Easter 2019 Drawing

It was honestly quite difficult for me to come up with an “Easter” drawing. When I hear “Easter,” I think of eggs, grass, and pastel colors. However, in the context of Catholicism, I see the cross with a shining bright light behind it. That’s it? I can’t just submit a simple drawing of a cross. So I pondered what did the cross on Easter mean to me.

Easter is the season that comes after Lent. The season of Lent is the time Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. Likewise, we spend 40 days in the desert, either by giving up something for Lent or by doing something good more for Lent. Whatever we do for Lent, it should be something that can help us become closer to God. When Lent ends, we emerge from the desert and head towards the Easter Triduum.

Original Lineart

In my art piece, the Nghĩa Sĩ girl and Ấu Nhi boy are finally coming out of the desert and towards three crosses, the middle cross with a piece of white cloth. (The white cloth is to represent Easter.) The three crosses represent Good Friday, the day Jesus died for us on the cross for our sins. When I think of Good Friday, I think of the 14 Stations of the Cross, which has a very special meaning to me that I also do not fully understand myself. During the silent retreat in January, my spiritual director told me to pray and meditate on the crucifixion. The 14 Stations of the Cross has had a special place in my heart ever since my first silent retreat in December 2014 and have become more obviously important to me after this recent silent retreat. The only thing I know for certain is that my feelings on the crucifixion are indescribable.

Colored with color pencils

The Nghĩa Sĩ girl is walking towards the three crosses. Nghĩa Sĩ is the age when you are first learning more about yourself and establishing yourself from your peers. This is the life stage when you want to be a unique individual, but at the same time, fit in and have friends. It’s when you navigate through high school and all the confusion of who you are. The Nghĩa Sĩ girl is walking towards Jesus, towards hope. I hope all kids in Nghĩa Sĩ find themselves turning to God and know that God is always with them, despite the doubts and questions they may have.  

The Ấu Nhi boy is holding onto the Nghĩa Sĩ girl’s arm. He is confused and is depending on the Nghĩa Sĩ girl on where to go next. She is leading him as an example. I currently teach Ngành Nghĩa Sĩ at my Đoàn and I hope that they all know that they are often looked up to by the younger kids, Ngành Thiếu, and Ngành Ấu. In addition, the Ấu Nhi boy represents innocence, which contrasts with the Nghĩa Sĩ girl’s faith journey. When we are younger, it’s so much easier to pray because we have not seen the horrors of the world. When we are older and have been through so much pain, it could be difficult to pray. Despite this, the Nghĩa Sĩ girl still turns to God and the Ấu Nhi boy follows. We should all follow her example. When it is most difficult to pray, that is when it is most important to pray.

I imagine the two as siblings. Whether as blood-related siblings or brother and sister-in-Christ, these two are close to each other.

This concept was the first one that I drew and came up with. At first, I was unsure of what the meaning was and did not like how hard for people to understand its meaning (if it even had one). I drew up other concepts, which all stopped mid-way because I didn’t have any clue of what I was trying to draw. In the end, I came back to this original concept and just embraced it. I trusted God that this idea was the one that should be published.

I had hope that God will lead me on the right path with this drawing. I hope you all feel a sense of hope when you look at this art piece.

Coloring with Adobe Photoshop CS6


Song of the Cross

Song of the Cross · Susan HooKong-Taylor · Ana Da Costa

Love lifted on the cross for me:

my Lord, my God, my salvation.

Love lifted high to set me free:

my Lord, my God, my salvation.

When I first heard this song, my heart ached. I was not sure why.

I saw myself kneeling below the cross at Golgotha. Was it because I was finally bringing the burdens of my heart to Jesus?

Involuntarily, tears began to fall. There were no words to describe my feelings.

Spiritual Director

A long time ago, my uncle once told me that the rosary is your “weapon.”

At first, I thought it was meant to be a “weapon” against external evils. Now, I know that it could also be a “weapon” against the voice that tells me that I’m not enough.

Any kind of personal growth is very difficult to measure yourself. Thus, it was very helpful when my spiritual director told me that he sees the changes in me. The growth from the day he first met me, the first spiritual direction meeting outside retreat, to the meeting on my birthday. Each time he has seen me, I have healed a bit more.

I trust my spiritual director. There are times when I get so impatient with myself, but he reminds me that I am still healing, especially because of the traumatic events that have happened not too long ago. He pulls me back onto the boat so that my faith can grow stronger before I go walking on the water.

But for now, I am more than enough.


25th Birthday

These are just a few of my friends who have shaped me.

All of these women have at one point or another made sure I did not fall flat on my face. Literally and figuratively.

I wouldn’t have gained the confidence and strength to be who I am today without these beautiful and strong women. Thank you for making my 25th birthday memorable. 💛


What do you pray for?

“When you pray the rosary, what do you pray for?”

“… I always pray for Fr. XXX and-”

“Fr. XXX XXXXXXXX?” he asked, almost surprised, leaning in to be sure if he heard correctly.


He withdrew, put his head down, held his hands together, and said with a very gentle smile, “Us priest really appreciate prayers.

It’s moments like these that I am reminded of how important prayer really is.


Holy Family Drawing

I contributed another piece of artwork to the VEYM DAC (Digital Assets Collection)/TNTT Arts Team this month. This time, the theme is The Holy Family.

Lately, as I scroll through Facebook and Instagram, I have been seeing Huynh Trưởngs from other Miềns getting married and having their first child. This month’s artwork is inspired by those many couples which are now new families.

2019-02-25 23-54
Original sketch

February was a very busy month with Tết and lion dancing. However, I am very happy that I was able to carve out some time to work on this. For some reason, I’ve realized that I do not see (or notice) many Holy Family statues or pictures, so I googled “The Holy Family” for some inspiration. This one particular image caught my eye:

“The Holy Family And Doves” by armondscavophotography.com

Jesus offering Mary flowers stood out from the other images. Most Holy Family images I have seen are the simple Joseph, Mary, and young or baby Jesus. However, the flowers here in this specific image reminded me of Dâng Hoa, but also reminds me that we should honor Mother Mary and our parents.

When a husband and wife have their first child, I imagine they would imitate the Holy Family. Like Mary when Jesus was born, new mothers are overjoyed that they can finally hold their child in their arms. The father is supportive and provides for the family.

At my Đoàn, older Huynh Trưởng who are now married with children bring their children to sinh hoạt every Saturday. Sometimes I see the mother wear her TNTT uniform while holding hands with the new Au Nhi child and holding a younger child in her other arm. Once in a while, the father is busy and walking somewhere. This drawing is also inspired by those older Huynh Trưởng who are now parents.

If there was anything I would do differently about this artwork, it would be to perhaps make the Huynh Trưởngs a little older or have them be Trợ Tá so it would be more obvious that the two Huynh Trưởngs are parents of the Au Nhi child. I only realized after realizing that the two Huynh Trưởngs might look “too young” to be parents. 

What do you think of when you look at this drawing?


Chúc mừng năm mới!

I wanted to get back into lion dancing this year and I did. 🦁 I performed for the first time in almost 2 years. #OutOfShape Performing again reminded me how much I love lion dancing. (Not the 🧨) It’s so exciting and fun! However, the one thing that gave me the extra motivation to get back into it was knowing that I’ll be bonding with my Nghia Si kids. 😊💛 (Not pictured: Andrew)


Answered Prayer

After a long day, I sat down where we sat before inside Our Lady of Peace Church. Everything I was holding inside my heart spilled into tears I did not know I was holding. I kneeled and clung onto the rosary necklace and prayed, hoping that praying the rosary will calm me. However, the tears kept coming and I did not know what to do to make them stop. I texted a friend with no expectation he would respond any time soon, but he did. I felt as if I was frantically running through a rainstorm and finally able to find a tree for shelter and to rest under.

We talked on the phone while the rain beat down on my car. Towards the end of the conversation, I was laughing. Now, I feel free. Thank you.

Looking back at this incident, I think maybe God answered my prayer.

Power of Prayer

How long has it been since I’ve been laying down in bed? I cannot remember. I just know it’s been hours. I pick up my iPhone and noticed a missed call from you. I immediately call you back. We talk.

Do you believe in the power of prayer?” you asked.

Yeah, I do“, I responded.

Then he isn’t lying,” you said.

At that moment, I was reminded of the power of prayer and felt refreshed that another Huynh Trưởng truly lives his faith.

We talked until I began falling asleep. Thank you for being there for me during one of my weakest moments.

Call time: 3 Hours 28 Minutes