Through my transformation, I excel // Weekly Thought

my transformation | itsjoulife.com

When I think I am content with life, my earth shakes. I struggle. I fight. I learn. I adapt. I change. Through my transformation, I excel.

Life is never certain, but what I know for sure is that I’ll never have life figured out. It’s ever changing and I’ll continue to adapt and evolve with my experiences. Life is a series of lessons learned and struggles aren’t always a curse. Struggles, whether they’re physical, emotional, or intellectual, build character and determine my success and make me uniquely strong.

There are times that I’ve been shoved, stressed, and slammed against immovable forces too strong to fight, yet through endurance and the Lord’s strength and His belief in me, I push harder and stand taller every time. It’s about learning to adapt in whatever circumstance I’m in and having the courage to seek opportunity, embrace change, and be my best.

Looking back I’m always in wonder how I overcame those obstacles. It reminds me I can do anything in life if I put my mind, heart, and strength in the Lord. He is the creator of all great things in my life and I owe it to Him for my transformation.

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Image: Jennifer Jou // Half Dome, Yosemite // July 2015

why i write // weekly thought

I have a friend who once asked me why I find my writing so important to me. Why I get the urge to write a letter to myself. Why I have post-it notes with phrases on the back of my phone. Why I analyze and interpret a song, book or movie.

On why I write: I write as my authentic form of creative, self-expression. Reminding me of how I felt at that moment. It immortalizes and serves as my time capsule into my thoughts, my loves, my beliefs, my hopes, my feelings. It’s how I learn from life. It’s an intimate relationship. Feeling my most vulnerable is when I’m most creative. It’s to be understood. I’d liked to look back to what I’ve expressed and be reminded of the fire within me, the obstacles I’ve overcome, the growth I’ve experienced and relenting to the fact that I’m still learning and will never stop changing.

I want to capture all the feels.

2016 // new year… new strengths

2016

This year is already feeling like a momentous year, even more so than 2015. Last year were moments filled with exhilaration, inspiration, discovery and transformation.

Cheers to 2016 – A new year filled with setting daily intentions, welcoming challenges, creating opportunities, a purposeful mindset, developing new strengths, all the while feeling grateful for my every day.

Join me in creating this community cultivating continual growth and happiness!

2015 recap // my transformation

2015

2015 has been a transformative year. I’ve been on a personal and spiritual journey since my epiphany in March. I’m learning what it means to be a follower of Christ and discovering the path to true happiness and contentment. I’ve been challenged physically, intellectually and spiritually. The Lord has opened my eyes to the beauty around me, the fears that have enslaved me and the hunger for life within me.

Throughout 2015 I’ve composed phrases that have sparked compelling thoughts within me, about me.

When I think I am content with life, my earth shakes. I struggle. I fight. I learn. I adapt. I change. Through my transformation, I excel.

Embrace change. I hope I never stop learning and changing.

Happiness isn’t something you capture, it is something you create.

You are far more lost than you ever imagined and you are far more loved than you ever dare hoped.

Stop sleepwalking through life. Do great things with God’s gifts given to you.

 Live and Love with Purpose, Passion and Perseverance.

Pain is mental. Struggles build character. Challenge yourself to be the best you.

Fear is a friend who is misunderstood.

Work hard. Everyday is a new opportunity to be better.

Everything I have and everything that is good in my life is because of Him.

I’m thinking of starting a Weekly Thought to be published every Wednesday. Topics will range from growing up to body image to life’s lessons to passion and everything in between. Hope you stick around to hear what goes on in my brain!

My recap of 2014.

// 2015 photos

Hipster Bentley with homemade mustache cookie

Yosemite view at Cathedral Lakes hike

LACMA Lamps

Seattle city view

Yosemite

Oregon coast at sunset

Kauai

Succulents at Terranea

Wildlife Deer at Yosemite Valley

Merry Christmas // the greatest gift

 

As 2015 winds down to an end, I can’t believe what blessings this year has brought to us. I love this time of year and spending time with loved ones. Aside from giving and receiving presents, the greatest gift of all is the birth of Christ. He’s brought renewal to my life and I’ve been changed for the better.

Wayne and I wish you and your families a joyful holiday wrapped with warmth, touched with blessings and filled with love. Hope to see you all sometime soon in the near year!

Merry Christmas!

PCC_Choir

My church, Pacific Crossroads Church in downtown LA

norwegian wood, a novel by haruki murakami // reads

norwegian wood

It was natural for me to be drawn to this book – Beatles song title + vintage printed cover. Just like the opening line of the song, “I once had a girl / Or should I say, she once had me,” is the premise of a serious boy who falls in love with an introspective girl and are both changed forever.

Once in a while I come across a book that gives me all the #feels. Insert: Norwegian Wood, a dark romantic coming-of-age novel. I felt it all: tragedy, hope, eroticism, laughs and love. Marukami is a master at introspective #mood. His words come easily, yet his thoughts are profoundly complex and ignite perspectives.

This novel touched my hearts in many places. It evoked memories of past loves, love lost and love found. I empathized with the character’s feelings of unbearable sadness, sexual desires and thirst for love. It provoked thoughts that genuinely honest friendships are just as special as romantic relationships. Love comes in various forms of relationships in life. We all yearn for the sweet embrace of another. It’s the emotional connection, the human touch that we long for in relationships. The special relationships that Toru has formed with Naoko and Midori may be unconventional, but make perfect sense. They’ve played a pivotal role in each other’s lives and changed it for the better.

I’m officially addicted and Norwegian Wood is the gateway book to all things-Murakami.

Memorable Moments

Hurting someone you love. “No, we weren’t lovers, but in a way we had opened ourselves to each other even more deeply than lovers do. The thought caused me a good deal of grief. What a terrible thing is it to wound someone you really care for – and to do it so unconsciously.”

Being remembered. “I want you to remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this?”

Love leaving a mark. “I’ll never forget you. I could never forget you.”

“I never met a girl who thinks like you.”

Being vulnerable with love. “When you fall in love, the natural thing is to give yourself to it. That’s what I think. It’s just a form of sincerity.”

When love heals. “What happens to people when they open their hearts? They get better.”

Connecting with that special person. “I have left a wound inside you, it is not just your wound but mine as well.”

On trying to relate and understand another. “So what’s wrong if there happens to be one guy in the world who enjoys trying to understand you?”

On being a gentleman. “A gentleman is someone who does not what he wants to do, but what he should do.”

Don’t feel sorry. “Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.”

Missing that special person. “I have a million things to talk to you about. All I want in this world is you. I want to see you and talk. I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.”

On reading. “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

Why some kids lack the tenacity to excel in life. “They can’t take it any further. And why not? Because they won’t put in the effort. Because they haven’t had the discipline pounded into them. They’ve been spoiled. They have just enough talent so they’ve been able to play things well without any effort and they’ve had people telling them how great they are from the time they’re little, so hard work looks stupid on them…The trick to teaching children like that is not to praise them too much. They’re so used to praise it doesn’t mean anything to them. You’ve got to dole it out wisely. And you can’t force anything on them. You have to let them choose for themselves. And you don’t let them rush ahead from one thing to the next: you make them stop and think. But that’s about it. If you do those things, you’ll get good results.”

Being busy. “I really couldn’t blame Midori for being mad. What with all the moving and fixing up and working for extra cash, I had never given her a second thought. Not even Naoko had crossed my mind the whole time. This was nothing new for me. Whenever I got involved in something, I shut out everything else.”

Being perfectly lonely. “Nobody likes being alone that much. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, that’s all. It just leads to disappointment.”

I can’t wait until I get my next Murakami fix. Any recommendations?

Thank You for My Every Day

Thank You for My Every Day // http://wp.me/p3cljj-jg

Yosemite // July 2015

Thank you for my Every Day.

Thank you for my first breath this morning.

Thank you for giving me my two legs to do the things that I love.

As easy as it is to get caught up in the busyness of life and its demands, I always start out my day with this daily prayer. It’s my breath of fresh air. My morning coffee. My Me Time.

It not only calms my heart, opens my mind and sets my day for what lies ahead, but a constant reminder of the fragility of life. It’s being thankful for the simple daily pleasures as waking up to another beautiful day, loving and being loved and physically able to live life.

The Lord has truly blessed me with an eventful 2015 year filled with new adventures, new loves, new friendships, new happiness, new chances and new challenges. It is He who gives me the strength, the power, the courage to push myself beyond my limits.

Thank You, Lord, for my Every Day.

2015 // New Year… New Growth

2015 New Year via It's Jou Life blog // http://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1015

By God’s grace and generosity, 2014 was magical. Too many blessings to count: The physical ability to enjoy the every day, being first-time home owners, meeting our extended families on our trip to Asia while traveling with our immediate families, taking on a new position at work, adopting a fur kid, running a half marathon injury-free, experiencing God’s creations while climbing Yosemite’s Half Dome, safe travels, being married to a generous, selfless, humble man (my better “It’s Jou Life” half), hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, the best family and girl friends one can ever ask for and most importantly, my spiritual growth with the Lord and feeling His sheer love every day. I thank God everyday for the gifts He’s bestowed upon Wayne and me and His constant faithfulness. Everything we have and everything that is good in our life is because of Him.

Cheers to 2015. A new year filled with honoring the Lord and getting to know Him more.

2015 New Year via It's Jou Life blog // http://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1015