Be Still (what I gave up for LENT)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hi There!

I know I have been quiet for almost 2 weeks now. Thankfully, today I am back on my feet. Bade goodbye to Flu!!! Woohoo! Just in time for my IELTS tomorrow. Whew!

I am just happy to write about the recent answered prayers of the people close to my heart. Praying with them is like my little contribution although primarily, it's the GUY up there who's doing all the works anyway. I am just amazed at how powerful communal prayer is - or just prayer by itself. I have witnessed and heard of miracles happening every day. Prayers indeed can move a mountain!

I personally believe in the powerful combination of Prayer and Fasting. Fasting adds intensity and depth to the prayer you have in your heart. I remember a friend asked me about an abstinence I have that I told him about, and he said that he does not understand the relations between one's faith and what that person does or does not do. And I, someone of no authority whatsoever, couldn't put into words what Fasting is all about. But somehow I know that it is my little way of sharing in the cross of our Savior. 

On Feb 18, Ash Wednesday, I was confronted with an important question, "what would you give up for Lent?" Facebook? I've done that for years. Food? It works to my advantage because I am on a diet anyway. So I thought really hard. And I sat inside the church quietly, looking at the Cross, asking myself. Silence reigned in those moments. Then I heard one thing - my heart beat. I knew then what I had to give up. That day, I gave up my Heart to Him and all that's inside it. All of it. Totally. I had to surrender that one thing which I so fervently pray for. I said, I will instead spend the next 40 days with Him. Yes, I will stop "doing" something for "that thing I wish", except but to pray about it.

Knowing myself, I am someone who does everything within my power to make things happen the way I want them to. But this time, I let Him take control over my heart and all that it desires. And so I pray that I will make it through and in the end, I shall have fallen in love with Him deeper and believed all the more in the power of Fasting and Prayer.

P.S. I shall speak to you again on Easter. :)




Relationship Status: Waiting on God

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


I admit Waiting is not my most favorite thing to do in the world and Patience is not my inborn virtue. 

I am impatient and impulsive most of the times. I want to have control over most aspects of my life. I panic and falter whenever I do not see things going my way. And I am fully aware of this flaw of mine. I feel that the Lord is teaching me to embrace this virtue fully in this "season of waiting".

More often, I miss the entire point of Letting Go and Letting God. While I pray and lift my right hand to Him in surrender of all that I desire, my other hand cannot just let go fully of my reliance on my own capacity to make things happen. Stubborn as I am, I hold onto my own idea of "the Best plan", which always fails me painfully.

Maybe I forget to acknowledge God's sovereignty over all the things in this world, over my tiny life. But as it is now, while I got a few questions running in my head, moments when I would wonder why things happened the way they did or what is taking so long for things to happen, I know that His hands are working through every aspect of my life. I just need to lift my 2 hands high in sweet surrender to His Will, His Impeccable Timing.

For now, I keep on praying, waiting and walking. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding"  Proverbs 3:5










Saying "I love You"

Sunday, February 15, 2015


I find it amazing how people can really be extra sweet on ValenTyne's day. I can see flowers and chocolates posted on FB by wives and girlfriends surprised by their significant others. Love is in the air indeed! To me, it is a day for both lovers, entailing a 2-way expression of love or a day for celebration of Love in any kind of relationship. I would also prepare something fancy and extra special for someone or give my sister or mother the ValenTyne's kiss or hug, just to simply remind them that I do love them.

I Love You - 3 simple words that when put together can make a whole lot of difference in people's lives, in both/either the person saying it and/or the other end receiving it. They are the sweetest and most powerful words one could ever say. They could mean a lifetime for some.

I had a conversation the other night with someone about expression of Love. And it reminded me of how important it is to go out of my way to let the people I love know how much I do. After all, life is too short to wait on for time to pass before you profess such an important thing. It's like tell it now or you may never have the chance to do so.

In our family, it is quite common to tell each other “I love you” or at least for me to say it even just before I put down the phone. Growing up, I have never been afraid to tell people that I love them. I make sure I say it as often as I could. Sometimes, I feel like telling it often makes it lose its meaning because people hearing it may get so used to it already. This habit all the more got into my system when I came across a story in my college religion class about a young boy who met an untimely death and wished that he had the chance to tell his parents how much he loved them for the last time.  

“The essential sadness is to go through life without loving. But it would be almost equally sad to leave this world without ever telling those you loved that you love them.”

Like the story of this young boy, I guess we’ve heard hundreds of love stories about missed chances, regrets and what if’s.  There’s the story of the old lady who wrote a letter to Juliet after so many years in the hope of finding back her One True Love (Letters to Juliet); or the story of Anna Scott who braved her way to tell William Thacker she loves him (Notting Hill). The only good thing about these plots is that the people here got the second chance to make things right, that is, to let the other person know about how much they love them just in time. But as in real life, it’s not always the case. You could wake up one morning to a deaf ear or an indifferent heart. So I say, whatever it is that you feel in your heart at this moment, you got to let it out. The chance may never come again and you may regret not having to grab it on the first shot. Tell your mom or dad or siblings you love them. Tell her/him how special she/he is to you. It may not always be reciprocated but it is always liberating! Go!






a Love Letter to my Future Husband

Friday, February 13, 2015


Credits to my sister and the photographer for this shot.


Hello My Dearest Future Husband,

How are you? I know it's been 4 years since I last wrote you. Like me, you must be also looking forward to the day when we meet.

I just like to let you know that I've been doing great. I have spent time pursuing all that I love doing. I traveled to a number of places. Wrote blogs. Took a thousand shots. Sang so many songs, dedicated to you. Danced a lot, wished it was with you. I have loved more and feared less. I have worked towards becoming the best person I could be. I know you'd be proud of me. I got a whole bunch of stories to tell you. I can't wait for you to hear them all.

For now, I would like to tell you 5 things:

1. Go out there and meet more people. You should explore the world and meet people from all walks of life. Learn from them and from every experience you get. Even if I get a bit jealous thinking about it, it's ok for you to meet women too. Date if you must. So that when you'd finally know me, you'd come to appreciate how special and different I am from all the rest.

2. Pursue what you love doing. Travel to places. Play the sports you love. Master a talent. Find your passions. Take further studies. Be foolish. Go have fun with your boys. I want you to be able to enjoy your life being single. It's the best time to be carefree and crazy!

3. Embrace your own kind of person. I want you to love yourself. You deserve only the best. Know that you are special and worth waiting for. When you love yourself, you expand your capacity to love another person. You have to feel complete and secured first in your own person, then you can secure a space for me in your life.

4. Do not be anxious but trust that our paths will cross. I, too have moments when I wondered if you really existed.  But vision of you has kept my heart steady and strong. I trust that the day will come and we both shall realize the purpose why we were brought into this world, and that is, to be mission partners in life. And together we will conquer the world! Woohoo! 

5. Pray for Me. Pray for Us. I do pray for you. Everyday. As we wait for "that day", let us pray for patience and guidance. Let us seek God's grace to ready both our hearts so that when we finally meet, we shall behold each other as the most beautiful gift from God. I have no doubt that ours will be an inspiring love story that will affirm that God's Best is always worth waiting and praying for.

Happy ValenTYNE's day, my Love!

P.S. Please do take care of yourself until the time I can take care of you myself. And don't worry I will be fine. :)

Hugs and Kisses. (Virtual for now.)


Loving you faithfully,

Tyne













Helene in Between

The Scent of a Woman (my 5 Fave Scents)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I have a very keen sense of smell. I can strongly associate a memory with a scent. In fact, I do clearly remember how Papa would generously spray over himself his favorite Brut perfume and thus his scent would stay even long after he'd left the house. And believe it or not, I can still smell Papa's scent to this day.

Today, I will share with you 5 of my favorite perfumes. Yes, fragrance is one of my 3 constant obsessions, the other 2 are skincare and grammar. (so, you could imagine how I go crazy whenever I review my blogs and notice my grammatical errors. Haha! Perdona conmigo.)

Here is my list (from least to most fave):



1. Chance Eau Fraiche Chanel for Women - it's got a mixture of citrus lemon and cedar. It's a bit strong for me and hence I'd usually wear this on evening occasions because it stays longer on my skin.

2. Jo Malone Vanilla Anise - One time I went to Hudson Bay fragrances section. I asked the lady if they are carrying Jo Malone line in the store. And she was holding a newly launched Prada perfume then. She said, "Oh, sorry dear. We don't have Jo Malone here. But I could guess you have a great choice of perfumes. Jo Malone is a very good brand. You can try this new Prada scent, it should be similar." Her comment actually convinced me more to look for one here in Toronto. What's nice about Jo Malone perfumes is that you can actually mix and spray 2 scents altogether and you'd still smell nice and sweet. I saw Cheska Kramer, a Filipino celebrity posted this particular scent on her instagram account. So I got curious. I went to Holt Renfrew which I think is 1 of the only 2 stores here in Toronto carrying this label. And yes, she's right! Vanilla Anise is like a breath of fresh air in a summer time, in the real sense of the words. I like that I can wear this if I go for a beach walk or something. 



3. Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Honey - This is actually my first Jo Malone scent. It was given to me by my cousin in Dubai. When I first tried it on me, it was like "love at first spray". Haha! It's got a sweet combination of floral and fruity smell. I would definitely wear this on special occasions, say, a date? Haha. I'd spray to impress. (wink wink) Besides, it is expensive hence I would not use this daily. A 30 ml Jo Malone bottle costs 70 CAD plus tax. That pricey but worth-it. Apparently, this is the most famous scent among the Jo Malone fragrances.

4. Miracle by Lancome - As the label suggests, I would use this daily because I witness miracles everyday. :) This perfume has a mixture of flowery, fruity and powdery scents. It's like a combination of Jo Malone's Nectarine Blossom and Honey and D&G's Light Blue to me. I just love this fusion. Perhaps if I made this scent I would have named this as "Sweet Innocence", sweet and captivating. 



5. Lanvin Eclat D'Arpege - Of the many fragrances I have tried on, this is by far my most favorite one. I have been wearing this scent for 3 years now. Although I want to change scents every now and then depending on the occasion, I'd still like to have that one scent that everyone could associate to me. One when someone smells it, he'd say, "oh this is so Kristine!". Haha! And this is it. It's got sophisticated fruity and floral hints. I just love it on my skin. It stays longer and it smells even sweeter later on. Too bad, I am only able to find this in Holt Renfrew here in Toronto and it is expensive whereas in Singapore I could even get the 100 ml bottle for the price of the 50 ml here. It would be perfect if you also get the lotion and the body wash of this scent. Hmmmm.. 


One tip for you when you shop for fragrances, always ask for samples or testers. They could even give you free small gifts like a lotion or a pouch/purse that usually come together with the perfumes as a promotion. I do this often. I haggle. Haha!

But you know what, beyond what the nose can smell, I think that the true scent of a woman is the kindness that emanates from within her. It's like a perfume when poured it doesn't only stays in her, it naturally comes out and thus affecting other people in a good way. This is also true for men, of course. :) 


Love, Rosie (on Friendship, Love & Destiny)

So, I had ditched my treadmill and IELTS review book tonight for some quality movie time with my baby, my niece. I missed the times when we just do a movie marathon every night or me discussing with her about her innocent questions on either Love or Faith. Oh, I love being a Tita to this kid.

And the movie we chose was of course, about Love, what else could it be? Haha! It's entitled "Love, Rosie".

The story revolves around Friendship, Love and Destiny.

I love how the movie highlights on these 3 powerful ingredients that make up a Beautiful Love Story. 


Friendship

Alex (Sam Claflin) and Rosie (Lily Collins) have been best of friends since they were kids. They grew up and dreamt together. They knew each other's flaws. All of them. They were supposed to go to Boston together for college. But Rosie got accidentally pregnant by another guy during their high school prom. So she dealt with her parenting on her own while Alex pursued his dreams and lived together with model girlfriends, one after another. Alex helped her through her ordeal by keeping in touch with her. He kept her going. Rosie on the other hand, embraces Alex's person including his weird dreams which his girlfriends find annoying. They were there for each other through almost every episode of life, through every mess each one made. But was it just friendship that got them stuck to each other all those years? Or was there something more to it?

Love

So what seemed to be a best friend's care and concern turned out to be something rather deeper that's been suppressed all along. Somehow somewhere underneath those layers of hidden emotions lies a Great Love awaiting to be freed, to be professed! Alex and Rosie love each other dearly and this manifested in the way they affect each other and by how much they wanted to be together, silently though. They both knew they are each other's missing piece.

Destiny

As in all love stories, Destiny or Timing is a very important player in making the whole plot of the story come to be. With Alex and Rosie making mistakes in their own separate lives, they just could not seem to find one good shot at love. When Alex broke up with his girlfriend whom he thought he was having a baby with, Rosie got married to the father of her child. And when Rosie divorced her husband after knowing of his infidelity, Alex got married to his first girlfriend. It's just one crazy story of wrong timing and mistakes here and there. They both sought the love they longed from each other in another person and ended up still incomplete. Messed up. But Rosie finally decided to tell Alex what she feels for him on the night of his wedding as she was giving her Best Woman's speech. She openly told everyone in the audience and I quote, "No matter where you are or what you are doing or who you are with - it doesn't matter; it doesn't change it, i always have and always will, honestly, truly, completely love you". And after hearing this, Alex certainly knew what he ought to do. So the story ends with two people finally taking their hold at One True Love.

With all these, I believe that the best relationship springs from True Friendship that deepens into a Great Love that transcends Distance and Time. Whatever is MEANT to be will ALWAYS find a way. Destiny provided for avenues for Love to Happen and a Mutual Decision directed the ending of this story.

Disclaimer: I personally would have written that they each didn't end up marrying another person though if I were the author. But I respect the writer's plot of the story.