Hey Grace!

“If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking…”

Today, I was reminded by you. Oh, grace, in every unexpected moments of my life, you’ve been there. In every boring parts of my existence, you’ve been there. And to tell you truthfully, I can’t see myself without you.

There were times, when I forget how you work. I thought I was entitled by everything I have, not realizing that you and you alone made me worthy of everything. There were times, I thought I could do it all to the extent that I would be drowning with my own frustrations without realizing that you and you alone can make everything work.

I am looking at my journals from the past years and I am astounded and in awe on how my experiences lead me into this person I am right now. Grace, you are the reason why. Without you, maybe, I am not alive today. Remember the time that I almost gotten hit by an SUV? It was you who saved me because you know that I am not done yet. Or that time that my family almost had a car accident? But because of you, we are safe and sound right now. Or the time when I really wanted to eat my mom’s “sopas” but she’s living far away and then the food vendor gave me a free “sopas”? And I the list go on, on how you show me who you are. With all those that had happened in my life, you keep on reminding me of the cross and how a Man sacrificed His life for me, that’s you, Grace, the free unmerited favor of God. The favor which I do not deserve. The favor that is freely given. The favor that I am thankful for.

I don’t know what I have done to be worthy of you. With all those bad things that had happened, with all those bad words I said, with all those inexcusable actions I made, with all those things I should’ve said but didn’t, with all those slipping away, Grace, you still remain.  You remain.


Consistently Inconsistent

I have been really consistently inconsistent in updating this side of my blog. Even though I tried so hard to rationalize and reason out why I’ve been MIA here in my Book of the Month feature, no reason will ever suffice; because the real reason is I am too lazy to think, review and write about this particular topic.

Also, it is hard to choose a book which really gets my emotions. I’ve been reading fairly average lately and it seems no book has really captured my heart that much. Actually, I am really missing reading something dark or deep or something mind-boggling enough. The last time I can remember was last December, I’ve read The Sun is Also a Star in one day. However, the books I’ve been reading now-a-days are just too familiar or what I call my cup of tea: funny Mythology, Christian Non-fiction, an overrated YA novel, Classics from Lewis & Steinback and a Christian book adaptation. All those are in my comfort zone.

I am just looking for something that will resonate my deepest emotions, that can give me a heartbreak (without the actual heartbreak), or something that will challenge my preconceived notion about life.

So, instead of telling you about my favorite book for the 1st quarter of the year, I’ll be giving you some quotable quotes from the books I’ve read:

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy

_We are define by the things that we do, Detective_

Chief end(2)

Skulduggery 2

Regret No More: Letting Go of Yesterday’s Sorrows by Nelson Dy

Second chance

Chief end

 

Chief end(1)

Chief end(3)

Chief end(4)

Found: Letters on Love, Life and God by Isa Garcia

Found

Found(1)

Found(2)

Found(4)

Found(5)

Found(6)

Found(7)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

Fangirl(1)

 

Fangirl(2)

Fangirl(3)

Fangirl(4)

Fangirl(5)

Of Mice & Men by John Steinback

Of Mice

The Son of Sobek by Rick Riordan

Sobek

War Room: Payer is a Powerful Weapon by Chris Fabry

War room(1)

War room(2)

Who Would Have Thought by Acel Van-Ommen

thought

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

EE(1)EE

EE(2)

Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Magnus

Magnus(1)

Magnus(2)

Magnus(3)

Magnus(4)

Magnus(5)

Magnus(6)

Magnus(7)

Magnus(8)

Magnus(9)

Magnus(10)

So, I think that’s it. Hopefully, this suffice my MIA for months.

The Label You Put Inside Your Head

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Let me tell you this: you are NOT the label you put inside your head, neither, the label others tell you behind your back. 

People tend to box us of their slight idea about us. People try to grasp us in a way they see our lives, based on their biases, based on their stereotypes. But the truth is, what they can only access is the tip of our icebergs. They can only see what their minds can understand. They perceive what they want to perceive. And that my friend is not dangerous at all. It is part of life. People judge us and form stereotypes about us. The danger is, what our own minds can create and make us believe.

Our own minds are dangerous. Maybe too dangerous. What we put in our minds define our being.

Let me ask you, who are you? What defines you? Me, for example, is a self-proclaimed introvert. I know there is no danger about being an introvert. But you know what’s terrifying about my idea of myself? It is that, most of the time, I am too absorbed in being an introvert, which defeat the very purpose of my existence here on earth, to share and to love.

The thing about knowing yourself too much and labeling yourself is that you feel you are ought to be just that kind of person, when in fact, you are not called to be just that person, you are called for more: to step out of your idea of yourself and be out there.

The point I am trying to say is: Maybe the label we put in our heads is not the label we are cut out for. Maybe we are meant to live for so much more than our ideas and stereotypes. Maybe, just maybe, life would be better if we stop labeling ourselves and start lighting up the very purpose we are here on earth.

Right now, what I am certain of is, we are not the label we put inside our heads, neither, the label others tell us behind our backs… We are in fact God’s, and His idea about us is what matters.


Yien03.26.17

Photo by: jacobsmedia.com

Hawak

unspoken

Pagod na pagod na akong lumaban.

Pagod na pagod na akong hawakan, ang mga pangarap na tila ba’y wala namang patutunguhan.

Pagod na akong tahakin ang landas na hindi ko alam ang pupuntahan.

Ligtas pa ba kung sasabihin kong, ayoko na, tigil na?

Sa ganitong panahon, napapagtanto ko kung gaano kahirap na kapitan ang mga bagay na mawawala rin pala.

Sa ganitong panahon, nararamdaman ko na hindi ko pala kayang mag-isa.

Dahil sa ganitong panahon, na akala ko’y kaya ko ng bumitaw, ‘yon pala’y hawak Mo pa rin ang aking mga kamay.

Ang aking mga kamay, nanginginig, napapagod.

Napapagod na sa pagsusulat ng mga bagay, mga plano… na sa huli pala ay parang bulang mawawala.

Nanginginig sa takot kung tama pa ba ito, nanginginig sa pagod, sa paglaban, sa pagpapatuloy ng mga bagay na hindi pala para sa’kin.

Ito na ang katapusan,

Tatapusin ko na.

Ang paglaban sa isang digmaan na pinanalunan Mo na.

Ito na ang katapusan,

Tatapusin ko na.

At ngayon ikaw naman uli ang mag-uumpisa.

Umpisahan Mong baguhin ang puso ko, buuin, pagtibayin, palambutin.

Umpisahan Mong gawin ang nararapat.

Tapos na ako.

Ikaw na uli ang may hawak sa buhay ko.

02.18.17

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:

FREE PRINTABLE 2017 CALENDAR

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img_20161229_072004_462

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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.

artsycraftsy-3

  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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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

Most of the Time

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Sometimes,  Most of the time, life does not make any sense. There are lots of pain, sufferings and unending war of self and others.  The only thing that makes sense right now is You and Your mightiness.

Life is also a blur at times. There are a lot of sparkle and brightness that seems right at that given time but seems to only last in that moment. The only guidance that last forever is Your light.

Most of the time, I don’t know what you are doing but what I know is You and who You are.

Yien 09.28.16

 

Brick in the Wall

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There’s another brick in the wall, challenges that might scar and falter one’s faith. But just like the brick in the wall, being strong and unfazed is the only way to go; strengthened by hope, held by faith, and embraced by love.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Yien 09.27.16

What is Life About?

 

picture1Life is fragile. It can break us or make us. It can leave you without a warning or it stays until the fulfillment of our purpose. Life in itself is unfathomable. But what we are capable of knowing is that: life is short. So short it is that you and I should embrace and give it importance.

Be truthful but nice at the same time. Stop complaining, start doing. Pray and hope. Speak life. Don’t lie. Love people. Appreciate the sky and its ever moving and changing nature. Create beautiful things and beautify the world. Be kind and remember that everything you do has a ripple effect. Don’t worry. Stop bringing drama, start giving laughter and joy to someone. Inspire others.

Life is about relationship. It is never about material things. It is never about achievements. It is about how you smile when someone needs your smile. It is about helping others when someone loses hope. It is about you and me in this world, loving and caring one another, looking out for each other, taking time to talk to each other, taking time to appreciate everyone’s life.

Yien 09.26.16