Hello 2021

Last year was a special year, indeed.

I remember my only resolution (because I suck at them) was to memorise the entirety of Romans 8. Unfortunately, I am fairly embarrassed and ashamed to say I did not succeed, especially since I had so much time at home to study it. This year, though, I’m thinking of having the same resolution, but will also aim to continue uploading my Bible reading onto YouTube, and continue sharing the gospel online via Twitch. Whether or not I succeed in the latter part of that will be quite easy to see. Please feel free to keep me accountable.

Perhaps my biggest resolution, however, should remain to love the triune God of the Bible with all my heart, mind, soul, strength — my entire being — and glorify Him alone.

Happy New Year! Here’s to 2021.

Blessings,

Crystina

2020 Reflections: There’s So Much Beauty Here

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It’s been a really difficult year, I know, for so many people. But for me, looking back on 2020, I have nothing but gratitude. There has been a lot that has gone wrong, but focusing on the negative and dwelling on the disappointments will not change the outcome and might only cause me to fall into despair. So, instead, I just want to take time to give thanks for the year that we’ve had.

During Sunday School, our pastor gave us a few prompts to consider and reflect upon. We were encouraged to come up with 1-3 top things for each. I enjoyed this activity a lot, feel free to try it for yourself as well! :)

What are some things you celebrated or found joy in this year?

  1. My wedding!
  2. Exercising and improving my health/time of rest
  3. Extended honeymoon period/spending a lot more time with hubs due to Jacky working from home

What are some significant things you learned or ways you grew?

  1. I really lack self-discipline and that is one of the major ways I’d like to grow in
  2. Not take basic necessities for granted – i.e. toilet paper, milk, eggs, canned foods
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Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas, everyone! Jesus Christ is born! What a joyous, momentous occasion that God would love the world in this way: that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 2:13-14, ESV

Jesus came to bring peace to men on earth. It’s been a pretty un-peaceful year for so many people this year. I pray that this would be an opportunity for anyone who is lacking peace in their hearts to turn their hearts towards Him who is able to not only give them eternal peace, but also eternal love and life.

I have to admit this year has been a bit strange for me. Basically not leaving the house for the majority of this year has meant seasons have passed and all I’ve experienced is the warming and cooling of the inside of my apartment. It hasn’t felt very Christmassy, I haven’t really seen lights or even been bothered with decorations for the apt. But God has been gracious to me this year – I am translating for our church’s Christmas Eve Chinese/English service and it’s given me time to reflect.

Thanks to Jesus, I am at peace. The world may be experiencing turbulence, but I believe my God is sovereign. Nothing that’s happened so far this year has surprised Him, and with my future in His hands, there is nothing for me to worry about. If you haven’t yet received the love of Christ and are interested to know more, please let this Christmas be the year you give it a shot.

If you’re interested, please feel free to join in our live service starting at 8pm PT here. Otherwise, I think the link can still take you to the service if you want to check it out later. Please let me know if you do.

May God’s peace and blessings be upon you and your family. Merry Christmas!

SDG,

Crystina

What’s Up?

Quick little update: I’m doing well. We’ve still been sheltering at home. I’ve been lazy with posting again, but mostly because I’ve simply been distracted. It’s been really fun getting to know new friends on some of the Discord groups I’ve joined — one in particular has taken up a lot of my time and attention.

I’ve been taking good care of myself. Look at the cute little bunny ear headband! Haha. I use it to keep my hair out of my face during my skincare routine. As of this week, I’ve decided to finally ditch the Korean skincare products I purchased from Costco a while back – honestly, they aren’t doing much for my skin – and have gone back to my tried and true favourite skincare brand: ESPA. I’m much more excited and less overwhelmed to be doing my skincare daily now.

They’re a UK skincare brand so their products are pretty pricey in US. Last time my family came to visit in February I had them bring some over from England. It’s pretty much the only skincare brand I’ll use. I’m hoping to write a post about it soon but given my update schedule who really knows.

This year has flown by. Workout-wise, I haven’t done too much recently either, but I’ve been following MOVE-mber a little better over the past week or so! From Friday onwards, though, I’ll have a group of workout buddies to try out Chloe Ting’s 2020 2 Week Shred Challenge with, which I’m really looking forward to.

Since it’s only two weeks long again, I’ll try to document my progress using the same format I used for the 2019 2 Week Shred Challenge back in May. The new challenge looks a lot more intense so I had been too intimidated to try it, but since I have so many workout buddies now I’m feeling freshly motivated.

Her Ep 1. Full Body Workout video for the 2020 2WS challenge contains too many jumps for me (downstairs neighbours will still complain) so I’m going to be substituting it with her latest 15min Full Body Workout video. I’ve done it a couple of times for MOVE-mber and have really enjoyed it.

Another update is taking care of my hair. Both Jacky and I had noticed significant amounts of hair loss in our apt here and we suspected it could be the water. We recently got a water filter for our shower and let me tell you it has so far made a world of difference. (Look at the above photo! All hair gone! Lol, just kidding.)

I’ll keep using it for a while and if it lasts and continues to make a visible difference I’ll write about it. Speak again soon!

Muchos love,

Bobbie

[Personal] I Am So Stressed

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Ugh. This happens every year, and every year it’s the same: Tax Day.

I haven’t been able to post much or do too much else apart from run on semi-autopilot. I’ve been able to keep up with my health goals and have been updating my progress on this blog, but all the other posts I’ve wanted to do have just had to be put on the back burner because I am just so, so stressed.

I hate tax day so much. Due to my situation and being a British citizen, my taxes are slightly more complicated than the regular US taxpayer, and I am ashamed to admit I am a major procrastinator, so leaving it this late is also a major source of anxiety. But this post is not for me to whine, even though I want to. No, I have to remember and remind myself that God is in control. This post is to count my blessings, so here they are:

  1. I have an accountant and he is super helpful.
  2. I have Jacky this year – he has the best head on his shoulders, he is able to think logically and clearly. He does not fear these tax forms, he does not go cross-eyed from reading them, his brain does not fog up, his palms do not sweat and his heart rate remains steady when reviewing them, and he is able to help and advise me with them for my share too. He is able to hold me when I’m about to cry from stress and anxiety. He prays for and with me at all times. He is the best.
  3. I have Jesus. He is Lord of all; all things are in His hands. He has guided me and guarded me through all the years of my life, will He let go of me now? Is He not in control of tax forms too? Has He not answered all my prayers every year whenever I call upon Him about this issue? Finally — has He not already secured my salvation, my resting place in Heaven? I already know where I will end up. Why is my heart so weary and my mind so narrow when I can just think upon the eternity that is waiting for me with Him. In light of eternity, these things are nothing.

The thing is, I always get money back from tax returns and this year looks like it will be no different. It’s entirely in my mind… I don’t know why I fear them so much. I render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, I am typically good with my finances… so why is it that whenever I look upon these forms, I forget that I am His? Perhaps this illuminates a greater heart issue: that I am so good at relying on myself for everything else that I typically do not rely on God until things get hard.

I just finished reading Philippians yesterday, how timely a reminder it is:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

The Philippians and Paul were facing major persecution for Christ’s sake. Paul himself was even in prison at the time! What am I doing? Enjoying the comforts of my own home, gorging on food and drink that has made me fat… and so far removed from having the right mind of Christ that I am freaking out over some tax forms.

I will then finish with a prayer:

Lord, may You grant me the right perspective, that I may be — and remain — Kingdom minded, knowing that all these things will be added to me as long as I seek You and Your righteousness first. Indeed, having You alone is more than enough. May You be my first priority, first point of call, first in my heart. May You reign as rightful King of my heart. May it be so in Jesus’ name.