Monday, 11 August 2014

updating the look of my phone.

I was itching to change something on my phone. I've had my phone for about a year and a half now, and other than changing the wallpaper, I haven't made many changes in a while.

When I first got my phone, I learned that there are many options to customize the phone. I used to be an iPhone gal, so this was *super* cool. I downloaded the first thing I saw, and I haven't changed much since that day (mostly because I was too lazy to set everything up again). But, like I said, I wanted to change something on my phone, and ohmygosh, I'm having a ball :D

Check it out! New launcher, icons and wallpaper.

The lock screen, and the default home page.

The pages on either side of the default home page. One has a clock, and the other my calendar.

I keep my screens pretty empty, and have frequently used apps in the dock (which scrolls and has 3 pages), leaving the rest in the app drawer. I like how clean it is, and it lets me see the wallpaper too! The wallpaper reminds me of the verse, "Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10) But it's also just a really pretty background :)

I used to use Atom launcher, but Apex has way more functionality. I much prefer it. It feels much less cumbersome. Yippee! A+

Launcher: Apex // Icon Pack: Numix Circle // Wallpaper: Julie Song for designlovefest

Friday, 8 August 2014

summer highlights.

I haven't blogged my summer at all, so here are some highlights from this summer! As told by my phone's camera roll - no photo, no memory of it! Jk. But I am a lazy photographer.

Got a new Magic Bullet at home, and my family loves it. Having a ball making our first smoothies together, hahaha.

Tried the new ramen place in Chinatown (Ginza) and it's really really yummy.

Click through for more photos!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

get back to work.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

finding rest.

I am tired. How about now? Yep, still tired.

Last night I stayed up until 5AM doing research for my term paper for one of my classes. Isn't it funny how after you're done the research you feel like you're done the paper? But I actually have nothing written down right now, so if I were to hand that in- um, well, I can't really hand it in. There's nothing, haha. Gotta get writing.

But isn't this how most of us feel sometimes? We just keep going and going and going, yet it feels like nothing is getting done. We're tired. And boy am I tiiiired.

I need to learn to find rest.

A friend recently shared this article on rest. The message that stuck out to me the most is that Man is not sovereign, only God is.

So here's to finding rest and trusting in an almighty God.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

a messy canvas.

I think we all fear our flaws. But how crippling is your fear?

I often worry about being a perfect example for others, and therefore strive for perfection in everything I do. And that is where I fall short. I don't allow myself to make mistakes, so I either spend too much time perfecting something, or I give up and pretend it never existed in the first place.

Take this blog, for example. I wouldn't write if I didn't have a perfect post. I even get caught up with perfection when writing in my own personal journal. If my handwriting isn't perfect, if it doesn't look artistic, then why write at all? This is a silly question, because I write to reflect, not to show off my calligraphy or penmanship.

But it's okay to not be perfect. In fact, it's better to know that we aren't perfect. Christ alone is perfect. We should be okay with knowing that we are imperfect, and instead be made perfect by Christ. He gave us everything so that God would see us as perfect. He alone is enough.

Don't let your flaws cripple you. Let yourself be a work in progress, a messy canvas.

Monday, 10 March 2014

the danger in hobbies.

Someone recently asked me what my hobbies were. It's funny how such a simple question can stick with you for so long, and cause you to ponder your life so thoroughly. To be honest, I don't know what my hobbies are.

I used to love telling others, "I am a blogger, a writer, an avid social media user, a baker, a cook, a crafter.." A whole host of things that I thoroughly enjoyed. If it isn't evident from my lack of recent posts, most of these have kind of... derailed. I didn't know what to blog about, so I stopped. This is because I didn't know what to write about. I no longer knew what to do to relax, and rest. I didn't know what I did to unwind.

It's very confusing when you lose track of your hobbies. I think hobbies can be a very healthy thing, but they can be dangerous when they become an obsession. I think this might be why God took them away from me. I was finding too much of my identity in these things.

I needed to take time away to think about how the things I do can point back to Christ. How can the things that I do help me find rest, and to see God's handiwork in my life?

I can't promise that I will be back and blogging with great vigour. But since this happened, I know that I have definitely felt a rush of things come to mind that I want to blog about. I want to write again! I want to draw again! I want to craft again! I want to cook again! And I really hope that in doing all these things, I don't lose sight of Christ.

My hope for this blog has always been to share my life with others. To share my life, my faith, my experiences, and to hopefully encourage. I know this, but I need to always remember this.

So hopefully in putting my trust in God, in finding my identity in Christ, I can find joy in my hobbies again.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

finding my way back to Him

To my brothers and sisters in Christ,

I want to share with you a bit about what I've been learning in the past little while. I hope this post can be an encouragement to you. I don't know if anyone reads my blog anymore since I rarely post as of lately.. but I really wanted to share this.

I always need to remind myself again and again of my dependence on God. The hymn Before the Throne of God Above really encourages me, especially these lyrics:
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Okay and basically the rest of the song too, haha. I have been listening to the song on repeat lately, reminding myself to run to God and to bow before Him. I did not want to, and just did not feel like it. Anytime I opened my bible I just felt like I was reading words. It just felt… blah. However, I was reminded recently to do three very important things, always.
  1. Preach the gospel to ourselves always (yourself personally, and to other believers as well);
  2. to remain steadfast in prayer; and
  3. to wait patiently on the Lord.
Feeling super inadequate, I spent some time in prayer, pleading with God. I’ve also been reading a bunch of the psalms, so I just wanted to share these verses with you, Psalm 13:5-6 (NIV):
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.
So no matter where you are, and what you are feeling, I hope these words can encourage you.

In my denial of my need for God, I am sinning. I am slowly coming to realize, again, that we as human beings kind of suck. We are weak, we fail, and we are super sinful. BUT there is hope in Jesus! God is good, and He is perfect and unfailing. He stands firm and is our rock and salvation. No matter how inadequate we might be feeling about any situation, don’t forget that though we are imperfect, we have a perfect God to look to.

God is good. He gave Jesus on the cross for us, saving us from eternal condemnation. We are His. We are broken, but we are His.

With love,
from a sister who is venturing to find her way to a burning desire to be like Christ,

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

on being 'enough'.

Something that I often struggle with is being enough and feeling loved.

As a Christian, something we should all do more often is remind ourselves again and again of the gospel and of our own salvation. If I go back to where I was before I knew God and remind myself of how God found me and what convicted me, and how He reached me.. I remember feeling alone, lost, worthless, aimless, etc. God showed me and promised me a life with Him knowing that he cares for me, that He loves me, that He gave his one and only son for me. I have to constantly remind myself that I am loved. That God loves me no matter what. I can’t screw up so badly that he will turn away from me. As big as the sin is in my life, God / still / loves / me. He won’t love me one day, and not love me another day. His love is perfect. God is love. His love is great, and I need it. I need to know that He loves me. Some days I just want to be hugged and held. And when I can’t, I get really emotional and needy. It is a big struggle to remind myself that though God won’t give me a physical hug, his Spirit dwells in me. Christ died for me. Is that not enough??
..though God won’t give me a physical hug, his Spirit dwells in me.
I have always tried to fit in. I want to fit in so badly, and in the process I end up losing sight of myself and of God. If I please people more than myself (and unfortunately, pleasing people feels much more immediate than pleasing God), I can earn their love. Ouch, I find that really hard to type. Earning their love. God’s love came free to me!!! What are you doing, Stephanie?!?!? Sometimes I want God to be a teddy bear who will comfort me all the time. But his love is better than that. He isn't simply a source of comfort, but a source of fuel.

And so, I pray that God alone will satisfy me. To know that I am enough for God and that he loves unconditionally.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

how do you overcome writer's block? write.

I always get caught in this spiral of not knowing what to write: I have nothing to write that is interesting, nor important, nor valuable; it serves no purpose, I'm not good enough, or whatever other excuses I can make up for myself. Writer's block- it's the absolute worst. I still have nothing to write, so I'm writing about writer's block. Makes sense, right?

I feel like this is reminder to myself that I need to get back on my feet and write again. For me, the creative process comes in journalling, in drawing and in mindmapping. I miss it, I definitely do! So while I have nothing exciting nor insightful to share today, I am here to say hello. Hello! And so for the sake of updating my blog, and for the sake of getting back on my feet and writing again, I am going to update y'all.

It is now November, and well into the school year. A major major change in my life is that I found out this summer that I am graduating this year! I was originally going to take an extra year because I switched into my program a year late, but I am somehow able to take my 3rd and 4th year credits at the same time. Praise God! But at the same time, it brings lots of new challenges that I was not prepared for (but when is anyone ever prepared?). So, I am now exploring the world of post-graduation. Will I pursue more education? If so, what? Next year, or after getting work experience? Will I go into the work world next year? Basically: What will I do, and where will I go? I have definitely found myself in a sea of applications and am praying for guidance as to where I should be.

Woop woop! I don't really know if I have anything else to update y'all on. I'm doing swell, other than the usual stresses of a university student (TIME. WHAT IS TIME.), I moved (again) this year aaaaaaaaaaand yes.

Hello friends! I will try to come back and write more often. I miss this, and I will try my best to not let writer's block get the best of me. I want to share my world with you, and I do have a few ideas for some potential posts. So, see you soon! I hope :)

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

what are you crying over?

Yes. I am writing about crying. This is kind of a weird topic for a post, but it’s in response to these two posts from Trevin Wax: I Weep for Miley and Further Thoughts.

Someone asked him if he was actually weeping, and he said yes, he did actually weep. So that got me thinking about what I weep for. You know that expression “there’s no use crying over spilt milk”? Am I crying over spilt milk? What am I crying over?

I used to cry all the time.. #girlproblems. You could set me off with anything emotionally charged. Honestly, you still can, though I cry a lot less than I used to. A secret pastime of mine is watching sappy movies and crying my way through them. And now you know!

The last time I cried was when I visited Jethro to celebrate my birthday with him and he gave me a necklace for my birthday. Now, it isn’t the necklace that made me cry, but what he said. He told me that the cross on the necklace should serve as a reminder to always look to Jesus on the cross. Our relationship is and will continue to have its challenges but the cross is a continual reminder for us. A reminder of who we are as Christians and that it is God at the centre of our relationship. This made me cry because I was simultaneously looking forward to the necklace (which I “didn’t know about” but secretly or not-so-secretly did know about) while also not wanting to get a present for the sake of presents (they really are silly). But this bold reminder was what I needed. Jesus gave me everything when He died on the cross - that's the best present ever!

The last time I broke down sobbing was a weekend last spring where nothing was going right- er, I mean, nothing was going my way. You know those “WHY MEE???” moments? That’s what I was going through. But that weekend also came at such an opportune time. Our fellowship was running what we call an Iron Chef night where we cook food to feed each other and our friends, and we put on skits that illustrate the Gospel. And the next day, a bunch of my friends were getting baptized at church and they shared their testimonies of where they’ve been and how God has come into their lives. All the while, I was having the worst few weeks, and throwing myself a huge pity party. The reminder of the Gospel was so loud and clear that weekend. I broke down and let the tears stream down my face. It was a reminder to not get caught up in my own life and to be constantly preaching the Gospel to myself!

So yes, my tears are what we like to call Jesus tears. I wouldn’t say my tears are only Jesus tears now - I’ll probably still cry if I watch a sappy movie. But for the most part, I cry when I am moved. And I am most moved by my Saviour. I cannot stress how amazing it is that Jesus took on my sin and became my sacrificial lamb, dying on that cross so I could live an eternal life with God. Jesus’ death and resurrection move me in a way that nothing else can.