Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Living out your praise…



I thought a lot about what I should share in terms of Praise team at Harvest and I went through a list in my head;a soul-penetrating quote? a reflective devotional that would cause a revival in the hearts of all men? a mini-sermon on praise and songs of the Bible that would challenge Pastor Dave’s sermon in profundity? But when the dust settled after all these ideas clouded my head, it was clear what I should share. It’s what God has taught me about praise over the 7+ years of serving on praise team. When that hit a chord in my heart, the lessons God had taught me was too numerous to count, I had been ministered by God himself through praise team and here’s just a few of the things I learned:

1.
Praise is pure, singing is just singing: Matthew 21:16

“Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read," 'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise'?" (or from the lips of children and infants you praise is perfected)

It is 7 am when we get to church for practice, and no one is chipper or happy and making joyful noise unto the Lord is far away from our minds, even though that is precisely why we’ve gathered. When we practice, with sleep still looming over our heads, we just practice, but after a small breakfast followed by the good breakfast of the soul, prayer that is, somehow, our haphazard clanging of instruments only an hour prior to the worship service turns into pure praise and we know God is pleased. Singing without the outpour of the blessing or challenge in our lives is just singing (and not even good one at that). Children and infants have pure hearts; their praise is perfect because of it.

2. Praise without circumstance: 2 Chronicles 35:25

“Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the men and women singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments.”

A lot has happened over the seven years on praise team, and it’s not always been a joyride, sometimes, many times, it’s been difficult. I’ve seen family and friends pass away, dealt with “drama” from both family and friends, and not to mention, the sadness of not being able to conceive a child. I’ve learned that praise is not praise because we are happy or joyful, it’s not an expression of happy like laughter or skipping, but we sing to God because he’s God. He deserves it. He demands it. When I sing, even a song of lamentation, I am content and my heart is full. Even when praise is only meant for Him, God has given me the gift of release in singing and crying out to him.

3. Praise is undignified: 2 Samuel 6:14

“David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might.”

Even after all these years, I still get nervous standing before a congregation 200 strong. Leading out a song or doing a solo is my worst nightmare. My heart pounds and it gets in my throat and even when I try with all my might, I can’t control the quiver and the shrinkage in volume that happens when I start to panic! I always try to remember, “this is not about you and it’s not a performance!” Praise should be undignified, like how King David danced in the streets of Israel still wearing his high priest linens. He didn’t think about his earthly position, but worshiped him in all eagerness that everyone and everything else faded out of consciousness. I want to worship like this, with all my might and without consideration of how that makes me look.

It appears as though, I did select option #3 and do a three point sermon, but in all honesty, I have been blessed and honored to serve on Praise Team for the last several years. Praise Team is a ministry I’ve found joy in even during the times we had to be at church by 6:30am! No, it’s not an easy ministry, but I am always thankful for the ministry.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Is it me?


It comes all the time this feeling, like I am utterly alone.
I struggle with it most my days.
I just want to collapse into a pile, it crushes me, this monkey on my back.
He disparages me and I believe him, I believe I am alone and none of my actions matter to anyone but me. My happiness is up to me and to escape from the life I know.
For some reason, going some place where no one knows me will fix the problem.
People I love remind me of the relationship I'm suppose to have with Him.

I will never rid of it, this feeling, until I'm with Him.
My pride keep me from him, my sin.
Lies keep me from him, I believe those lies.
It should be simple, to be with someone you're meant to be one with...but it's not.

Psalm 25:16-1716
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.

17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.

Luke 5:15-17: "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."


Is it me or is it just human nature. To be human is to be lonely...it seems that every blog I read says they know this feeling.
And it is Godly nature that we, out of our loneliness help others in their loneliness? Yes, I think so... Every verse I read says pray, love, eat from the word of the Lord. Not to fill our spiritual bellies, but to give it.

Luke 10:33-34 Jesus said: "A Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him."

"But we're running into people all the time who are, at that moment, in desperate need of a thunderhug - because it's lonely time, or broken time, or hurting time, or fear time. In a busy world, it's getting harder and harder to find someone who will see that you're in need of some tenderness and encouragement and stop long enough to give it." Ron Hutchcraft

Friday, August 29, 2008

I forgot....

This summer was especially busy and I planned on having a FUN summer by way of going to Rivinia, downtown, the museum, the beach, and BBQ-ing as much as we can. None of that really happened and I'm beginning to think that it's the nature of being an adult. Even if you did consider 30 as the new 20, I'm still 30 nonetheless...I half expected the summer to be like ones we use to have...

Remember going to the pool and hanging out with your friends all day and all night, setting up lemonade stands and selling handmade cards in your front yard, riding bikes til it got dark, then calling them the next day to do the same old nothing you did the day before? This is why summers seemed so long...between June and August, there is less than 3 months to just hang, but seemed like a lifetime when I was young.

Then there was the annual Methodist joint summer retreat I SO looked forward to...seeing people whom I call my childhood friends, at the end of every retreat someone went home with convictions to do their QT everyday, but most of us just went home with a new crush. We hand wrote letters to each other all year long, telling of school, what's happening at church, or just drew some silly picture, folded it up, inserted into an envelope with a 24 cent stamp on it, we sent it off to far off lands like Joliet or Homewood Flossmore and waited until they wrote back, or call you on the telephone. Looking back, we were seriously SO naive and innocent, so pure and carefree. Sometimes when I want to check the mail, my husband says to me, "are you expecting a letter or something?" No...I suppose not.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dreaming...

I don't dream anymore, i can't remember the last time I dreamt in my sleep. It could be that I'm not sleeping deeply enough, consumed by the thoughts of my wake. It might as well be that I have no dreams, I've always only had nightmares. Lately, I have dream in my wake.

I think dreams are given by someone, accredited to you, deposited in you by grandfathers before you, mothers, and brothers, in whispers, sometimes outloud, or in other times, it's only in secret thought. Though, somehow, you know them, you dream about them. It's the acheiving of that dream that is responsibility of your own, and when you're given big ones to fill, there's a great vast in between. Between you and that loafty place...the space between, the bigger the gap, the harder the strife...but that's the process, it doesn't indicate impossibility...

Plans deposited in us like seeds by the great God, we call dreams...
If they're really his plans, we can achieve! we can fill up and bridge the space between!
Strive and endure...that's the process...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Believe Man....

you gave me a false sense of beauty...a false sense of good...
you yourself, a detriment to me, but needed the reinforcement...in times of loneliness, in times of self-doubt, I crave the attention..."lovely lady, I will treat you sweetly, adore you, I mean, you crush me." i believe you, i want to, it's easy...

if i were my own daughter, i'd say to her, "don't fall for it, God's grace is sufficient for you."

you give me a false sense of shame...a false sense of banishment...
you detriment me with words of discouragement...
a side way glance and shaking of the head
in times of weakness, in times of darkness, I believe the attention...
i believe you, i want to, it's easy...

if i were my own daughter, i'd say to her, "don't fall for it, you are loved by God."

feed your heart with the words of the Lord...
his love is not like manna, where it comes as you need...
he's spilled it, poured it, forfeited to you fully...

Loneliness

I think I feel most lonely when I am surrounded by lots of people; knowing how out of all these people, not one seem to understand exactly how I feel. This should in reality be the state of everyone when you think about it...how can another human being really know and understand all you think and feel? It just can't be done. But for some, like me, feel most full and understood in isolation or in small groups.

I feel like I have my finger tips at this, barely grasping at where it comes from and what state of mind would bring me to such loneliness...

It's God, I feel lonely because he feels lonely for me. He compels reconnection with him. Is it he, the enemy that makes me resist? or is it just my stubborn heart wanting something else to fill that void when the true fill is obvious before my eyes.

I push them away...people...is it because I ultimately want to be left alone? or is it because it's a reminder of how there is no connection made because I have not been intentional with my words, heart, my life? There's a disconnect.

I know the remedy...
it's too weighty and costly...
to devote such time...even when its to save my own heart.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A deep hole...



A heart is a deep hole, insatiable and voracious.

It says, "Feed me!!!" in a deep growling voice like the monster Venous Fly Trap in Little Shop of Horrors. Scavenging and eating whatever he can, cajoling and using subterfuge to lure his prey.

It requires quality food, demanding nutritious and gourmet confections second to none....

but...when it's not fed what it wants and needs, it will betray you.

It knows somehow, when you're feeding it trash instead of the creme de la creme....

it shows on your face, in your self confidence, in your stance and what it creates in you.

when you give it sadness, it fails, when you give it junk food, it stops, and when it's not given the proper start, it murmurs.


The heart is especially particular because it's created to receive only the truest and the purest love... and when it's given imposers, it knows, it cringes and grows small.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Grapes of Wrath...

In today’s Korea, many elderly men and women can be seen smoking and defeat had made permanent lines in their faces so deep, that there was no knowing what they had seen. From our ancestors, we the Korean people, even some Korean-Americans have received our own overarching inheritance called han, or “irresolvable bitterness.” Han is not an emotion or a condition like depression or bi-polar disorder, but it is the strong feeling that the Korean people have been the victim of too many foes and that we have not received good. It often leads us to be glass half empty people and compelled to present to the world that we as a people, have been shortchanged. Koreans love to drink, eat, be with family and are a group that is familiar with laughter, but deep in the reservoir of our beings is a pool of black water that rarely evaporates. Han is collectively endured as citizens of a small country that have been hard pressed from all sides being attacked, colonized, war-torn and raped.

It’s difficult to diagnose my grandmother with individual bitterness harvested by her own disappointment and despondence, or if it’s just part of the collective han she had inherited from her people. Regardless of what variant of bitterness my grandmother harbored, but she became a fighter, not a monster. Han in some cases is the fighting fish in the lives of Koreans. Similar to the short man’s syndrome or the Napoleon complex, the Korean people live harder, laugh harder, and cry to their hearts' content. We don’t have to accept all the inheritance we’re given, we can reject them too, and in most cases, it’s a lot of paperwork and shedding off of property, in the end you feel your feet are levitating off the ground.

Fighting Fish


“There was a fisherman that always had the freshest fish in the market. Other fishermen would frequently ask how he caught fish so different than all the other fishermen, when they all fish in the same sea. He reveals, ‘in the tank I keep the fish, I add one fighting fish that pursues the other fish to devour them. In efforts to stay alive, the other fish swim around in the tank growing stronger instead of slowly and quietly die off. Their lives are saved because of that one fighting fish.’ ”

My father says, “Grandmother was that one fighting fish, instead of letting me die off from the catch,  I had been fighting with her for so long, I am more alive today.” I can see that change in him too. My grandmother wasn’t always the fighting fish that devoured the energy, love and attention of others, but she was given this fate as a little girl who lost her father to sickness. She escaped the North (Korea) with two young boys and a servant girl, fighting for all of their lives. She had been thrown into the tank with too many fighting fish, she had to turn around and become the fighting fish herself. Eat or be eaten. Sometimes, she could not differentiate between friend and foe, so she fought everyone and everything. My grandmother tried to keep her head above those dark waters, always joking, laughing, and finding beauty in almost everything.

For a long while, during her stay with us, she suffered through Alzheimer’s and dementia. There was little left of her memory except for us, God and what was Truth for her. The Bible. Every day, she hand wrote a chapter of the Bible beginning from Genesis, not wasting any white space on the college ruled note book paper we had given her to write on. Her handwriting was consistent and neat, always so careful and focused when she sat down to copy down the Word of the Lord. She may not have always remembered who her friends were or what she ate for dinner, but she always remembered who she belonged to. This small quiet routine of writing out the bible may have been her way of fighting to remember that she was His beloved and a fight to keep some hope, when darkness and confusion was slowly closing in on her mind and body. She won that fight, because in the end, although her body gave way to cancer, she was eager to be at Her Lord’s side forever and she was not afraid.

Friday, June 27, 2008

To ponder or not to ponder...

My girlfriend Patty and I were discussing how there are two kinds of people in terms giving thought to life. There's the person that lives their life without a thought and accepts what circumstances that come their way. A "it is what it is" mentally. Then, there's that other person, that ponders life: "What is the meaning of my life?" "How can I change my behavior?" "What is the essence of a person?" or whatever... They talk about it, read about, blog about it and write poems about it. Patty, admits with chagrin, that She, is NOT a ponder and much to her dismay, she admits she makes the same mistakes over and over. I on the other hand, much to my detriment am a"ponderer" (But still making the same mistakes over and over). I'm Constantly in my head, mulling questions and issues over and over until I'm even more confused and depressed. Then that leads me to more pondering of why I'm depressed. You can see the problem with this can't you?

Last night, I think I must have channeled Patty and her philosophy of living, maybe not so much a philosophy as the way we're wired, but nevertheless, I never felt so present in my life. Like I was actually participating in the life I'm leading and I was genuinely awake! I saw clearly for the first time, my beautiful home, my sweet husband (who by the way stayed up all night on Wednesday making Lasagna for all of us) and yes, I don't have it that hard! So this is why Patty's so happy go lucky most her days? I know your secret~

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Death of a Generational Sin

Generational sin isn't passed on verbally or contractually like the conventional inheritance, but its built into your being when you are formed. There are two types, one from the Original generational sin, where all of Eve's sons and daughters will inherit the consequence of her fall. Then, there is the sinful inheritance that's a little bit more immediate and it comes from your grandmother or even a great grandmother. In my family, generational sin has been recognized and my father talks about in such frequency, it's clear what it is. He never gave it a name like "alcoholism", "anger" or "lust" but he describes it and indicates which of our sinful patterns are given in passing of our generational sin.

Fear. The sin of Fear has penetrated the family tree and had struck down many of our fathers and mothers into behavior unlike the conquerors we are in Christ! No one can say when or where the ghost of doubt enters and haunts us for generations, because that moment of intense doubt in God comes at an intimate moment. When your souls seeks no outside light to peek in and the solitude of what you keep to yourself festers into a dark and deep fear, and not just a momentary lapse of unbelief. Fear in our family has one manifestation that is prominent; Anger and it seemed for a long time that anger was our inheritance, but we are angry because of the fear and doubt we have in others and in ourselves. Fear drives us to protect ourselves in ways that are completely irrational.
My father worked to sever that line of sin, to stop passing it on. When my grandmother passed away, some of that fear died with her. The constant fear of her children leaving her, the fear of death, the fear of being alone or unloved. My grandmother kept these bitter fruits until she died, and somewhere deep inside, my body refuses to spring forth life because the sin hasn't died within me. I want to believe the promises God has given me; Freedom in knowing we have the inheritance of the kingdom, the richness of heaven, and the fruit of the spirit. Free to act, to react and give because we have already been given much.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Look up.


You treat me like you're too busy to treat me like a person....

Talking at me with expecations...

I'm waiting till you do....remember that is...that I'm your sister.
But then again....
Look up...look in...the Gospel. Live the gospel life. Know the costliness of the blood of the lamb. Then you won't have wait... you won't shrink into a tiny heart that can't sustain kindness or love.

Love dispite....

You'd be full...
There's a love that demands your soul.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Yelling quietly...

I can't tell whether the Clomid is finally built up in my system to cause all this "craziness" or if I'm exactly the same and it's the old familiar sadness I already own. Am I really that much different in your eyes? Do you not know this person that you see? Maybe you would sleep better at night if I were to cry out loud and crumble to the floor from the side effects you've been warned of....then you can become my savior for a moment.

I'm mellow and a little melancholy, but I don't see myself really different in anyway. It's the same kind of feeling I get now and then, of wanting to give up, stop and drop everything I'm doing. Unhappy with what I do, unhappy with what I don't do, and there's no answering it or appeasing it's discontent. It's a slippery slope when your propensity for depression is heighten by something like infertility and Clomid. I claw out of that hole everyday and there's no resting, because once I do, I'll slip back into that dark hole once more and those walls are slippery because it's lined with un-thankfulness, inward focus and sin that is mine and that is yours.

Most moments, I'm completely happy and thankful for the life I'm given and realize that I'm given more than most people. Sometimes I am overcome with elation that the people I love LOVE me so much, they just don't know what to do with themselves, and it satiates my hunger fully. Clomid doesn't add to or cause my melancholy heart to sigh, but it's the scapegoat. To point the finger at a faceless and soul-less thing that can't be hurt or offended by your accusatory finger.

Yes it's me, not you.
Don't try to fix me you won't succeed...
I have to fight for this one and only One can reward me with healing...
and He already knows my soul....
I only need for you to understand.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

House of Spirits

"I want a house just like that!" pointing to a beautiful yellow historic house with a red door, circa 1904. It has a white wrap around deck that goes all the way around the house, you can tell the owners loved this house, it's so well preserved. Hans always replies, "ghosts live in houses like that," and I just scowl. It's true homes have spirits, and not the floating sheets variation, but more like souls. No one likes to purchase a house, knowing that an old lady was found dead with her 6 cats eating at her flesh. We always ask for the previous owners' character. Who lived here? What kind of family were they? Did they love this place?

There are homes, when you walk in, there's a warm vanilla scent that comes from the wood, it's sunny inside even when it's cloudy out and you feel like you're home. You can instantly feel that the people that built the house built a home and the people that lived in the house, made a sanctuary of that place. The soul of the house is pleasant and docile. There are other houses, where no matter how sunny out, it's dark inside. You walk into the house and you feel pushed out, the house is extracting you from it's insides. Whatever happened in the house, happy or sad, was so beautiful or so ugly, it leaves a deep impression on the house, and that becomes it's soul. Unlike souls of men which need to be redeemed by God, souls of homes can be restored by mere mortals....you pray over it, you pray inside of it, inside each room and between each space. Pray and whisper promises to have love and happiness inside of it. I hope to create a soul for our home, of comfort and openness, where anyone can walk in, grab a pop from the fridge and plop themselves on the couch. I want our home to be the house people think of when they need to rest, to celebrate,or to just be.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Grandmother II

(early days of marriage)

She was just a child really. A girl of 20, a student of the arts, but she gave up her youth to marry into my grandfather's household. She couldn't ask for more than what she received from them. She couldn't ask to continue her studies, she had to appear as though she would help with domestic duties along with her 3 elder sisters who also married well. She reminded everyone down to her grandchildren, that she was a university student studying piano until she was made to quit for her husband. She passed on wisdom devised from her regrets, "Susie, don't do it like me. You do what you want and once you're done and ready, you marry a man." Once she was married to my grandfather, she revealed her true face; she was not coy nor did she try to hide it. My grandmother never tried to be what she was not and she never thought to pretend. She didn't cook, clean or honor and respect her husband the way she should have. Her duties as wife and daughter were not completely neglected, she merely did just enough. She cooked but she was careless and the food was not delicious to eat, she cleaned but only dusted and wiped away only what was clearly visible in her eyes, she tended to her babies, but only to keep them alive. She wasn't the working kind.

My grandmother wanted a husband to charm her, receive gifts and not give any in return. She was to gain everything from this world, everything and everyone catered to her whim. Her mother, who was composed and perceptive said to my grandmother in a matter of fact way, "you love apples, and you're marrying into a family with an apple farm, what luck you have." My grandmother would just smile knowingly and felt completely entitled to what was coming to her. My grandmother's side, the Kim tribe brought a precarious and dark "luck" into the Kong family. Not the kind that lasts and give us blessings and wealth that can be passed from one generation to another. That's the kind of luck the Kong family had, wealth and blessings came to the Kongs that lasted through generations and generations. So much so that the name of Confucius still rings with honor and the estates that belong to the Kongs are majestic still. The Kim's luck brought you only so far, then it become a curse of some sort, like bringing your hopes up, just to crush down upon it. This is what caused a charmed child wake up in a girl's nightmare, when her father abandoned her in death. It's the kind that can't be helped, where the act of god causes all blessing and wealth to diminish. She brought this in and how potent it is, that instead of the luck of the Kongs blessing her, the curse of the Kims inundated her new family. That curse never stopped, she gave it to all of us, her husband, her children, her children's children. I don't where she inherited that ghost, and who she inherited it from, but it was only clearly seen beginning from her.

My grandmother's first years as a lady of the Kong courts treated her with lavishness and luxury she imagined for herself. She inherited land from her father in law, jewels from her mother in law and gifts from her husband. She even produced 2 sons while they lived in Pyong yang and she was honored for it. She didn't have responsibilities like her older sisters, but she also didn't play the helper role she was obliged to fulfill either. The women in her new family were too proper and wise to complain or to show grudge, it would be a shame to the family if the daughters were squabbling foolishly among themselves and causing family dissension. They were gentle-people and filled with Confucius pride that my grandmother got away with being a careless, free spirit all until she died in 2007. She was a sprite, she didn't belong on this earth, she didn't think so either, but while she was here, she might as well have enjoyed only the company of the beautiful, comfortable settings, tasty morsels, and entertainment fit for her amusement.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Grandmother I

(notes on granny-description of her childhood)

My mother was in the courtyard when I saw them together again. That man that keeps speaking to my mother in whispers for no good reason. I run over and wedge myself between the two, and I say to him, "we rent out the facilities, not the courtyard". I was less than 10 years old, and I had the gumption to talk to a man who was my elder, in such a way Confucius would have turned over in his grave. But I didn't care, my father passed away of diseases he contracted from his patients when I was just a young girl of 8, I couldn't let my mother be prowled by new men trying to replace my father.

I think I heard this story more than I could stand. My grandmother had Alzheimer's in her later years, but she was able to remember the most finest detail in a blanket of memories she had stored in her soul since the 1920's. Her life in Pyong Yang seemed charmed in those days, until her father passed away of unknown illnesses that was passed on by the patients in his clinic. By my grandmother's stories of him and how she asks for him in her dreams, he was a kind and gentle man. Pyong Yang's medical care was scarce in those times and my great grandfather offered his clinic to the town. There were far more patients than hands that healed them, but by the way he passed way, he wasn't afraid to touch them with his own skin. She, my grandmother's mother wasn't the doting mother, cooing with lovely words for her only daughter. She herself was busy, owning a clinic inherited by her late husband didn't suit her. She was not aggressive or proactive, she was the perfect Confucius wife devoted only to her womanly duties in her womanly place. It's really a mystery how she's produced such a daughter that's not of this era and unfit as a woman in those days of Korea. She was outspoken, free spirited, insolent, defiant and talented.

My grandmother was not like many women in the Confucius empire of submissive servitude and the humility of putting the men and elders before her. She lacked all that, she was a contemporary soul. My grandmother sang, danced in public and played the piano. She was one of the few women who attended a university in the 1920 Pyong Yang, but she left her studies unfinished because she was to be married to my grandfather. He was the son of a wealthy business man who had educated all of his 7 sons and 1 daughter. He had acres and acres of land and in some of the acres, he had an apple farm. This family was too elite and lofty for my grandmother as a match, she didn't have a father, she didn't have money and she was only partly educated. She didn't have the genteel air of a heiress or royalty. She was in fact, a slap in the face to Confucius himself, for my grandfather was the 76th generation of his ancestry. Not only was she an insult to their great ancestor, she secretly insulted her future husband, for she desired the 4th brother, who was handsome and charming. My grandfather was not as dashing, even though he was tall, he was quiet and had eyes only for his work. He studied biology and eventually became renown in his work for evolution, but later, this very thing drove my grandmother out of the house, and this very same thing embraced my grandfather in refuge from my granmother's nagging for the attention she felt she deserved. For all she lacked, my grandmother was charming and she was beautiful as a young girl of 20. She carried herself as if she were royalty and as if she were just as genteel as the next aristocrat daughter.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Game (pg-13)

I've been going to a lot of baseball games this year because Hans bought us a 9 game package. So last night, I was watching our Cubby's go against the Dodgers and it happened again! Every phrase and every cheer heard in the confines of beautiful Wrigley field, I hear "sex". Not that boys were talking crudely about it, all the while drinking beer and watching the game like they would, but there are very close analogies to sex that I can't help but to make the comparison. And it's not just baseball, it's football, it's basketball, it's even polo (especially water polo)!

To remind my audience that I'm not trying to write a sex and the city column, but I think this is why men love sports so much. They're not driven by sports, food and sex, but it's just sex! and food! especially sexy food! (OK, I'm going too far.)

To state one of the more overtly sexual and the most obvious aspect in this particular game are the bases. The bases indicated the level of intimacy that the men are able to achieve. First base is holding hands, Second kissing, third is going below the belt or under the the clothes and finally, home, which indicates the whole dirty deed. You can steal bases in baseball, but it's very tricky, because once you get caught stealing and you're tagged, you're out! Same goes for a girl, if you're going to "steal a base" you have to be pretty tricky (and darn good at it!) to go to the next base without the girls' full consent. It is possible for a player to steal home plate, but this requires a man to be cavalier and aggressive as the ball will almost certainly arrive at home plate before the runner. Although in the game of love, a gentleman should never steal home base. Ever! Home is only deserved when you are a stellar player. You're up to bat with a girl and you hit home with her; you're attentive, supportive, adoring and chivalrous and some times, you have to wait for your 6th pitch to get it.

Let's consider the On Deck Circle, the circle in which the next batter waits to bat. Now, there are many a men out there up on the on deck circle. The guy who is waiting for the girl to break up with her current boyfriend so he can get a swing at " it". And more often than not, the guy waiting in the on deck circle is the friend, the safe one the girl considers her best friend. Either that's the case or it's the sleazy best friend of the guy who values the game over his friendship with his friend. When a man is in the batter's box, there's a lot of pressure, you're stats are up on screen for all to review, batting average, RBI, and how many times you struck out in the past. All things are considered once you are finally up to bat.

Other sports are not quite as sophisticated as the game of baseball with pitchers, batters, and bases. It's just get-the-ball-in-the-hole. When I watch football, I see all the players as sperm, and the goals as the egg, and each team needs to get through all the obstacles of the opposing team to get to the egg. There's a lot of players, but only one gets in, the fastest, the strongest. Basketball has a similar analogy, many men, one ball, one basket. Although, in basketball, the terms used in this game are commonly used amongst the men for competition for a girl. Let's consider the phrase "jump ball". This is when a group of friends or guys who are not particularly fond of each other, agree among themselves, that a girl is up for grabs. This girl isn't reserved for one particular person to pursue, but she's fair game for anyone to win over in the contest. Another one would be the term "dribble dribble pass." This particular term is used when a girl is passed from one boy to another after he's had his fill with her.

I don't think my theories are new, but I've just been noticing the parallel clearly as of late. It's no wonder why dating is described as the game and men use sports jargon to describe the elements of it; scoring, defense, offense, bases, touchdown, home run, jump ball, dribbling, passing, goalies and my very own soccer player husband's favorite? "Just because there's a goalie, doesn't mean you can't score!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Empty Nest

I can't picture myself pregnant anymore. I can't see it. I think there was a time when I could taste it, I can feel it, I can hear my children calling out to me "mommy!" I've wanted a child since I was a teenager, which may have been a father's nightmare to know that their teenage girl is dreaming to be a mom at the age of 15, but I did. I even pretended that a little girl running and calling out to her mom is actually running toward me and calling me mommy. Many little girls grow up dreaming and scheming of their marriage to their real live Ken doll, but not me, I wanted a little skipper, particularly a little girl.

My girlfriends, my family, my husband, all smile and exclaim, "I'm so excited for you! You'll be a mom soon!" when they hear the news of my clomid prescription, but I don't really see it that way. Not only am I not ovulating the way I should, I'm not producing any progesterone to support the gestation of my child, but still, I'm taking this ovulation stimulant and it's not doing any good. I feel like my doctor prescribed it as a mental placebo, to feel like we're "doing all we can". (I have a great doctor, he's a dream and I know he really does want us pregnant). And No, I don't think I'm being emotional or just down on myself, but what good can come from medication that only fixes one part but doesn't produce an end goal? Like trying to change the tire on a beat up car when the engine doesn't run. Maybe I'll just say it's the Clomid talking and I don't really know what I'm talking about, but I can't help but to feel like some science project that no body knows the outcome of.

I have nightmares about adopting children. We decided that we want to pursue adoption come August, but I'm having second thoughts. I even wrote about how Biblical adoption is and how we inherit the Kingdom of God, only because God adopted the gentiles to be his sons; but I can't see past my fears. I'm scared that I would be bitter, that I won't love this child like my own, that one day I'll just say "I can't take care of this child, she's not even mine." I'm afraid that I'll resent this child because of the circumstances that surrounds her, that her new mommy couldn't have children and she had to resort to adopting a child. That makes me cringe, not only because hurts her, but because it hurts me. Yes, all adoptions begins with a loss, the loss of the child I never had, the loss of a mother that didn't want her baby, the loss of a baby that a mother could not keep. It's beyond that day that mending begins and it's a long and arduous road. I'm just not that confident I can knit those ties as tightly as it should be.
I wrote this once, and it seems like it was another person in another world that wrote it:
My sister in law put this blog up on her face book and it's about a woman who carried a child full term, and the child was not developing well. She was most likely to have passed right away, but she carried her anyway...she blogs about her journey.
I really appreciated how she was so honest with her story and so willing to share with even strangers ! I dont know what it's like to lose a child, but I think I can totally relate with her in feeling the pain of empty arms, where a baby should be... to stare at a ultrasound monitor only to see two fibroids where a baby would be...And I've learned that "holding it all together" doesn't mean that you're doing the holier thing, to be "patient" in wanting a baby. It's just cloaked in martyrdom and silence, partly because it's too difficult to face it everyday. Then those days come when all of it spills out, when the wails surprises even me! (like, where did all that come from? I thought I was ok). I want to be rooted in the word, cry to him in desperation, ask God for a child and to know that he's the one to give it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Life's Lemons


My eyes are sour.
It's the Lemons I've eatten.
Some of those Lemons belong to my friends...some are mine...

They're welling up in my eyes as tears.
Sometimes it helps to cry...
But not today... curiously enough, not all lemons can be made into lemonade....
Not even into those little slices you put into your water for flavor.

These lemons are employed just for it's sour.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Opportunity Cost....

Opportunity cost is the cost or sacrifice, incurred by choosing one option over all other options that may be equally desirable. Opportunity cost is the cost of pursuing one choice and forsaking another. Every action has an opportunity cost, not only in investing your life savings in one bank rather than another, or buying a pair of Guccis over Jimmy Choos, but in life choices. I chose Hans, sacrificing and forsaking the sea of men I potentially could have chosen as the One (and thank God he knows me better than myself, because he's a great husband). One can look back on a million choices we've made in the past, big or small, and rethink those selections with questions like "what if I went to school right away?" "What if I took that job rather than this one."

I think there's a difference between regret and rethinking our choices, but not a definite one. I can regret marrying Hans if he did turn out to be a selfish husband who abused me and my imagined children, but rethinking my life, with the variable of 2 years spent in Korea instead of coming home to Hans could have changed everything; as in, I don't know for sure if I would have ended up with Hans. Marriage to my husband is not the rethinking I do...although, to be honest it has crossed my mind (but no regrets). It's my vocation...no not a job, but a profession, something that I'm good at, something God has called me to, like a commission of some sort. What if I did stay at Seoul University and finished my 2 year term? 2 years seems so long to me back then, away from home, away from Hans and being in a foreign country without my friends. It just seemed so unbearable. What if I took my chances of getting pregnant and still went back to graduate school after I was married, instead of waiting around for this kid to come around for the last six years.

All these questions sound more like regrets than rethinking my choices, but now that we are aggressively pursuing pregnancy and possibly adoption, I have to think at this moment, do I want to choose my children and be a Biblical example of a stay at home mom, or do I take my chances and pursue my career, because it seems, it is my last chance. Which "cost" is worth more to me? The cost of my family, which may or may not come to fruition? or my big dreams? Can't I just have everything?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Crushed under it....

PD says that with this job, you'll either grow and rise or get crushed under it. I won't go into the details of why this job would crush someone under it's stomping foot, but it does. I think I'd like to think that I am an adapter, quick to change with the times and understand a culture almost instantly. I know people and I give them the benefit of the doubt, even at first instinct I'm frustrated and prone to judge. But no matter what I do, I get this eerie feeling that, I'm getting crushed under it, losing myself...I can't help but to feel like a mannequin head, a place holder for a real live person.

I want be rooted in the Truth, the Word, and I have clung to it like it's my last grip to reality before I float away as an ethereal ghost, but I lose my handle on it, I slip away. I hold fast to friends and ministry partners, but I can't engage, I have nothing to give. I'm trying...I'm reading books on my spare time, I read the Bible, I take classes, I draw, I try to be creative, I write; but at the end of all the gorging to be full, I'm still whithering away. Like I'm losing time, talent, myself.

I can't really say I know what I'd do if it were not this, and it's daunting to think about starting all over out there in the real world. I've often said, "I'm not cut out for the working force." Not that I've tried, but I think I was just afraid of failing in front of the whole wide world, at least here in the safety of the church, I'm not judged solely for my work proficiency...at least...I'd like to think not. Is it possible for someone to be perfectly healthy and fulfilled as a person as long as you're rooted and secured in Jesus Christ? Even without the profession you were called to? I don't think so. Then, it should be righteous for a man to do very little with this life and be in meditation with the Lord all day long. We were meant to work, we are created to work. Even before original sin, Adam was to take care of the garden and the animals within it. To be productive and happy in the vocation that God's called you to, I think that is what's righteous.

How can I hear you Lord? How can I know your will?




Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others"

by Marianne Williamson
from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3

Friday, May 16, 2008

Outside looking in...

Some times I see people in public and they have what I want. Like last night, I went to W hotel and thought, "wow...these people live such glamorous lives!" or "Will I ever get there? To have nice cars, dress up nice and stay in fancy hotels over weekends, just because I can?"

After we finished with the rehearsal at the W, we went to Fogo De Chao. Again, I looked around and thought, "how nice to just have a meal on a Thursday night, at a place like this..."

Then, waking this morning, the veil of night lifted from my mind, I can see clearly that I DO live that life....I was in a good car, in a nice fancy dress, having my doors held open and my carriage brought to me by men scurrying in haste. I will be staying at the W overnight and I did eat at Fogo De Chao on a random Thursday night. Yes, it was paid for by my very generous friends and we were there to rehearse for their wedding, but people looking in, are none the wiser.

Do I want to live life in glamor because people are watching? I think so...if I lived in North Korea, I don't think I'd require a seven course meal clad in designer frocks. Sometimes, I don't even notice what kind of car I'm in (unless it's a mess!). I appreciate gourmet food and je t'aime fashion because I consider it art; but I think that covetous longing is only heightened by people watching me, or even me watching other people and what they have, or how they live. A friend of mine says whenever she comes home with a piece of clothing she's been eyeballing, her husband says to her, "Is it everything you dreamed it would be?" And usually, it's not, it doesn't live up to all the hopes and dreams you put into that dress, or life style.

Thinking about this further...I look at my pastor or other missionaries living glamorous "holy" lives and I think I want that too, knowing that it's uber hard living a life of ministry. But I think the difference here is that it's completely fulfilling when you're living for the Truth.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's a new day! And a new blog...

I've been approached by a few people (namely my husband and a few others in passing) urging me to blog professionally. They say my blogs are funny and that I'm a good writer. "It's too much pressure!" I tell them...and even as I'm writing this exchange on the world wide web, I feel I'm already setting myself up for failure. I'm paralyzed by my perfection...don't misunderstand, I'm not perfect, it's the image of a "perfectionista" I'm trying to uphold! I wish I was more carefree...

I'm definitely not a writer, and I'm not even intentional with the things I write...I'm a feeler, I just write down things I feel...happy! sad...disgust! confusion?? And who says these entries would be interesting and funny to strangers? Maybe people think my Xanga entries are funny because they're my friends. I think I will be more free to speak my mind when I'm here. For some reason, writing on xanga is like gathering everyone you know in one room to make some sort of announcement....maybe it's because you've gathered everyone you know in a virtual room to make an announcement. I may share things that are so personal, it's more than you bargained for...I think I'll hold off on telling my friends about this blog for now. Just...in...cases....