What Does It Take to Start Over Again

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Do we need a certain amount of courage to establish ourselves to move on? Or do we need just a little and start from there? Do we need to fully trust our vision? Or to trust it partly and wait for signs that what we are doing is right? Do we need to achieve a level of faith? Or a small faith would do?

“No, you cannot quit…” “No you cannot start over again because you only have one life, don’t waste it…” Books, movies, songs told me that. “Stay where you are, make that happen, you cannot reroute and start over again, you have wasted so much time…” And sometimes, I also hear my brain giving this pep talk to myself.

All our life, we are taught not to give up, to continue even how painful it is to continue. Because giving up is only for the weak, the coward and the light-hearted. No, we cannot give up because we only have one life to live, wasting time is not an option. If you have invested so much time on something, you should continue it even though your mind is telling you otherwise. Just because, you call yourself courageous.

But real courage lies in knowing the right thing to do; walking in faith without foreseeing the future; believing not on yourself but on Someone bigger than you; knowing that Someone bigger than you gives millions of chances, that it is okay to give up and start over again even how much you invested on that one thing you are not giving up on.

It is okay not to pursue your graduate course. It is okay not to finish a sentence. It is okay not to hold on to people that hurts you even though you love them so much. It is okay to let go of your plans that are not working out even how much you invested your time on it. It is okay to let go of your lifelong dream. It is okay to lose grip on what you are supposed to be doing. It is okay to give up. But also in giving up is a chance to start over again. It is okay to start over again; to pursue what God’s want you to do, to hold on to your life, to walk in faith with Him. You can start over and over again.

Yes, we only have on life and we should not waste it. Do you want to spend your one life continuing what you thought you want knowing that God has given you so much more?

So what does it take to start over again?

No it is not about huge amount of courage. It is more of one pinch of courage and whole lot of God.

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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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

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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.

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How to be Yours?

Dear You,

Life seems busy these days. I have my own priorities and responsibilities, and sadly, it seems it does not include You. It seems like I am slipping away. Yes, I am slipping away badly.

It was 2012, October to be exact when I said yes to You. It was a good feeling. It was like starting to read a much hyped and awaited novel, all the feels of every word as I touch each page. I promised to never forget the story, the names of the character, the quotes. It was serene, exciting and overwhelming all at once. My heart was focused. I want You. I want You badly. And that day, You made me feel that You wanted me badly and I was the apple of Your eyes too. But like all the novels read, even how much I loved the story line, the characters, and the feels, once I am in the real world and years passed by doing what I am supposed to be doing, the story begins to blur.

Our relationship takes its turn to blur. I know it’s me. And it’s me all along. Trusting anyone besides myself is not an easy task. And for me to trust You with my whole heart is a huge challenge for me. Let alone Someone whom I cannot see. You said, “talk to Me.” But there are days when I feel talking to you is a chore. When You wanted me close to You, “I said no.” I have never been this close to anyone. And I set many conditions. It’s like I am haggling in the market for a kilo of fish.

I know this relationship is not about me, it is never about me. But the prideful me would like to think it is all about me.

Maybe the long-distance relationship is not for me. You are there and I am down here. Even Your voice seems too difficult to hear. What I wanted all along is to hear Your voice clearly, to feel You deeply, to see You eye-to-eye and for You to tell me Your plans. But life seems to interfere. Without You being tangible in my life made me doubt and feel worthless. It made me feel unlovable, ugly and mean.

Or maybe, I am not used to Someone who would call me “Mine.” I am not used to Someone whose eyes are set on me. I am not used to Someone who would think of me first before Himself. I am not used to Someone who would only ask me for my whole heart and nothing else. I am not used to Someone who sees all the uglies in my life but still chooses to be with me. Because to be honest, I cannot do those things for You. I am not capable of selfless love. I am not capable doing what You could do. What I am capable of is being the same old me. I AM NOT USED TO SOMEONE LOVING ME.

I am not used to that thing called love. I am not used to being owned by someone. But still, You call me “Mine.”

And I wanted our relationship to flourish. I would like to utter the same words You are telling me. I wanted to be Yours and Yours alone… O Lord, I want to be Yours. Tell me… Lord, how to be Yours?

Your stubborn child,

Julienne

 

 

 

Jacob and the Apple of His Eye

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  – Psalm 34:18

I’ve never seen this verse in a new light. This has been a verse I read then skip without even reflecting on it. For me, this never been a verse to really think about deeply.

Then, last May 24, as I was reading the Book of Genesis I realized that this verse is somewhat my life verse, it truly hits home.

Here’s the overview of the Book of Genesis: In the Book of Genesis, Jacob has two wives, Leah and Rachel. Rachel has always been the apple of the eye of Jacob that Leah always ends up being the second choice. But, because of this, Leah found favor in God. She was blessed with children while Rachel has none.

Then, that’s when I was reminded by this verse: God is near to the brokenhearted. Leah was brokenhearted. Even her spirit was crushed knowing that she would never be the first choice, she would never be the apple of the eye of Jacob. But, God saw her heartaches and blessed her.

All my life, I have been always battling to be the best, to be excellent, to be the first choice of people close to me. My heart breaks whenever people subconsciously remind me that what I do and what I say is not enough. It is like saying I am not simply enough. I accepted that fact a long time ago. I am the “almost but not quite” person.

Being an almost and pleasing everyone is exhausting. It is poison, it will eat you up inside and leave you empty. It is also frustrating to the point it is suffocating.

But being reminded that God is near to the brokenhearted, is comforting. God knows my heart, my thoughts. He knows what’s going on and He also knows the way out. And the way out is Him, to believe and trust, to be faithful with His promises.

I may not found favor to people. But I found favor with God and that’s more than enough.

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Time and Sacrifice

You know what’s the most sacrificial thing you can do? To share something you value so much. To share a part of yourself. To share yourself to others.

This past week, my life shattered before my eyes. My supposed to be uneventful life turned into chaotic, mix up life. Priorities and plans have been altered to fit my current situation.

Before those things (read my previous post), my weekends were spent doing some calligraphy arts, reading, sleeping, writing and watching Nickelodeon series. Now, most of my time is used in resting from doing household chores (which I don’t usually do), bathing my mother (since her arm is injured) and being idle (too exhausted to even think).

Then it hit me, this year is supposed to be the Year of Gratitude. Tell me, how can a person be thankful in the midst of chaos? Yet, I choose to be thankful. I realized that God is using this situation to further tell me how to be thankful to things that are in front of me.

God is using TIME (a valuable part of my sane existence) to teach me about sacrifice. As you can tell, I value me-time. I don’t want people (even those close to me) to meddle every me-time. Plans and priorities are all set. No one can bend those. But, last week has been a test of time and even currently, it is still a test. Right now, I cannot own my time. I need to share my time with others. I need to sacrifice a part of my time to others. People may think that sharing time is easy, but as for me, it is not. And God is working on that.

The lesson I learned from my current situation: be ready to share a part of yourself to others. Be ready to sacrifice what you value the most. Remembering Jesus who gave up His life at the cross should empower us to surrender and give up things for the sake of the goodness of others. Sacrifice this lenten season is not about traditions but it is about giving up the things you value for God.

Life in a Week

Last week was very eventful week. There were many things that had happened last week which until now I can’t seem to comprehend. Life seems to hit us hard when we least expect it.

My mom had an accident and needed to have an external fixation surgery. Her arms got broken too bad.

Last friday, my 2 smartphones were lost (snatched). I was too sleepy that time to be alert of my surroundings.

But because of these happenings, I learned many things:
1.  Always take a bath in the morning. You’ll never know what may happened in that day (in my case my mother had an accident and I needed to accompany her without taking a bath for that day).
2. Life is ironic. Minor situation can turn to major ones.
3. God has a reason. Always. Even we don’t know it at the time.
4. God is good. Always.
5. Our life’s purpose is to share ourselves to others and to live up to what Jesus did.
6. God is a provider. Have faith.
7. Learn to let go and keep moving forward.
8. Love your life more than the material things.
9. Put God first.
10. Be mindful of your belongings even when you are too sleepy.

I thank God for His love and mercy. I don’t know what to do without Him. I should be insane right now if it isn’t for Him.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instrument.
-Habakkuk 3:17-19

Defying Gravity

“I can defy myself. I can deny the identity God has given me. I can shrug everything that the Bible says. But I am tired of that, I am tired of defying and denying God’s will. I am tired of believing my own opinion. I am tired of telling myself ‘this is my identity.’ I am tired of living life away from God. Right now, what I know is I am where I need to be. I am who I need to be.”

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Identity. I can tell myself anything. I can choose to believe whatever I feed my mind with. I can tell myself I am an introvert (because Psych exams told me so) and I am no way near being an extrovert. Yet, I am here right now, doing the most hated job of every introverts I know, being a recruiter which involves a lot of talking and persuading. But the fact that God has placed me right at this very position means He has a purpose for me here. I can tell God, “NO WAY GOD! I don’t like to be here. I don’t like to talk to people. This is not my dream. This is not what I ask for.” But yet again, defying God is like defying gravity…. WE CAN’T! Or maybe we can but at the end of the day, it will leave us empty, tired and craving for more. I’ve tried to defy God but at the end, I am still looking for more, thirst for more and I became weary and tired.

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Image from: biblia.com

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Through it all…

I was happy, I was sad.

I was angry, I was calm.

I hated, I loved.

I cried, I laughed.

I was depressed, I was joyous.

I was short, I was tall.

I was arrogant, I was humble.

Through highs and lows, You have been there.

Through it all, You have been my God.