An online journal created to seek meaning and purpose, to feel,

to dream, to discover, to spread joy and light, to love all of creation,

to glorify and magnify the Creator.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"I asked God why He made me too sensitive, and He promised me that it wasn’t a mistake. He told me He purposely made me delicate, not so that I could shatter easily, not so that I could be frail, not so that I could be told I’m “too soft” whenever someone tries to touch me.
It was so I could know of the gentle beauty in living. And in my tenderness, I can love in a way the world may not know of yet. My compassion has the power to speak raging waves to calmness and I can appreciate the little things He created that go unnoticed. There is something special in being fragile, and it has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. 

Being sensitive is a gift, He answered, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Just wanted to feature a homie's excitement in his calling and thoughts on emotions and potential.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

Allow me to remind you that among other evident signs of a lack of humility are:
  1. Thinking that what you do or say is better than what others do or say
  2. Always wanting to get your own way
  3. Arguing when you are not right or — when you are — insisting stubbornly or with bad manners
  4. Giving your opinion without being asked for it, when charity does not demand you to do so
  5. Despising the point of view of others
  6. Not being aware that all the gifts and qualities you have are on loan
  7. Not acknowledging that you are unworthy of all honour or esteem, even the ground you are treading on or the things you own
  8. Mentioning yourself as an example in conversation
  9. Speaking badly about yourself, so that they may form a good opinion of you, or contradict you
  10. Making excuses when rebuked
  11. Hiding some humiliating faults from your director, so that he may not lose the good opinion he has of you
  12. Hearing praise with satisfaction, or being glad that others have spoken well of you
  13. Being hurt that others are held in greater esteem than you
  14. Refusing to carry out menial tasks
  15. Seeking or wanting to be singled out
  16. Letting drop words of self-praise in conversation, or words that might show your honesty, your wit or skill, your professional prestige…
  17. Being ashamed of not having certain possessions…
St. Josemaria, pray for us!

ROLL 2 - 10/19/15

Posting on this blog feels like home to me. Unfortunately I don't get around to it as often as I would like. Here is a long overdue post of ROLL 2. Working through and about halfway to developing ROLL 3, I'm excited :)

Monday, September 14, 2015

"She began to add value to herself first, and later saw the value in herself."

"It's impossible to consistently behave in a matter inconsistent with how we see ourselves."

"People are never able to outperform their self-image."

Three quotes that I underlined in this chapter.

Blessed to have grown a lot in this department over the past little while and to continue to be intentionally pursuing growth in this area. It's so important to know your worth and your infinite potential as a child of God. In order to accomplish significant work for the Lord, you must first be able to visualize what you are capable of doing. To see it in your mind's eye. To solidify it and believe that you can. If the seeds of possibilities for you are never planted in your mind, they can never grow to be anything (there were no intentions in the first place). Believe in yourself. Love yourself. And take a risk because you're created to be great for Him. When you play small, when you hide your talents, when you keep quiet of the Good News, it does nothing to serve the world.

I also found the section Steps to Build Your Self-Image incredibly valuable.

  1. Guard your self-talk. Whether you know it or not, you have a running conversation with yourself all the time. What is the nature of yours? Do you encourage yourself? Or do you criticize yourself? Become your own encourager!
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others. What happens when you compare yourself to others? Usually its one of two things: either you perceive the other person to be far ahead of you and you feel discouraged, or you perceive yourself to be better than the other person, and you become proud. Neither is good for you or will help you grow. Your mission should be to become better than you were yesterday, and you do that by focusing on you. 
  3. Move beyond your limiting beliefs. "When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do." The greatest limitations you will encounter are the ones you impose upon yourself and tell yourself you can't do. 
  4. Add value to others. It's hard to feel bad about yourself when you're doing good for someone else.
  5. Do the right thing, even when it's the hard thing. Being true to yourself and your values is a tremendous self-esteem builder. Every time you take action that builds your character, you become stronger as a person - the harder the task, the greater the character builder. 
  6. Practice a small discipline daily in a specific area of your life. Chip away at things you need to work on bit by bit; don't try to tackle it all at once. This gives you confidence to complete the task. 
  7. Celebrate small victories. It's good for you and inspires you to keep going.
  8. Embrace a positive vision for your life based on what you value. What do you value? If you don't have a vision, you're likely to be apathetic. If you tap into what you value and try to see what could be, it can inspire you to take positive action.
  9. Practice the one-word strategy. If you could only pick one word to describe yourself, what would it be? Make sure it's positive. 
  10. Take responsibility for your life. We tend to get in life what we're willing to tolerate. If we allow others to disrespect us, we get disrespected. If we tolerate abuse, we get abused. If we don't develop a vision for ourselves, we will become a part of someone else's. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

If dressing up a notch can bring about more confidence, then maybe looking the part will help retain more information too? heh.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In Vigor

I am no where near perfect at it, but I am grateful to have taken a few steps towards a path of healthy(ER) habits. Growing up a night owl, sleep until you're sick of it, picky eater and "I don't need to exercise because I have a fast metabolism anyway" kid, were habits that I developed over the years because I often did what was most convenient and comfortable thing for me at the time.
I never thought to consider doing "what was right" in smaller areas because for the most part, when it came to larger decisions, I fell on the morally acceptable side of things anyway.

Lately I've been thinking about how I can be a better daughter of God.
 I went on a run today, put on an awesome and audio of positivity and ended up sweating buckets for the first time in a while. Along my run, it became evident how interconnected health is within all facets of life. I found that if I don't exercise, if I continue to eat oily fast food and if I continue to sleep late, I wake up early for work the next day feeling crummy about the rest of the day and about myself. You know, those days where you want to just put your earphones in, throw on some Mariana's Trench and look outside the window on public transportation imagining you're in some kind of sad movie scene. It all seemed glorious to me before, and I guess that's exactly how media makers wanted it to be. But was that the best use of my potential that day?
I think not.

See, if I felt healthy and the most optimal I can be, I feel better about myself and therefore "me" becomes less of a concern in my mind, and my focus can become redirected from everything that I have to do, everything that I feel, and refocuses onto how I can best be there for others - whether it be a greater capacity to love those closest to me, or simply to flash a smile to a stranger!
When everything about me is in check, naturally, the focus is off of myself and I can be available to love more.

Side reflection:
The other day, I was on the skytrain (and not sleeping for once... Probably because I was already awake closer to Surrey from my usual nap that lasts the extent of Granville to Gateway). The woman sitting perpendicular from me was to herself and seemed extremely annoyed at those who sat near her or disturbed her thinking. Her earphones were in the entire time and she stared intently at her phone for the duration of the train ride. At least for the part I was awake to see.
By the time we got to Gateway, I noticed her tears coming down her face as she continued to focus on her phone.
What struck me most about this occurrence were not her actions, but my reaction.
I hesitated.
And I think of the things that irked me about that situation, that would be the greatest of them.
I was disappointed in myself for hesitating to say something to her. To speak out. To reach out. To give her a hand, or anything really!
I couldn't get myself to say anything to her because fear held me back.
And the fear that held me back was nothing of significance. It was simply an underlying fear in my subconscious that was afraid of getting rejected or misinterpreted for my intentions if I spoke to her.
And it made me think about fear and selfishness, and how ugly those two characteristics are.
How such little but powerful (if you let them be so) things were able to prevent me from reaching out to someone I could have helped.
And it made me think of the rest of Western society and how common it is to be so... To yourself, all the time.
In the end, I ended up garnering the courage to speak to her and ask her if I could do anything for her. I found out that her best friend's mother was just sent to the hospital and found with three tumours. In a situation as such, my prayers were the best I could offer to her.
I hope to grow myself in the path of becoming a fearless daughter of God. Most especially when it comes to serving his people. I want to be able to instantly extend my hand literally and figuratively.
Because... Well, imagine if I was able to her. Imagine if the reason she was crying was actually something to which I had a solution. Imagine if something I had or something I could say to her could transform the course of her life. How selfish would I be to deny her of that, to deny her of my love, my service and Christ's love, all because I had minuscule fears of rejection and misinterpretation - two things that would mean nothing to me in the next 5 minutes, but if overcome, could be a miracle in someone else's life.

Anyway, my side reflection became longer than my original post haha!

To be a fearless daughter of God, to strive towards optimal health and mental well-being, to achieve and expand my potential with each coming day. These are all exciting things that are coming into fruition through acknowledgement, diligence, consistency and courage with each passing day.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Roll 1 - 07/27/2015

The scarcity of film has instilled in me a greater appreciation for which moments I choose to capture. Through each of these photos, I recall exactly how I felt when I took it and why I did.

Behind the Viewfinder

As I've aligned myself onto a path of growth over the past year, I've found that I have gradually streamlined my schedule into a routine of busy-ness - yes, structure - yes, but for the first time in my life, being someone who once cringed at the word "routine", I have grown to love what my time has been spent doing. The difference being that my routine this time around has been wrapped around purpose and with direction to an end leading to the free, spontaneous, significant and God-glorifying life I have always yearned for.
Whether it means waking up at 6:30 every morning to leave for work, spending a huge bulk of my day expending my efforts as a mere expendable employee for someone else's practice/company, and then spending the evenings building myself and building my family's future, and somehow throwing school and creative release into the mix... It's exhausting but "while I may get tired in the work, I won't ever get tired of doing something to glorify my God and elevate my family. And I know what I currently have right now is temporary until then.

This one week trip to California has been a break in that routine. Prior to our departure, I found myself scrambling to get a week off of work, working out being away from the company and my precious association, and somehow squeeze two term papers and a presentation somewhere in there.
The pressure was demanding and I found myself not even wanting to go. However, I think the Lord as someone who sees and plans the greatest scheme of things, knew it was necessary for me and my growth in other ways.

After arriving back home, the dearest friends I have bombarded me with: How was your trip!?
It's difficult putting a raw experience into words but from what I do know, I was happy to have gone and was even happier to be back with the findings I had taken away from the trip.
Being around extended family and amidst unfamiliar sites of God's work was the cherry on top to the trip, and quite frankly, I don't really remember much aside from the fact that it was all great.

What I really took from it however was a greater understanding of love and capacity.
In the journey of learning more about who I am and who I am made to be, I've learned that we all desire to love and to be loved.
Unfortunately when irrelevant things attached to immediacy and distraction come into play, they add layers upon layers of unclarity to our ultimate desire, and decrease our capacity to love in the moment everything is coming to play.
This was prominent, and through our trip arose through a lack of time or money... leading to impatience, frustration and arguments.
Now my family does not argue much in general, and I'm blessed because of that.
But I have found that the strict time schedule we were on and the expenses that were accumulated throughout the trip made a difference in our capacity to show our love to each other.

I do not want this reflection to be focused on the negative, because there was nothing about that trip that was negative. And throughout the trip itself, I have acknowledged situations when this happened, and have strived to pause, to bring logic back into the picture and to unify.

This is merely something I have learned about the human capacity and what could be mended together if we were free to make our decisions based on our values and with the peace of Christ, rather than on how much time or money we have.

I am reinvigorated and excited for my family's already bright present, and even brighter future.

Also would like to note other things that struck me throughout this trip:
- Crying in a casino
- Focusing on "why" not "what"
- Lack of patience and love I was able to give because I had to write a paper in the middle of a family trip

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Driving at dusk and all the right songs coming on.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Crown of Beauty:
How did you know Drew was “the one”?
Ellie: He was my best guy friend I swore I’d never date, but he had been such a good friend to me that I began to get sad at the thought of dating anyone else, because I would miss his friendship so much. I was amazed on our first date by how natural the whole thing felt. Peace describes the feeling well. I never grappled with whether or not we should be together forever because my heart felt total peace in a way I’d never experienced before in a relationship.
It was our second date when he said this to me: “Ellie, I’m crazy about you and I want to love you really well, but I’m just a man. I’m going to fail you, hurt you, and disappoint you. I don’t want to do any of those things, but I’m only human.
So I need you to run as hard as you can after a relationship with Jesus because He’s going to be able to love you far better than I’ll ever be able to, and I want you to be loved the best.” I knew that I’d found a man who would point me, over and over again, to Jesus, the Author and definition of love itself.
— Ellie Holcomb

Monday, May 4, 2015

God has a way of stripping everything that we think we need, and He leaves just Himself to us. It is never an easy thing to be in that situation; one day praising God for His goodness and the next crying out to Him to make Himself known in the storm.
When we have rooted ourselves to a safe place, God tends to rip us out of the ground and plant us somewhere new. We may hate it, revile Him for it, and even reject Him for a time. But when we look back, we will see that we needed to be uprooted, to be changed from that place that was slowly killing us.
God is the master gardener, He knows all His plants by name, He delicately removes the bad weeds and waters the good seeds. He does what needs to be done, so that one day we can look back and see the majesty that He was doing.
You are being made into a beautiful thing, something that God loves to watch grow. So the next time you are taken out of your comfort zone, know that Christ is slowly making you something great, because He is doing it; and He is the greatest thing.
— T.B. LaBerge

Let life break your heart until your heart becomes unbreakable. Try. Fail. Risk. Jump off the deep end. There are no conditions to love. And no end to its depths.
— Jeff Foster

Friday, May 1, 2015

Stir My Heart

You have listened to fears, child. Come, let me breathe on you. Forget them. Are you brave again?
- C.S. Lewis // Prince Caspian

The more you know about Christ, the less you’ll be satisfied with superficial views. The more deeply you study His life in the fullness of His grace, the more you will see the King in His beauty. You will long more and more to see Jesus.
— Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I sometimes have to pinch myself to get a handle on how utterly real and amazingly beautiful this life is. It's almost hard to believe that this is my life now, especially when reflecting back on the lens I once looked through. The contrast is surreal.

Shifting the mindset. Letting go. Forgiving. Trusting. And following Light and Love.

Jesus IS everything anyone could possibly want and yet as clear as that was, it was so hard to see back then because I didn't allow myself to do so. It's as though I thought covering myself from Him and everything else would protect me.

My hope now is for everyone to open their eyes to the Light and see! Simple as that.

It actually hurts reading on the social problems out in the world. It hurts even more when your textbook reinforces it as normal. Where is the love?!!?

Monday, April 6, 2015

me right now treating sfu couches as if they were my own

Things that stir my heart at 1:57 am while grinding on a month's work of school work.

I wonder how they could yell Barabbas instead of Jesus.
I wonder how they sang Hosanna and days later, Crucify him.
I wonder how Pontius could wash his hands of it, as though a dirty conscience could be so easily cleaned.
But — I am Barabbas, sinner set free.
I yell Crucify him as I sing praises with ease.
I am Pontius, who turned a blind eye to glory.
And yet, so Christ still died for me.
Still he died, where I should be,
a perfect love on that tree.
— J.S.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of solo adventures. Everything from eating lunch by yourself to strolling in the park alone all help to shape your sense of independence. If you’re never by yourself how will you ever know yourself.

Friday, April 3, 2015

For the soul

I never saw a wild thing 

sorry for itself.
D.H. Lawrence

He could not see what was ahead except that it was all open… It looked endless: wild and lonely and free.
C.S. Lewis

I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.
Hosea 2:14

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. 

Those who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing, and are nothing. 

They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, or live. 

Chained by their attitudes, they are slaves, they have forfeited their freedom. 

Only a person who risks is free.