October 20, 2016 / 22:24 PM
The past few months have been a personal beauty reawakening of sorts. I do so much research on brands, products, and techniques that I find myself committed to make-up and skincare more than I’d choose to commit myself to a person – right now. (That’s a story for another entry.)
My relentless obsession started a month ago when I discovered the Korean 10-Step Skincare Routine, which led me to Althea Korea. With ...
October 17, 2016 / 12:00 PM
There will be a distinct time in your life when you finally come to understand who God is and more importantly, how He loves you. This does not necessarily mean that you will go through life sure of all things. The rock that you stand from may be firm and unshakeable but there will be storms far too strong for you to stay still and calm.
You can spend years educating yourself with endless theology but still not be transformed. You can hear the deafening and persistent words surrender, salvation, and grace countless of times without understanding how your life is a ferocious, meandering example of it all. God can be so near yet feel so very distant. He may be your Creator, your Genesis but you can spend years being strangers.
The one thing you learn when you do the irreparable decision of knowing Christ – with all your heart and soul – is God can be a blazing fire too bright to go unnoticed but sometimes, He is but an infinitesimal spark that only in our silence and stillness do we see.
The beginning feels like any relationship: fresh, exhilarating, and magnificent. You cannot get enough of His presence. The purpose of your existence is all too clear and it is to glorify Him. But soon enough, the reality sinks in. There will be days when God feels like an afterthought. He will be silent and still when you need him to be loud and moving.
There will be countless of days when your passion is replaced with apathy. When you can go weeks without praying and feel no shame. When His faithful words no longer resonate inside your soul. There will be no visions, no life-changing moments, and no emotional outbursts. But maybe this is how it is supposed to be. When we find fulfillment in a relationship that is not fueled by emotions that come and go. When we stutter and fall too short of a God great enough who encompasses all our weaknesses we are too proud to show. When we finally understand that prayer is not merely an act we do out of obligation and praise, but as humans, a consistent deed we do to remind ourselves that we need God, more than anything else in our lives.
Maybe we don’t understand that God is silent because He is so close. That He is still because He is everywhere all at once.
We must not be fearful that our relationship with Jesus can end up like that of our relationships with other flawed humans such as ourselves – who stay and go as they please. God is with you when He is at the center, He is still with you when He is just a passing thought. He is with you in your tears, and He is with you in your tranquility. Nothing will ever keep Him away from you even if you try.
Find God in the mundane. Worship God in the every day normalcy of your life. Seek God even in His silence. And, love Him in His stillness.
October 08, 2016 / 02:05 AM
I am finally a believer.
There, I said it. I am a believer in Korean beauty and skincare.
My past skincare routine was (almost) non-existent. I survived the Johnson’s Baby Soap (for my body and face *gasp*) treatment until graduating from university. Mind you, college – fuelled by caffeine while running on 3-6 hours of sleep – is anything but conducive for good skin. On my senior year, I broke out severely, and I had ...
October 03, 2016 / 11:30 AM
On my first year of full-fledged employment, I hardly did anything creative.
I was – I still am – a photographer for a television network working a 9-hour job. I did not bother to stray, explore, and create (more). I was exhausted. I resisted the tug of Divinity to bring me to higher places. More than that, I felt entitled to a greater life than I had. I was, for a lack of a better term, a brat.
I was completely paralyzed. I talked about it. I wrote about it. I cried about it. I prayed about it. But, I was too crippled by my fear, my insecurity, and my pride to move. I thought my best work was behind me. I thought I no longer had within me jewels, which brought forth good, sincere work I could be proud of. I thought, I thought, I thought yet I did not do. I had my entire life ahead of me, and I thought the best, most crucial parts of it were already finished. I was wrong, thank God.
“And you have treasures hidden within you – extraordinary treasures – and so do I, and so does everyone around us. And bringing those treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion, and the clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and we simply do not have time anymore to think so small.”
I am tired of making excuses to delay creativity. I no longer have the patience to wait for joy, even inspiration, to knock in my heart and surprise me when I know it is within reach. No amount of complaining and (self) hatred can ever bring me to greater heights. Devotion, time, gratitude…now those things will carry me through sleepless nights and innumerable hours perfecting, molding, honing my lifelong passion.
Every night, after performing my day job, I write. I write about my faith. I write about the books that make my heart ache. I write about my love for beauty. I write about so many things, and I can hardly keep track. On weekends, I take photographs. I take portraits of my friends. I plan, go to places, explore, and take photographs of anything that captures my interest (which are a lot of things). The result?
My life is filled with utter and inexplicable Big Magic.
I still keep my day job. I still think I have a long way to go before I can declare myself capable of (full-fledged) freelance work. I still don’t think I am brilliant at what I do, but those things don’t matter as much anymore. Why? Because I get to create things. I get to see smiles on people’s faces when I show them an image I took of them. I get to read letters from strangers, from friends telling me that I have (unintentionally) brought light upon their lives because of something I wrote.
“I did not ask for any external rewards for my devotion; I just wanted to spend my life as near to writing as possible – forever close to that source of all my curiosity and contentment – and so I was willing to make whatever arrangements needed to be made in order to get by.”
Do I get impatient? Do I get fearful? Yes, but nowadays, hardly. I battle the paralyzing fear with space for intentional creativity, a grateful heart, and good faith.
I chose this creative life. I chose photography, I chose writing, I chose to document my life in this public platform. And, with everything, I choose the long hours of waiting, I choose the ache in my body after sleepless nights moving and creating, I choose the fleeting moments of discontent and insecurity, I choose the constant criticism, I choose my personal demons, and I choose the paralyzing fear of financial instability. I choose it all because there is nothing else in this earthly world that can bring as much joy to my life as the very act of creating.
September 26, 2016 / 12:49 PM
Doing my make-up on the daily is a routine that keeps dull days worth living out. I spend extra time perfecting my face, and it makes me feel confidently beautiful…and sometimes, late. When I’m not trying out new make-up for the blog, these are my go-to products!
Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm (P549, Your Make-up Store)
YouTube is abuzz with NikkieTutorial’s spontaneous discovery of Nivea Men’s Shave Balm; it happens to ...