Let There Be Light

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Christmas is only two days away. It’s the most joyful time of the year. You can feel it anywhere you go, from the twinkling lights, crazy last minute shoppers and the lines to see Santa Claus. Christmas is normally one of the happiest times of the year but for some people it can also be a sad reminder of things that are lost and unreachable. A lot of times the holidays make us stop and think of the people and things we love the most, who we celebrated with and who you’re celebrating with now. We remember our loved ones who has past and how they’re no longer here with us – the ones who played an important role in our life once and now were left to carry on without them.

Christmas is one of those holidays that brings us together and carry on the tradition on how you’ve celebrated it since you were a little kid. It’s a season that reminds us on how strong our bond was to those you love and who loves you. You miss opening your Christmas presents with them or sitting, laughing away with them at the dinner table and reflect on the memories you’ve shared together.

Growing up in the Philippines, I would like to think that I am blessed to have a family who was big on celebrating Christmas. My whole entire clan would go to church on Christmas Eve and I would be wearing my favorite dress as we sing carols away. After the service, we would have a feast at my grandparents’ house and be merry and wait until the clock strikes at midnight. My brothers, cousins and I would be so excited to open all our Christmas presents. One of our traditions was to have a gift exchange between the “little kids”, my cousins and I would put our names in one basket and pick from there. At that time, I remember that we would have to buy something within 50 pesos – which is a dollar here.

As small as that amount was, I will never forget the joy on our faces once we open what we got for each other. My cousins and I will play our newest gadgets and toys and thank our aunts and uncles and we would keep playing until we finally get tired. We would also make sure to hang our sock so that Santa can drop by and give us money by morning.

I remember one Christmas morning, I didn’t receive anything from Santa. My grandpa told me that Santa must’ve missed it. I was devastated. How could Santa miss my sock? Every year he didn’t miss it before, why would he now? There’s even times when he would write to me! If there’s one thing I took away from this, it is that – sometimes we get disappointed because of our expectations – we are placing them at the wrong place.

From my young mind, I realized then that even Santa wasn’t perfect. Life isn’t perfect. People aren’t perfect. They will make mistakes and that’s okay. Life in general is sometimes unfair, harsh and difficult, and yes, Christmas does make us realize this truth even more. However, let’s not forget to have a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness – that despite of all the imperfection of this life – we have perfect moments in between and the best thing we can do now is to make the most out of them… Go hug your mom and dad this Christmas. Tell them how much you’re thankful for them. Listen to your sister. Hang out with your brother. Play and laugh with your cousins. Talk to your aunt and uncles. Make your relationships stronger while you still have time. Be present. Tell someone you love that you love them and you appreciate their being. Stop holding back – it doesn’t do you any good but fill your life with regrets, pride and sadness. As much as there’s memories that make you sad – you can also be happy that they happened and they’re what made who you are now and that’s something that can never be taken away from you.

As a Christian, I am forever grateful for Christmas. It’s more than a tradition for me.  It’s a season for me to be thankful, to feel and show love to others and to celebrate Jesus. I understand that not everyone has the same point of view and that’s okay – but for those who do — let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas. It’s God’s undying love for us – so go out there and share the same light and love. Don’t be afraid and radiate it. Go sprinkle kindness and happiness and be merry.

I named my blog post ‘let there be light’ – as i thought it was very fitting for this season but it’s also one of my new favorite songs currently and I wanted to share it.

Have a happy merry christmas loves! Oh and I made this Mrs. Santa outfit, let me know what you think about it! 😉

XOXO,

Joy

Let There Be Light

Words and Music by Michael Guy Chislett, Matthew Crocker, Joel Houston, Brooke Ligertwood, Scott Ligertwood & Jonas Myrin

Verse 1
There’s no darkness in Your eyes
There’s no question in Your mind
God almighty
God of mercy

There’s no hiding from Your face
There’s no striving in Your grace
God of mercy
God almighty

Chorus 1
Let there be light
Open the eyes of the blind
Purify our hearts in Your fire
Breathe in us we pray
Jesus have Your way

Verse 2
There’s no borders in Your love
No division in Your heart
God of heaven
God of freedom

There’s no taking back the cross
No regret in what it cost
God of freedom
God of heaven

Chorus 2
Let there be light
Open the eyes of the blind
Purify our hearts in Your fire
Breathe in us we pray

Let there be light
Open our eyes to Your heart
Desperate just to know whoYou are
Shine in us we pray
Jesus have Your way

Bridge
Good news embracing the poor
Comfort for all those who mourn
For the broken hearted
We sing louder

Release from prison and shame
Oppression turning to praise
For every captive
Sing louder

Restoring sight to the blind
Breaking the curse of the night
For all in darkness
Sing louder

Proclaiming freedom for all
This is the day of the Lord
Beauty for ashes

Verse 3
Let the light that shines above
Become the light that shines in us
There’s no darkness in Your way
So have Your way
Lord have Your way

Twenty Seven

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As I turn twenty seven tomorrow, a part of me normally gets emotional on my birthday – because I’m turning another year older. I usually reflect what everything I’ve learned, my goals and my aspirations in life. However, lately I’m actually feeling a bit more calm as I realized that maybe growing older isn’t so much of a bad thing. I’ve had a few realizations the past few months that I’d like to share and maybe growing older actually means knowing yourself more, knowing your worth, knowing what you want and knowing your happiness.

“If you want it, go for it. Take a risk. Don’t always play safe or you’ll die trying. If you always do something you are a little not ready to do, that’s when and how you grow. When there’s the moment of uncertainty on accomplishing things and you push through — that moment is when you’ll have a breakthrough.”

Someone once told me that most people are scared than brave and that statement makes me sad. I wish more people could be brave and take more chances. I wish there were more authentic people who wants the best for you and everyone around them but lately I realized that world we live in — everyone is mostly here to fend for themselves and I’m sure there’s many valid reasons behind this and how they even got there; even I, myself am learning to find out why but my hope is to never be the person who only lives for themselves.

A few months before I turned 27, I realized that:

  1. You will need to start taking of yourself more (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually) — you don’t have a 21 year old body anymore. You can no longer party 3 nights in a row. You will need to work out 3 to 4 times a week — I sure need to start doing that soon. Your family and friends can only be there for you so much, you need to start taking care of yourself and ask yourself what’s destroying your inner peace?
  2. You will lose people/things in your life that are not meant to be with you forever (friends, lovers, relationships, jobs) — the past few years, I realized that losing people or things in general is inevitable, some are meant to be in your life for a few months, years even but that doesn’t mean that’s the end of you. Often times, we tend to seek validation from people or things that we hold value in our lives. This has happened to me before and my only hope is for everyone to know their selves first and love their selves enough to no longer need anyone for any kind of validation. Sometimes you also lose people or things just simply because they no longer fit in the kind of life you see your life heading and that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a bad thing. It just means another door has closed so another one can open for the right people in your lives.
  3. You start doing whats’s right for you — anyone else in their early to mid twenties felt stuck in the wrong relationship, job, career, toxic friendships? The good news is this happens less as you get older, by 27, you start to realize the only person looking out for you is you & those you can fully trust and has the best interest in your life. However, you still have to make the choice for yourself. Your best friend can only tell you a million times to drop that f***boy who doesn’t do you any good, but you’d still have to make the decision for yourself. When you realize that, you start to prioritize yourself and your own interests over others. As you get older, you start to realize what’s right for you.. what you’re looking for.. your goals and do all these things tie into your life?
  4. You can start all over again — this ties into the point above. Feeling stuck? You hate the choices you’ve made the past few years? You can still pick up a new hobby, a new career and kick ass in it. You can drop everything off and travel for a year and pick up where you left off.
  5. You no longer FOMO — you don’t have the fear of missing out any longer. You don’t go partying at the club till 2 AM anymore, or go to the latest raves just because your circle of friends are going. In fact, you start scrolling down your social media early saturday morning and say “I’m so glad I wasn’t there… there’s so many people.” You will enjoy your privacy a lot and alone time. You will start appreciating the simple things in life… and that you no longer have to try hard to fit in.. because you no longer care & you’re content with who you are.
  6. You’re more intentional and confident — with your actions, friendships, decisions, relationships, careers. I don’t go around trying hard to make new friends, just so i can gain more friends in my life. I know by now who I can depend on at my worst and laugh with at my best and I absolutely love them for it. You don’t look at yourself anymore feeling inferior of other people’s success. You are generally happy for your friends that are engaged, married, traveling another world, popped another baby and know that you will get there in your own time. You are also more intentional with your actions. You’ve learned that not everyone needs a reaction. (this was a really hard lesson for me to learn, personally) You learn how to pick your battles. Not everyone deserves your time, your worth and your energy.
  7. You also know by now that kindness is key & what love means… everyone is struggling and just trying to make it as much as you are… so you now choose to be kind even when you’re hurting… You’ve fallen in love and got your heartbroken maybe once, twice or many times by now. Yet, despite of all the pain and fear, you heal and will fall in love again. You will take a risk again. You will choose to love again because  you’ve managed to make it through your first heartbreak (& from what I’ve heard –that’s the hardest) & only because you know that love is always worth it, especially when it’s rare and authentic. But just because you’re giving love a chance once again – it doesn’t mean that you will be as foolish as before. You’re stronger, wiser and lastly, you’ve learned the meaning of self-love the past few years to know the difference between what’s worth it, what’s a waste of time and when to start walking away… You know yourself enough to know what you can bring down on the table and offer and what you can and cannot compromise in.

Let’s Be Mermaids

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”Walt Disney

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A couple of months ago, I asked my best friend to if she wants to be a real life mermaid with me and start our own fashion line. She said yes and was absolutely in love with the idea. We started off making a small capsule line with bandeaus, tops, skirts and chokers. All of this can be found at Secretly A Mermaid. Along with fashion items, I was inspired by my trip in Asia this summer where I had my first mermaid photoshoot in the Philippines. I thought to myself why not bring that here in Los Angeles where its (mostly) sunny all year round? Jessicka and I made our own mermaid tails and tops and had our own photoshoot. We also want to share this with the world and offer this to all the Cali girls who also wants to be a mermaid. As Spring comes along, we will start shooting again and offer different colors and styles of tails with matching bandeaus. Stay posted and schedule with us and email: shoplikeamermaidb@gmail.com if you want to make your own mermaid dreams come true! 😉

XOXO,

Joy