and not work.

And thanks to this course, number 3 would not be possible if it wasn’t for this.

  1. Lastly (I know I have more highlights than this, but as of writing I have 792 words now so better cut it short), NEW HOUSE!

So if you are a reader of my blog from the start, you will know that one of my faith goals as I started blogging is to have a new home. And this faith goal is 4 years in the making. At first, I thought God forget my prayer or He just doesn’t like my family to move away from our past house, but I stand corrected. Everything is in His season. Everything is in His plans.

Hey self! Please don’t doubt again the power of God’s faithfulness to His beloved.


So there are good (or even best) things happened this year that is not part of MY PLAN. But who cares about my plan. God is faithful!

However, of course, we shouldn’t expect a year full of rainbows because there are always rains and that is okay.

LOWLIGHTS OF 2016

  1. Mom had an accident.

Remember what I said earlier, those uncontrollable situations, so here is one of a good example of that. My mom had an accident but she is okay now, alive and kicking.

This is one of those moments of rain I am talking about. That time when my mom had been injured because of the accident was the moment I am rekindling my *art skills.* But that season was not the time to be selfish about my time.

  1. My first ever niece died.

I didn’t understand the feeling of mourning but now I did. It was fast. One day she was born and the next day she’s grasping for dear life and a week after she died.

To tell you honestly, this was the moment I stopped reading the Bible and hearing all those repetitive clichés about God. For me, he must have been deaf that time. But again, I don’t know what to do without Him. So I don’t have any choice but to trust in Him because who can I trust in this fleeting world?

  1. Budgeting

I somewhat started of this year having a budget in mind, but because of those uncontrollable things that had happened this year, I begin to drift away.

  1. Procrastination

Haha. This is controllable but sometimes all I wanted is to sleep or look at the ceiling for hours. Procrastination leads me to less books read this year, didn’t finish daily devotional, not having to read the Bible for weeks, less socializing (which I badly needed at this point of my life). I could be angry at Facebook because it is the cause of all my procrastination but as I always say…

we are our choices.

Yet, all these lowlights bring me a lesson to be learned. I am glad for these lowlights, for if it didn’t happen, I would not see another aspect of human lives and faith.

This year I learned that….

To see beauty, you must create it.

To be happy, you must create it.

To have what you want, you must at least try to get it.

Faith without action is not faith at all.

To believe is to see.

Trusting the process is painful but worth it.

Being grateful is the way to purposeful life.

We should not be afraid to start over again, because by starting over you will learn the value of what you are doing.

Our day job will not satisfy our inner being, it is more of what we do outside of work can fulfill our hungry souls. Do side-hustles. Be passionately in love with your goals.

At the end of these all, when we fail or succeed… make sure that what you are doing translates to God’s unfailing love.


Happy Holidays to all!

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2016 Year in Books

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Starting 2016, I am in the hunt for new books to love. One of my goals is to read more. However, life seems to ignore the fact that I have 35 books to read this year. There you have some uncontrollable circumstances that hindered me to read more. Or that halfhearted weekends when I want to read but I also want to practice my new found hobby: lettering. Or those times I ended up scrolling my phone for  the latest news/gossip in Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

This year I have only read 31 books. Unlike last year where I read 34 books or the year prior last year, 37 books. To be honest it frustrates me because why on earth I only read 31 books this year? WHY???

And aside from reading less what I’ve expected, only quite few books that resonates me (in no particular order):

 

The Last Apache Girl (paperback) by Jim Fergus

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“Yet only the atrocities of the conquered are referred to as criminal acts; those of the conqueror are justified as necessary, heroic, and even worse, as the fulfillment of God’s will.”
Jim Fergus, The Wild Girl

When Breathe Becomes Air (ebook) by Paul Kalanithi

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“That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”
Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air

Hollow City (ebook) by Ransom Riggs

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“I liked this idea: that peculiarness wasn’t a deficiency, but an abundance; that it wasn’t we who lacked something normals had, but they who lacked peculiarness. That we were more, not less.”
Ransom Riggs, Hollow City

The Little White Horse (paperback) by Elizabeth Goudge

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“Nothing is ever finished and done with in this world. You may think a seed was finished and done with when it falls like a dead thing into the earth; but when it puts forth leaves and flowers next spring you see your mistake.”
Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse

The Hidden Oracle (ebook) by Rick Riordan

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“Not all monsters were three-ton reptiles with poisonous breath. Many wore human faces.”
Rick Riordan, The Hidden Oracle

And Again (ebook) by Jessica Chiarella

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The Throne of Fire (ebook) by Rick Riordan

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“The right choice is hardly ever the easy choice.”
Rick Riordan, The Throne of Fire

The Sun is Also a Star (paperback) by Nicola Yoon

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“How can you trust something that can end as suddenly as it begins?”
Nicola Yoon, The Sun is Also a Star

Other books are just okay, not astounding enough for it to resonate.

So here’s the summary of my 2016 Books

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Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the situation at hand? But realized that you have no choice but to fake confidence, or fake a smile, or fake a nod, or fake a reaction.

Fake that you are a good writer, until you are one!

Fake that you are an expert in calligraphy (even you know you are far from good), until you become one!

Fake that you are a crafter, until you are one!

Fake it until you make it!

Sometimes, you need to lie to yourself in order for you to be confident of what you are doing. You need to tell yourself that you are good at something for you to be able to do it, to make it. You need to trick your mind, mind over matter, they said.

It is not a matter of being an expert on something that makes you an expert. Most of the time, it is a matter of how much you want to learn about it and do something about it. The more you fake it, the more you self-study, the more you explore. Because, at the end, after all this fake confidence, you will realize that you will no longer faking it, but you are actually excelling on it.

So if you are passionate about some thing, always bear in mind that everything is a process. It is okay if you are  not so good in crafts (or in whatever you are passionate about) because you are still in the process of faking ’til making it!


Yien 12.02.16

 

The Cowardly Lion

It is not enough to have the right talent and the right tools. Most of the time, it all boils down to timing and how badly you want it to have it.

How badly you want it that you courageously go out to your comfort zone? That fine line between your cowardice and bold goals.

How badly you want it that you can risk every known familiarity? That fine line between your cowardice and the unknown.

Many have died believing their talents are enough. But it is not. It is deeper. It is the courage from within. The courage to believe, to start, to fail and to start again.


Inspired by The Cowardly Lion of  Oz Series

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Creation + Passion + New Project

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” –  Albert Einstein

Maybe, I get God on why He chose to create this world.

Creating something out of nothing is fulfilling. And it is more fulfilling to know that the thing you create serves as an inspiration and gives you a purpose.

One of my many passions is creating something out of nothing — putting it into 3 letters — DIY. I love creating stuff. Creating an ordinary item into an extraordinary one. Recycling unusable items into a usable one. I love generating and implementing ideas. I love how simple ideas come to life. I love the idea that on a simple thing you do, you make the world a better and pretty place.

And to my surprise, many are just like me. Maybe doing DIY is more cost-efficient or maybe it becomes a hobby. But what I am sure of is making art is purposeful and fulfilling.

In these, I am inspired to work on a new project involving arts. And now, I am inviting all creatives to answer this brief survey, actually it is more of knowing your story as an (frustrated) artist/creative.

 

What I Learned from The Throne of Fire

It is 12 midnight, not my usual hour to sleep but I am engrossed on reading, here’s the climax, I said. One more chapter, I plead to my sleepy head. I can confidently say, reading wins, it always wins.

Now, it is Bes turn now. Ok. I cannot believe what I just have read. *spoiler alert* He risk his ren, his soul, the part of himself that contains who he was and his experiences. HE RISK IT ALL. For what? For greater good.

That scene left  me dumbfounded and teary-eyed. How could this particular middle-school fantasy novel hit home that hard?

Risk. For a person as cowardice and conventional like me, risking is a bit of a hardcore. Living in the comforts all my life, I came to believe that life is about being here, just being here. And not to my surprise, I am WRONG again. Sometimes, we need to risk something in order to have that one thing we desire. I think selfishness is the number one reason why a person like me is having a hard time risking even a little bit of myself.

And here’s Bes, an Egyptian god, the protector of household, risk not just a little bit of himself but all the essence of him, his name, his ren, his soul.

Courage. It takes a greater courage to risk.A cowardice can’t risk because he is bound inside his comfort zone. And there’s Bes again, he goes all out for his friends, Sadie and Carter.

So what’s the point of this entry? The point is we can never truly live if we don’t risk anything at all. Sometimes in our life, we need to be courageous and selfless in order to live… to truly be alive.

William Shedd was right when he said, “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” Imagine we are the ship and we are only in the harbor, are we living our purpose? Are we living the life?

Opportunities, possibilities and life  only happen when we step out from our comfort zone. Risk. Have courage. Live.


Book of the Month (October): The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2) by Rick Riordan

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-Yien

 

Borrowed Time


“Life is short.” I have heard this cliché many times; so many times that I have never imagined that it will hit home and it will hit home hard enough; so many times that I have never imagined that it would be literal as 6 days, 14 hours and 55 minutes of living.

It is already 9 days after my niece died (as of writing), but I still couldn’t comprehend how and why this little baby girl, innocent and full of potential, should suffer and feel the pain even adults couldn’t bear. Why in her young age, she should undergo angioplasty? How her young body could bear all the pain?

Life is very short for this young little girl. She hadn’t seen the world. From the day she was born, she was taken to the heart center for operation. 6 days in the ICU.  She didn’t see her mother; her mother didn’t have the chance to hug her.  September 21 was her first breath. September 28 was her last.

In times like this, I want to tell every person I meet that life is short; that they should not spend it YOLO-ing but instead make out of most of their time loving and caring for people; that they should not be selfish to flick a cigarette while others are dying from lack of oxygen; that they should learn to value their health; that time is of essence; your time spent more to one thing is a time you spent less to another; that life is too fragile to break it.

Seeing my niece (7 days old) inside the coffin was heart-breaking. It is as if imagining how she suffered greatly, how much pain she endured. I would like to ask God, not to whine, but to have a conversation, just to know His plans, just to know what’s going on in His mind, to be assured that this little angel is safe and sound to His loving arms.

“A man’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. He cannot live longer than the time You have set. So now look away from him that he may rest, until he has lived the time set for him like a man paid to work.” – Job 14:15

Yien 10.07.16

Book of the Month: And Again by Jessica Chiarella

Hi again fellow bookworms! I am still guilty of not reading as much as I can. Yet, I have reasons why I haven’t read that much this September. And one of those I should have yet to tell you soon because it deserves another story. But mind you, it is a sad story.

It is already October but I have not yet disclosed my September’s pick. Without further ado, my September’s Book of the Month is And Again by Jessica Chiarella. It is all about 4 people and how an advance experiment change their lives forever.

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Actually, it is a nice read with a good concept. It is about second chances; about living in a body without any mark of the past but only memories, and; about finding out that you are a stranger of your own body. However, it is not as mind-blowing as I expected it to be. But it has so many potentials.

What I like about this book is I can relate to it. I can feel the characters’ dilemma. Here are some quotes:

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If only we could turn back time without ruining everything.
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Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know. (*Frozen*)
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It is what time does in a relationship, it can ruin it or make it flourish. But by this time, it is ruined.

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My world had grown so small that the only thing left to do was to leave it.

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Beauty is fleeting
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When silence is deafening

Yes, that’s it. It’s October I haven’t finished any books yet! I am 2 books behind as scheduled. 😦

Everyday – different, shifting and free

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I still have to comprehend life (and death). I still have to organize my thoughts as they are racing in my mind. I still need to evaluate every emotions. Nothing is sinking in. Nothing makes sense. Does life make sense? Does it need to make sense? Or should I leave everything in oblivion? Leave it as unfathomable? Leave it as a case indifferent from others?

Right now, what I am sure of, life is like the sky: everyday – different, shifting and free.



“Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hold on too long.”
Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie


“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars


“Every loss leaves a hole in your heart.”
Mitch Albom, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto: A Novel


“There should be a statute of limitation on grief. A rulebook that says it is all right to wake up crying, but only for a month. That after 42 days you will no longer turn with your heart racing, certain you have heard her call out your name. That there will be no fine imposed if you feel the need to clean out her desk; take down her artwork from the refrigerator; turn over a school portrait as you pass – if only because it cuts you fresh again to see it. That it’s okay to measure the time she has been gone, the way we once measured her birthdays.”
Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper


“Death doesn’t just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed.”
Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven


“The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”
Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie


“It is only with practice what we learn to say goodbye.”
Martin Davies, The Unicorn Road


“When someone is in your heart, they’re never truly gone. They can come back to you, even at unlikely times.”
Mitch Albom, For One More Day


“It’s cruel that I got to spend so much time with James and Lily, and you so little. But know this; the ones that love us never really leave us.”

— J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


“The dream is ended- this is the morning.”
C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle



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