Thursday, December 17, 2009

College Edition

It was difficult for me to clump my college boy experience with my second grade and junior/senior high ones because they require more explanation. Boys in college are like wild animals who have escaped their zoo keeper and are terrorizing the neighborhood with their curiosity and their new found freedom. They just don't know what to do with themselves, so it's all in! 100 %! It's over-drinking, over-sleeping, over-eating, over-sexing if that's even a word, and often times yelling for no good reason. I'm not sure why boys, especially their freshman year, have the urge to yell "whooo!" whenever inside voices are not absolutely required, but they do. It probably has a lot to do with the pent-up and excess energy they have and can't find enough outlets for it. Requiring them to attend classes like English 101 and Com 114 doesn't help either. Ok, not all college boys are this undone, but all freshman and most sophomore ones are, sorry to say. It may be that I'm mistaken and speaking out of experiences only to be had with boys from the fraternity or the fact that I attended a certain big 10 school, where "whoo!" is the common form of communicating excitement over a spectator sport, but nevertheless, I am speaking of my own experience and not the general pool of girls. And because my school had a huge Greek system and they ruled the campus, there's a number of boys I ran into that were indeed Greek.

Now, I generally don't have any opinions about Panhellenic institutions and think that joining a fraternity or a sorority can be a good networking strategy for the future and simply put it, it's organized fun that you don't have to conjure up yourself. I myself began rushing a few sororities, but when you're pursuing a house in the middle of a semester it's more brutal than normal. Having to come back to school a week earlier from Christmas break and standing outside of the houses in the freezing cold while wearing your cutest dress with heels on is going to break anyone's spirit and pride. I decided after looking in some of the houses that I was being "groomed" for by some of the girlfriends I had on the "inside," sorority life was not for me. The houses were beautiful mansions with manicured lawns, but on the inside, the girls shared rooms with three others and if you were an underclassmen, you slept in a "cold room" where it was literally a cold room with left over penitentiary bunk beds lined up for 35 to 40 girls. I couldn't bare to live the next 3 years of my college career in that room without the escape of these girls for a little me time. Dodging living arrangements with the girls is one thing, but escaping frat boys is a whole another task. Not all of them were bad...but some were indeed the escaped zoo animals terrorizing the sophisticated girls of academia.

A girlfriend of mine, our freshman year belonged to a house, and during a serenade (a common practice in the Greek system) at a fraternity house, called her a "Spik" and nobody knows how these guys knew that she was half Mexican because she looked all American, light brown hair, fair skin and big blue eyes. The house representative, an "older brother" of sorts reprimanded these bigots and had them send my friend a bouquet of flowers and a chocolate box, apologizing profusely for the "mishap." They really didn't mean it. One boy decided to be impressively crass and ballsy, showing that he has no regard for anyone but the coolness he will display for his brothers and because animals come in herds, one chimes in, others will too. I have to fair, there is a difference between a frat boy and a man belonging to a fraternity. The herd that called my girlfriend a derogatory term are called frat boys, the men that made the frat boys apologize are boys who happen to be in a fraternity. Get it?

I find that boys in college have their whole world in a nutshell, in the form of a college campus, and this nut, is their oyster. Girls are everywhere, out of the watchful eye of their fathers, and it's a lab of experimental dating situations combustible at any moment! They try everything and you know this because you get everything. Some will write you a little note and leave it on top of your books when you're studying at the union and you take a potty break. "Call me, I was sitting next to you just now." Huh? yeah, Ok, don't know anyone was even sitting by me, and I'm probably not that curious to find out. Or, through a friend that they were visiting at your dorm and saw you walking down the hall for a potty break. Or walking toward the restroom in that one cool enough college bar for a potty break. It's all a big trap and without the properly honed verbal kungfu, you'll get tripped up whenever you try to take a potty break! I appreciated the lab of experiments because it wasn't as if we girls had it together. Many girls did play the inappropriately friendly card, but all in all, we were in it together, lab rats dating lab rats...or blind mice leading other blind mice?


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What I learned from the men in my life. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Over the course my life, I've had a few boys who had broken my heart and I did learn that not all boys are to be trusted. I learned from watching my girlfriends' boyfriends, just what their intentions are. I can tell that a man that dates a girl for too long and their time for marriage should be in the near future, but the man makes no plans to propose? He never will. I see that with situations like this, they almost always break up within a few months of their big blow up, and the guy ends up marrying a girl not 2 years after their departure. These are just patterned observations, not theories. I haven't always known how spot a weasel from a mile away, I've been duped by the male persuasion while learning about them. It starts early as second grade, when George Heimich wasn't just nice to me and making me Valentine cards, but he's made Loretta and Jill one too! And no, I wasn't flattered that I was one of the three girls in Mrs. Lynch's class that received one of these, nor was I thrilled that he had clumped us together because we were best friends. It's like he casted a net over a school of fish and figured he would catch at least one in the struggle. Each of us were so different, one blond and blue eyed, one brunette with big brown eyes and me, the Asian one. I heard from the other girls that he liked me best out of us three, but I didn't believe them, or him, and not even when his mother brought me a can of Christmas cookies for the holidays. The trust was broken and the damage already done.

There weren't very many in between second grade and the more substantial ones with great repercussions of a broken heart during the years of high school and college. I did learn in junior high that boys really are mean to you when they have a crush on girl, but that ends in junior high, and does not mean the same when you're 24 years old. When a guy is mean to you at an age where they should be able to communicate what they really mean, he's just not that into you.

It's trickier when you're in high school, because the boys in high school are only beginning to learn how to go beyond clubbing a girl over the head with a stick and dragging the prize back to his cave. It's up to the girl to find the fine balance between knowing that some boys are still in their pubescent knuckle dragging stage and some are coming of age and will communicate with words, closer to what they actual feel on the inside. They learn quickly so that they're not left with the second choice date because they weren't able to speak up when they had the chance. I appreciated my prom date who asked me while walking me to my car after a hang out at a friend's house. I thought it odd because he would typically say bye to whoever was leaving from his sinking couch, but he surprised me when he began putting on his shoes to walk me. He hung around my car a bit, fidgeting with his hair and shifting his weight from foot to foot, before he popped the question. Yes, almost the same as "will you marry me," but we were in high school, so he popped the other question, "will you go to prom with me," except, he said, "so....wanna go to prom?"

I didn't know if he was asking if I wanted to go with whoever would eventually ask me in proper English or if I would want to go with him to prom. I gathered from his stammering that it's him he wanted me to go with. I saw this coming because of the way he'd been acting the last few weeks at lunch; saving a seat in the senior cafe, walking me to my classes and not that this was out of the ordinarily because lots of boys have walked me to my classes, but they weren't sweating from his hands and going the opposite way of the classes he should have been walking toward. I said "ok! yeah," hugged and sped away in my Toyota Tercel. Turns out, he was the perfect gentleman and a fun prom date, wouldn't change it up anything. In High school, it's about labels and who's group you were in for prom, homecoming, or turn about. It doesn't matter if you're just going as friends, but that had to be clear and whenever the dance in question was brought up, you had to reinforce that fact of "we're just going as friends." I broke up with a boy I dated in high school because there was a label confusion and someone got it wrong when they were talking to me about him. I thought that he was talking to a girl as "more than friendsies" instead of "just as friends" It was just that easy and he couldn't defend himself verbally so he just let me think that he "cheated" until we reconnected again as adults, when it was clear that all was just a misunderstanding. Thank God for that glitch in the grapevine, or I might have suffered through his egotistical alpha male attitude for who knows how long.

College was a little more relaxed and dating takes place more naturally because by this time, we've made all the mistakes in high school. Even if you were like me and didn't date that much, you just take cues from the boys, and gals, who have. Though out the ins and outs of these boys, there are a few in my life that have been staple, foundation, my rock and they are the one that really taught me how I should view myself. My dad, my brother and eventually my husband, are the ones that taught me that I should be treated this way and not that way, to tolerate this and not to tolerate that. Without the men who actually loved me for me, to teach me how men are suppose to treat women, I think I would have suffered through much more than just the "too many Valentines per one boy incident." When my heart was broken the first time, my brother was sure to let him and me know that this is not O.K. and frequently yelled not so nice things over the phone when he called asking for me. It's these reactions that "My Men" have demonstrated are the bedrock of my value and worth.

I guess this is also why I'm capable of having guys friends, I can tell the difference between a crude joke and a seriously insensitive comment because I've had run ins with my brother while growing up. Now, I know that a "let's hang out" can be a completely innocent and platonic gesture, while the same proposal could be indecent. The same way I know when a close guy friend calls me "nigga," he means that I'm his homey forever, and his "I love yous" don't mean that he's thinking of leaving his wife. I'm grateful for the long and taxing education I've received from " My Men," and hopefully I've returned the favor by educating them some.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A wayward sheep

Thankfully I have people in my life who pray for me and think of me. They ask me how I'm doing now and then and I always give the same answer, "I'm O.K." I don't know how else to answer that question because I honestly don't know. I can't find the words or pinpoint the feeling. Reminds me of a revelation verse from chapter 10, where an angel says to John not to write about the great thunder like Roar: "and when the seven thunders spoke, I was a bout to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, "Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down." It's something you may want to remember down the road, for your sake, for others' sake, but I am forbid to write it down. I feel a little bit numb and no matter how much I ponder and toss around in my head the events of the past 2 months I can't find the words. I can't find anywhere to lower my feet, like the dove who was sent by Noah to find dry land and could not find any, so it just flies back tired from flying and searching.

Typically, you'd find more entries and more talk from me about what I feel or what I think, or even what I feel God thinks, but no dice. I don't know if I had self medicated myself with friends, family and too much T.V. or if I'm miraculously cured of my heartbreak. I'm hesitant to say the latter, but I really don't feel a thing, although I know I'm not fully restored. That is...I don't feel a thing until I read The Word and unlike the words I write, it sears me where I'm wounded. Then I feel again, the heartbreak and the tragedy. Perhaps, the confusion I feel comes from 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, where I am hard pressed from all sides, perplexed, persecuted and struck down, but don't feel the consequences of these afflictions negatively.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

It's time I stop coming up with my own laws and rules about life and be re-educated on the true Law. Pastor Dave recently gave a sermon about reading the Bible more, he called it a "re-bible," (yes, very clever) and I think I know what I need to do now. I need to stop talking and thinking and be silent and reading. Has he been breaking me down so that I'd do my quiet times? The sheep that wanders off and leads other sheep to stray, the shepherd will break the leg of this sheep. Then, the very shepherd who had broken the sheep's legs will hand feed and carry the sheep till the bone is mended and eventually, his waywardness. Sounds too harsh and too severe for God to break my legs to keep me near to him. But it is this, he will break my legs to keep me from running and straying from He, the one that loves me most. I will rest here, with my broken legs, so that he can heal them and correct my wayward ways.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Pup n' Kitty

On August 4, 2002, Hans and Susie became "pupnkitty." I guess those nicknames started out as silly remarks of how Hans looked like his late Schitzu named Odie and I, apparently act and sound like.... a kitty. Everyone knows us by pupnkitty and it's no mystery who they're talking about when Hans says "Kitty forgot to turn of the heat again." On some occasion, others have called us by those names to beckon us. At the alter, Pastor Dave gave us a charge and every bible verse or charge he gives a set of man and wife to be is so appropriate to them that you'd think he's the oracle of marriages. Joshua 1:9 was the text he gave us and "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go," was the the charge. At the tender age of 24, I was a child bride, and was expensive; at least to my father who thought me too costly to give up and he was not smiling that day, nor was my brother, who by all means is my best friend and can't live without.

When I first met Hans, he to me was the most loud and obnoxious person I've ever met and I tuned him out of my head so that I wouldn't be over stimulated by his antics. At the time I was dating my long time boyfriend who was quiet, sensitive and lit vanilla scented candles in his room while playing his guitar. There was no getting away from him since my boyfriend played soccer with him on a college league and he began hanging out with a childhood friend of mine. Not only did he invade my personal life, but my ministry too. He was getting discipled by an older brother of mine from youth group and he thought Hans was hilarious. When he laughed at his jokes, I would give him a side ways glance and whisper, "why do you laugh at him? He's not even funny!" After the world crumbling around me when my boyfriend broke up with me for a girl inappropriately younger than him, I made a vow not to date any more boys until I was good and ready to marry. Hans showed signs of loyalty and character I never saw in him when I was dating my college boyfriend, I'd say I had very different priorities as a young girl, but proud to say I caught on when I still in college. It just shows how quickly I matured, because obviously now, I am the sage of my generation (cough*). For reasons not so obvious to me at the time, I began laughing at Hans' jokes and our older brother noticed something I had denied venomously, over and over until I almost broke Hans' spirit. I said almost.

I didn't know why Pastor Dave gave us the Joshua 1:9 charge and I couldn't even remember what he had said, I was so busy fidgeting with my flowers and worrying about the make up that will ruin when I hugged my parents following his sermon. Only a year later when we reminisced about the wedding on our anniversary would Hans remind me of our charge, but still couldn't figure out why we had to be so strong, courageous, not be terrified and remember that the Lord God himself will be with us wherever we go. Maybe it was a round about way of saying He'll be watching me, so stop doing all those "bad" things in secret. I was just imagining God pointing to his two eyes and then pointing his index finger back at me. "I'll be watching you little girl!"

We've really come along way since 24. We literally grew up together since I was 18 years old, giving him rides back to school, clumsily co-leading a freshman small group, and working and toiling to find ourselves in a beautiful condo, all under the heavy grey cloud of trying to conceive a child of our own. Ministry is what we do well together, he the extrovert, initiating and talking, inviting and hosting, while in the quietness of the night, I prayed and did my best to make a difference in the lives of people I loved. I would not be able to write enough of what we've seen together, but I know now, why Pastor Dave charged us with Joshua 1:9 seven years ago with 200 people as eye witnesses. Today, I will hold up the charge and honor God as we become strong and courageous in the face of adversity, become resilient and know that where we are God is her with us and we are not alone. Who knows what the chapter called "adoption" will unveil in our story book, but thus far, it's been tragic, but the hero and heroine have made it and have not fallen folly to the discouragement of tragedy. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Speechless

It's been a little over a week since my D & C and a little over two weeks since my miscarriage, and I forbade anyone to mention it to me. I haven't talked about it to anyone expect the few who asked despite my protest and I don't have much to say about it. Hans says that I should write about what's happened because he believes it's therapeutic and if not anything else, I write my best pieces when I go over a rough patch on life's complexion. It's true, especially fueled by anger or sorrow, I do write my best, but I wonder if it's just word vomit instead of careful reflection which manifests into the writing genius that is my blog. Most likely it's the first. I wrote a letter to my friend who had been out of the loop of all that's been happening since the November, a lots happened and it made me talk about it, write about it, recount what really went down and I got to put it in a small envelope and send it away for 44 cents, plus the cost of stationary and an envelope. I think that's pretty cheap considering it helped peel a layer of a pained onion and day by day, I'm finding little ways to recover. I guess this is why I'm able to log on to my online blog and talk about it now.

It's a rarity that my pastor has no words for what's been happening, he's stumped and I think all of us are! There's no plausible lesson or meaning in it and we had to accept it, eventually, after toiling over the growth I'm suppose to find over this. Nothing, until I saw the light through the long tunnel and it's when I finally emerged from my sorrow cave, that which I call my living room couch only accompanied by MTV and the Food network. I broke down crying on stage during a praise set on Sunday over the lyrics to Matt Redman's You Never Let Go and you're Grace is enough. After service, various friends came up to me to tell me that they are crying with us and that we're not alone. A friend shared with me over an omelette one morning that she's been really wrestling with God over this and that her faith too has been tested. I handed her a tissue, in hind sight, I found it a tiny bit amusing that I was the one handing her the tissue and not the other way around.

It is an honor to see that God has made an example out of me and I mean that in all goodness. Just like how the story of Rachel, Hannah and women like Esther have had their trials and troubles in the public eyes to survey and learn from, I'm glad I had shared my life honestly, with everyone so that there is a congruent story for people to follow. Hopefully, I am like Esther, who is obedient and is an example of God's Mercy played out in her life and I'm not like Rachel, who took matters into her own hands and trading mandrakes from her sister in law, in exchange for a little alone time with Jacob. This only lead her to resent everyone. I was afraid I was becoming like Naomi and have to change my name to Mara, meaning bitterness. There's really only so much a person can take and I was afraid that this was the straw that broke the camel's back, but it wan't. Strangely, I still joke, laugh and find joy in small things like a picture of an animal disguised as another animal.

I see that now, our lives, under the hand of God, is not a private affair but to shed the light of God on it and make it the story of his majesty and mercy. How can I call him Lord and call my life "mine" at the same time? When God commands us "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!" It's not faking it or forcing it because that would be impossible, but in circumstances that don't allow joy to squeeze through, you allow the Spirit to take over and take control. That's what my pastor said, and that's about the only thing he could say.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Chorus:
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

Chorus:

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"It is a treacherous time to be a woman"

A man studying and writing an article on the book Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher was deeply moved, or more like deeply disturbed by the toil of girlhood, just because she was a girl. He saw that things like a good home, dealing with the wrath of the thin goddess and the limitations society chains to the ankle of a girl in fear that she will float away on her potential had so much to do with how a girl becomes the woman she is. He with all compassion and open eyes expressed his grief for all women to a friend that happened to stand near him saying, "It is a treacherous time to be a woman." The girl straightened up a little, and feeling like the Spartan Queen, who through all hardship of watching her husband conquering distant lands, his men dying for his honor, her young son watching his future and withstanding all the pressures of being a woman in a man's war, said, "why yes it is, thank you."

Ophelia, in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, is a young girl not too different from America's girl next store, has a crush on a prince who is hopelessly consumed with the death of his father and the revenge he will take on his uncle. She is pretty, sweet and could have been the next princess of Denmark, her brother adored her and her father loved her. Ophelia, is the girl in today's society was squashed by the wars of our lives, who had drowned in sorrow. Although, her brother jumped into the grave to hold her one last time and Hamlet proclaimed that he loved her more than forty thousand brothers, after her funeral, Ophelia was never mentioned again. Even in her death, she was forgotten.

I know a girl, Ceecee, who is completely loved by her father and not only is it one way, she knows this, she and her father have this rock steady relationship that cannot be shaken. As I watch her, out of the security she receives from her father's love, she is confident but not in a boastful way, and she is comfortable in her flesh. I've never seen such grounded-ness, until I met another girl J, who is just as mature and although she is shy, that is just personality, but cannot be mistaken for insecurity. What makes her so? just like Ceecee, J has a father, who shows her worth, not in her outer appearance or how she performs, but she is taught to have character and worth that comes from unconditional love. "Daddy Issues" aren't vials of mythical potions that people poison insecure "crazies" with, but it's a true and vile elixir that girls will have to purge from themselves if they want to become healthy, purposeful women. I recently discovered a show on MTV called Tough Love 2, where a match maker tells women just how it is. "You're too insecure" "You're too strong" "take off that wig, you look like Simba!" In the end, when he digs deeper, the sexpot, the outspoken rock star and the blond cutie, all had lost their fathers to death, divorce, or neglect.

If not "daddy issues," girls find plenty of chances outside of the home to be broken down of their value and inspiration. According to Pipher, girls excel in math and science until they grow into the junior high age, when they become more sensitive to their environment and how they perceive it. It is commonly known that boys are better at math and science and girls rise in the arena of language. Boys are not as susceptible to these boxes, and many men have grown to be writers and language scholars, but girls take these generalizations to heart and begin declining in math and science even though they are gifted in these subjects. If not the boxes teachers unintentionally insert the girls into, it's Teen Vogue, Beauty Pagents, Football players, unrequited crushes, their boobs, their hair, other girls and even their moms push them down the stairs of self doubt.

I don't have the answers, but one thing is clear, fathers and mother play a big role in making their daughters feel like they exist in the world. Not to disappear with every side ways look or an inappropriate one, but to take up space on earth with a good head on her shoulders.

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too - John Mayer "Daughters"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stranded on an Island

Weathering through suffering is like becoming stranded on an island. I recently watched a movie where a man from Seoul Korea tried to commit suicide by throwing himself over a bridge into "Han-Gang," the Han River. Instead of finding his sweet end, he finds himself stranded on an "island" under the bridge he threw himself over. Irony. As he emerges from the water, he's confused and a bit hazy on whether he was even dead or alive. He begins to run from one end of the island to the other, only to see the city just beyond the waters that divide them and he begins to scramble for his phone, which was losing it's battery and called anyone that would hear him, but not one understood where he was. In a way, no one could believe where he was or how he ended up where he was and that happens to all of us at one time or another. By and by, the man did give up on leaving the island seeing that there was no hope in finding a way off of it, so he begins to make the best of the "garbage" that washed ashore and made a decent living for himself. Learning to fish, making fire, finding an old boat as a bed, and even farming with bird poo figuring that some of the seeds they have consumed must have made it out without being digested. Four months would pass until one day, a great storm swept it all away with one sweeping motion, without the slightest consideration of all the sweat and tears that poured into the life that was not chosen for him, but forced upon him.

This is how I feel as of late. I'm stranded on this island, I make the most of it and build around it because I'm put here and I'm not going anywhere fast, but just when the environment is made fit for human survival, it's torn down and taken away. Then you start over, setting up tent, making shoes out of discarded water bottles and twine and planting bird waste to grow your own food, then it storm comes again, tearing it all down at the precise moment when you've set up the last finishings that would make your survival possible. I learned that sometimes, there's nothing to learn and you'll drive yourself crazy trying to find meaning and a lesson to every trial and suffering you endure. Sometimes you just have to say that it's falleness, it's life. I mean, why does it rain? Why does the storm come? We never ask these questions when we're cozy and dry under the roof of your secure home, but that question looms like a dark cloud when you're stranded on an island and your make shift survival kit is ready to be blown away by the wind at any moment.

When I knew I miscarried, I searched for dry ground to land my feet on and to make some sense of what God was doing through this. I near drove myself crazy teaching myself a lesson when there was none to be had. This time, he's not given me a sneak preview to the coming attraction, but kept me completely in the dark about what this all means. Why would He make me go through a summer of falling in love, acceptance to an adoption agency, only to make me conceive naturally? Then, not 9 weeks into my pregnancy, he sends the storm, to blow away my water bottle shoes, my old boat bed, and that bird shit garden of mine? It's only appropriate for me to say, "Though you slay me, I will trust in you..."

Luke 1:38 "I serve the Lord," Mary answered. "May it happen to me just as you said it would."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Write it out





















Stories are living and dynamic. Stories exist to be exchanged. They are the currency of Human Growth.-Jean Houston

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.-Z.N. Hurston

I began writing this blog last year just because I needed a place to write my thoughts down. The ever swirling thoughts that come in and never really have an outlet or a place to drain. It's not that I want to be consumed by the details of this world, interactions with people and the random occurrences I happen to notice, but I do, and until my fingers begin to type away and the words seep out of them, it hardens in my shoulders and in my brain and causes headaches, anxiety, stress. It's been a therapeutic way for me to organize my thoughts and feel like I've put some order to a chaotic storm of noise that I've been carrying in my head. I carry the thoughts around partially because I know that its a growing process to think these things and makes sense of it, maybe to look back and learn about myself or others thought each of my blogs. To look back on them to see what prayer requests have been answered, what character flaws have been corrected, and what mentality has been altered throughout the years. Or not just to correct myself, but to remind me, like Ghost of Christmas past that I've once thought good things and learned good lessons and I will need to hear them from myself in the future. But once it's down on "paper", I'm free to part from them.

Sometimes I want to be completely thoughtless and live life without a care in the world, filing out all the unimportant or toxic things that enter my consciousness and live in the moment of smile, hearts, puppies and rainbows, but that's not always the best. Not only is writing something of an outlet for me, I also believe, somethings should be said, to point out love, pain, and even injustice, and not that this blog is featured in the Wired Magazine or Christianity Today, but in the sea of gibberish, it's one that will stand against the grain of the message "Live for yourself". Even though I began writing so that I had a release from my thought and feelings, and never thought anyone was reading my blog entries, there were some days when I receive a comment saying someone needed the words I've posted, or that it touched them in a certain way. So, if it serves me, but it serves others, I think I will keep writing, no matter who looks at them or who doesn't look at them.

I have a duty to speak the truth as I see it and share not just my triumphs, not just the things that felt good, but the pain, the intense, often unmitigated pain. It is important to share how I know survival is survival and not just a walk through the rain. -Audre Lorde

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grieving process...

Let me explain to you one thing, just this one time and for the last time how much adoption means to me. Coming to the decision to adopt is not a consolation prize, it's not an alternative to not being able to have your "REAL" baby, and I wasn't pigeon holed into the decision. It's a real choice, a conviction, a calling, an identity and when you decide to adopt, you are already pregnant and full of emotion for this baby that is to come. You dream about her, you think about her, you feel her in your arms. The paper work, the interviews, the bills, the home study? it's all the same as your nausea, your food aversions, your growing belly! My belly was already growing with expectation and dreams about this person being assigned to me by God himself. When you decide to adopt, it's not about you wanting to be a mom, but you really becoming the vehicle of love that God has given to you, he is the one that swells your heart and your soul with this overflowing and overwhelming love that is not your own. It was a long road to this point of taking the plunge into the pool of adoption. You kind of walk about, anticipating, you're beckoned into the pool, but thoughts of the frigid water, the breath that will be robbed from you for a time and the wetness you will have to dry off from come flooding into your mind. Then you do. After long years of waiting, preparing, wrestling, toiling, you coming to this point of jumping in, you're in midair, and then, the water is drained from the pool before you can plunge into it. So when I tell you that this pregnancy causes a termination of my adoption papers, and you give me a sideways smile and a shrug, it makes me want to climb out of my skin.

Stop looking at me like I am ungrateful and telling me to repent. Stop looking at me like I'm crazy for not wanting this pregnancy, with mutters of "surely you would want this natural child rather than an adopted child!" Please don't tell me to get over it, because I wouldn't tell you "get over your miscarriage, you didn't know that baby that long anyway, it was just a flicker." Life is a life is a life, and when you lose it, you don't tell mothers, daughters, sons or husbands to get over anything without mourning it. Am I crazy? Really? My brother says, "I know how you feel when everyone thinks your crazy but you think everyone else is crazy and then you're like where am I, in Bizarro world?" This is exactly it. I don't understand how an overwhelming amount of people are telling me I'm being ungrateful and irrational when they don't even get it, when they haven't gone through it or haven't even put an ounce of empathy or thought into "what must cause her to feel this way?" Is this consistent with my character to be ungrateful and pouting? Throwing blessings back into the face of God himself? Is this my pattern and I haven't seen it myself?

I really tried to be gracious and understanding that no one could know how I feel. It's just not conventional and not everyone goes through this. I get that, and I don't expect people to understand, but when my friend is crying over a dead DOG that they had for years, I don't say to them, "it's just a dog, get over it," just because I don't get it! I obviously don't! The tens of thousands of dog owners all over nation who mourn over their dead dogs can't all be crazy right? They obviously have a deep emotional bond with their dog that can only be established by feeding, training, walking and co-sleeping with that dog for over 15 years. I can never know! In the same way, the pruning you go through, the relinquishing, the swelling, the long arduous walk you walk to find your place at adoption cannot be understood without going through it. I tell you and I'm honest with you, being completely transparent because I want to share my life, my thoughts, my soul with you. You don't have to fix me or understand me, but do NOT tell me that the way I am feeling is not valid.

In hind sight, I may see what God was doing, maybe, I'll never know and I don't have to. I'm pregnant and I will love this child no matter what, because after all, it's my baby. But for now I will mourn, I will be gloomy because I don't understand God at all, but I will trust him even though I don't like it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Little Shop of Horrors

Our Condo Board thought it delightful to deck our halls with fake plants that cost 168 dollars each. The first day I saw one, I was coming out of our elevator and thought I was on the wrong floor because there was a short potted plant that stood about waist high as I was about to walked out. I even paused, still standing inside of the elevator with the door starting to close. I was a little bit surprised because I thought it was a short man standing there. The next few days, I kept thinking that there was a neighbor standing there, waiting for the elevator to arrive.

Soon, I did grow accustomed to the plant that appeared as the elevators opened to the third floor and remembered from that day forward, that it was indeed a potted plant, and nothing to be surprised over. Just when I thought I was allowing this little plant to be a part of the scenery as I made my daily walk down to the elevator, I literally jumped while making a turn around a corner before the elevator doors, and there in the dark corner of our halls was another 168 dollar fake plant. I was startled again thinking a strange short man was lurking in the shadows. I continued to think this for the next 5 days and grew increasingly angry every time I was startled. One day, I look down the hall, bracing myself for the lurking plants, I see that they had installed another, but I had made a decision to be aware of them and not forget they were there. Until one day, the plant that originally startled me on the first day, was replaced with a tall one. Is someone playing a trick on me? Or is this plant gradually making it's growth by devouring unsuspecting condo owners and reproducing children and spreading its seed on our floor?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Something I noticed today

I had no idea that so many people still carry around their check books to pay for things. I stood in line for almost 15 minutes because three very contemporary looking women decided to pay for their clothes with checks. It was weird to see them writing down the date, the place of purchase and the amount and subtract it from the balance above that line. It was like watching the printing press where they aliened all the words in steel and essentially stamped out their daily newspapers.

Friday, October 30, 2009

All dressed up with no one to see you

I got dressed up for Halloween today. No not as the usual black kitty cat, but I put on a long sleeve purple shirt with a glittery, silver spider web printed on the chest. Along with this shirt, I put on some dark gray pants and cute ruby red shoes that complimented the purple and gray, and finally, a black chunky black sweater. To top off this fashion Sundae, I slid on a patent leather black headband, like a cherry to finish the look. I got into my car and drove to the office, and since this morning I have not left this room, nor have I seen another soul besides one other who barely takes notice of what he himself wears. He can care less is what I'm trying to say. I described my outfit to several friends over gchat, including my brother. My brother says I need to take a picture of my outfit and post it on Facebook, but I thought that was a little too childish. "Look at me everyone~ I look cute today."

Then I realized that this is my everyday dilemma. I see a total of 3 people on a daily bases and those of the "cloth" rarely notice such earthy and fleeting things as an outfit that their secretary has on that day. Most mornings I wake up and get dressed in the clothes I have without much thought, whether or not I see anyone, and some mornings I have a debate with myself, questioning whether I should just be comfortable and throw on any old thing that I come across that is clean. Then I come to my senses and remember that I like dressing and putting together "outfits" because it's the expression of myself. It's vaguely like arts and crafts, where you put various colors, patterns, shapes and textures together to make something beautiful and quirky. I mean, if clothing is merely just to cover the nakedness of human beings, why not just put on a potato sack or a garbage bag. There are several reasons why I do this and not just to look cute all the time.

Getting dressed in the morning prepares you for a day of success. There was a girl that lived on my floor who was a freshman when I was an Residential Counselor at Purdue, and I noticed she dressed in skirts, dresses and slacks everyday she went to class. She had her hair done always and put on make up just the way she would if she were going on an interview. I told her one day how I noticed she was so put together and she told me that she went to a private school that mandated girls to wear skirts, dresses or slacks and the boys to wear slacks and a button down. The philosophy of the school was that if the students took extra care of how they began their morning, it was reflected in their work. It was true. Those mornings I woke up early enough to wash my face, brush my teeth, curled my hair, applied make up and put on a presentable outfit, I felt ready for my classes. Even if I had only 2 classes that particular day, the morning process had me invested in a day of productive diligence. On the other hand, the groggy mess of being in my blue-green plaid pajama pants and an old sweatshirt in class only made my head cloud with haze. And because I was in my sleep clothes in public, I would rush home without checking email at the computer lab, or getting extra work done before retiring for the day at 2 pm.

Shows like "What Not to Wear" on TLC, can testify to this. After purging a closet full of clothes in the "what not to wear" category and filled with a trimmer wardrobe of presentable parings suitable for whatever lifestyle the women lead, there is a tremendous transformation and a turn of events in their lives. It's like Stacy London is the fairy godmother who's given a gown and a chariot to ready their lives for success. TLC revisits the made-over women, and find themselves with new hobbies, new jobs and with new identities like, "good mother" and "role model." What a little hair, make up and well fitting clothes can do for a woman.

Getting dressed in the morning maintains my sanity. Putting together a thought out outfit is organizing yourself, and whether or not you plan out a casual one or a elaborate one, the act of putting yourself together helps me mentally organize. This concept is similar to the "dress for success" theory above, but the haphazard throwing on of clothing is a reflection of what went on in the morning and what will continue to unfold throughout the day. Although on some days, even in my own opinion I look especially dashing and there is no one to see me, it helps that I have done this for myself.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New York, The bad for you boyfriend

One of my girlfriends recently told me that people who move out of New York City become depressed and go through a withdraw. It's a let down you feel when you've known something so spectacular for so long, everything else seems too dull and uninteresting. For some reason, the things they despised while in New York, like walking everywhere, suddenly is a virtue in say, Palatine IL and feel sedentary because you're not walking 13 blocks to meet your girlfriend at Balthazar for dinner. She says that the people in New York complain about the city all the time and rightly so, but they love it all the same. Even though they complain about the city, once visitor's do, they can't believe the gall! Like to say, "nobody talks bad about my boyfriend but me!" While listening to her tell me about this strange relationship New Yorkers have with their city, I was completely dumbfounded to see that the Island is just a city made up of sights, places and buildings, but a living, organic, personified entity that giveth and taketh away. This city is that charming, interesting, smart and beautiful boyfriend, that offers you everything you need but verbally abuses and treats you like you're just like a number in his little black book. He's not committed, he lures and seduces you with his come hither stare and everyone is seduced. You deal with this antics while you're with him and you detox once you're away.

While walking through Central Park, I couldn't believe all of it could be so perfectly preserved in the enormous metropolis and couldn't get over it's beauty. The same people who have trashed each and every restroom in the city, like they were just potty training can keep this place so serene and sparkly, that we can just call it "The Park." Every nook and cranny of this place is filled with wonders I never knew it contained, a zoo, a cafe, restaurants, and gazebos New York residents can retreat out of the bustling city. The trick of the city is that they haven't really left the city, it only allows you to think that you have. Haven't we all been there girls? To think that we have left our "bad for you boyfriends" but you're only fooling yourself, you're right back with him a few hours later.

I can't deny that New York is New York because it offers everything you will every need and some may say that you don't ever have to leave the Island because it's self sustaining. Entertainment comes to you, I saw Jude Law. In person. On a Tuesday Night. walking distance from the metro. Restaurant and eatery competition is so fierce, each establishment sharpens itself against each other to make the best of the best. We had cappuccinos so good that with one sip, I had to hold in a grin that made me look ridiculous and couldn't talk enough about how good it was and how I haven't had a cup so good since Florence Italy. I visited my girlfriend who works at the New York Times and understood exactly why they were the nation's Newspaper and not just a local one reporting it's latest scoop of the town. I felt smart, just eating in the cafeteria among it's workers. In the five days I was there, I was surprised by New York's beauty, entertained, fed, and educated, but in the end, I missed my city.

I did fall under the spell of Manhattan into a glittering trance, but I soon realized, I was tired of being abused by the noise, the rudeness, the stress on my body from eating all the decadent foods, the miles and miles logged of walking and the unending days of New York. I wanted to go home. Now that I'm home, I am appreciating the quiet, low key, character of Chicago and recounting all the good things about this city. Just like my theory of getting over a boyfriend is taking the amount of time you dated and doubling it will allow full recovery, five days of fling with NYC will cost me about...oh.... 10 days.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chasing Her

There are friends who are mutually giving and respecting, where both are equally yoked. Then, there are some friends, who inch away from you, or even run away from you to see if you would chase them, if you would pursue them. In the beginning of a friendship, this is a common test we wage on the the people we are getting to know. To see if they are loyal, if they are genuine, if they indeed are sticky to the end instead of flaking off at the first sign of calamity. It's acceptable to an extent to prove yourself true, to show one person that she is willing to love her and accept her despite her misfortunes and burns, but when this continues even after the initial year of testing it becomes cumbersome.

I had a friend who I loved, she was honest enough to show all of her flaws and that made us even more close. Because she trusted me with those things and I showed her that I was worthy of that trust. Through out the years of our friendship, we've seen boyfriends come and go, tears, fears and past demons arise and fall, but I loved her, I wanted to be with her no matter what the circumstances. She didn't trust it though. She didn't trust my loyalty of love, not because I had been clandestine and cryptic, but I think part of her felt ashamed to be with me in the end. Maybe I knew too much? She began to deconstruct our relationship without even her own cognisance and didn't know why she was doing this. She has been ashamed of herself and began to project her ill feelings of herself onto me, even though I only saw her in love. People would notice that we, once appeared as sisters, were no longer whispering in secret and giggling in the corner of a room. They would ask her about me and she had nothing to say, no reason or excuse could float to her mind. I wouldn't say I am the perfect friend, but I hadn't deserved to be banished.

This girl is not one girl, but a few girls between the years. I chased them every time they felt they needed the confirmation and reassurance that I would still come chasing. I grew tired in the end, because when I needed her to chase me, she didn't. I would turn back to see because I had not heard foot steps pursuing mine, and most often than not, found no one. I'd often stop in my tracks just to walk back until she was visible again, chasing her again, because if I hadn't she would let the chasm between us grow wider and longer and deeper. Soon, I find her fading in the horizon as she continues her antics of inching away from me. Because there is a day when I grow tired, when I have nothing to gain but the poison of her insecurities, I start to believe that the brokenness of our friendship is my fault, on that day, I stop chasing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Your Love Stands Alone-Reprised

I've been content lately, and not the complaisant kind where I don't want to do anything and I'm just settling in the person I've become, but the kind of contentment that shows on a child's face when she's at the lap of her parent. Just confident and secure in their love and protection, without the angst of where her next meal will come from, how the house is getting heated, what judgment she will face when she eventually makes a mistake, or wondering if her parents will ever disown her one day. When I am feeling all alone in the world, which I often do because I am such a strong INFP, I become completely needy for my chosen ones. Trying to squeeze out any sort of love and attention to fill my appetite and like cake, having my immediate and fleeting fill, soon after, I come to a crashing low. Not to say that people I love are the "bad for me foods" that needs to be cut out from my diet of life, but compared to the nutrition of the Perfect Love of God, one cannot live on cake alone.

I've recently shared with my small group about how God's been teaching me a lesson, but only images and feelings welled up in me and couldn't quite form a solid word or words that would describe what that lesson was. That was a few weeks ago. Last night as I was sharing about this again, how I feel that God's been teaching me something, something that has not congealed into a solid form, and I began to express that to my dismay, my parents are moving away to Korea. They have been the embodiment of who I am for so long, I began to panic that I would disappear with them and leave an empty shell of a person in my stead. I then continued with my tirade with a long sigh, that I need to know that His love stands alone. I have this child coming to me and I don't think I can love this child with the backing of my parents only, but this vessel needed to be filled by the Love that cannot disown or a love that is relentless. I could not parent or love this child without myself being fully content in who I am in Christ.

I began to picture myself with this child, and in one scenario, I am insecure, fading and longing for my family so that I can gain some confidence to face the world. I am constantly trying to be loved, and incapable of giving any of it, no amount of it could be spared. I cringe to think that my child would depend on a mother who cannot stand in her own flesh to care for her properly. I begin to imagine myself with this child in the scenario of being content in my heavenly father, secure, confident and full of peace. I want this for her, I want this child to have a mother unlike the person who is only desperate for her own contentment.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear (April)

She had a dream that the ring he gave her is broken and the shiny parts of it lost, the light it use to give her has gone out and darkness is over her eyes. She becomes confused and it's not like her to be this way, she always knows where she is going, except for when this light goes out. She has swallowed the shiny parts and the dark parts down into the pits of her stomach. The sharpness of the diamond ring is digging in the inside of her and gives her a stomachache. It's the jagged pill she swallows, but what lesson will she learn? That love is not all encompassing? That love itself is sinister and cajoling, like Aphrodite herself with cunning tricks to break you?

In her sleep she sees what she fears the most, what she dreads the most, the losing of the shiny part is losing the love he gives her. She doesn't trust him to love everything about her, she thinks that her flaws might be too much for anyone to overcome. She's afraid that no one could ever love anyone that much to think it's worth it. "I need to be perfect!!" She screams with her actions, her hair, her choice of clothing, her perfect make up and words. "That's the only way anyone can bare to love me," she whispers with her insecurities, her hidden thoughts and her anxiety. Someone fed her these lies and she believes them.

Love you see, it casts out fear. Love in it's every nature forgiving and accepting will make you unafraid of what you say are flaws. Love, in it's every perfect nature will erase all your error and shame, even things that are really shameful and not what you just imagine them to be. When love stops to be these things it's no longer love. I understand we as human beings with all our wayward tendencies cannot offer perfect love the way God can. This is why we need to believe God, who loves us with perfect love, God who IS love in very nature, will give us to the one that will do their best to mimic that love.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do you trust me?

This is post about a real experience that inspired a picture in my mind..but about no one in particular.

"Do you trust me?" I grab his hands playfully and suggest he leans backwards over a pool of water. We both know that he's heavier, bigger, taller, but we hold hands anyway to try at this experiment. I think,"Maybe I'm strong enough..." He smirks and thinks, "Maybe she'll hold me up." He leans back to tell me he's willing to trust me and have a go at it, but I can't. I don't last a second and my feet immediately starts to lift off from the ground. He lets go quickly enough, but if he hadn't realized what was happening, we both would have been slapped in the face with coldness of the water. This experiment wasn't an experiment, but a gesture for him to say "try."

I don't know what he hides, but it might plunge me into a well so deep, not only will I fail to pull him out, but I will drown in the sorrow and consume me with grief over how I could not hold him up. He may be hiding what swirls in his head or what he's really feeling because if he held my hand and leaned back to trust me with those things, my feet will immediately start to rise and he lets go. Has it been this? Has it been multitudes of disappointing failures? Has he let go of too many hands? Have too many feet lifted off the ground and he wants to protect himself and others from plunging into the cold?

Maybe I don't stand a chance, leaning back into a pool of water is silly. It's the way to show him that he can trust me? It doesn't have to be that one defining test that will etch in the stonewall of his inner being, "YOU, could not hold me up. I cannot trust you." Rather than that one all encompassing test, it's small ones, I am able to pull him up from the floor, help him balance, help to stand. Over time and over small leanings, he can grab my hands and lean back, when I ask "Do you trust me?"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Losing Family (Second Edition)- Boundry lost and extended

"Losing family obligates us to find our family. Not always the family that is our blood, but the family that can become our blood. And should we have the wisdom that would open our door to this new family, we will find that the wishes we once had for the father, who once guided us..."

gradually disappears when that once stranger sits in role of father, mother, brother or sister. Although I won't fully know the extent of being without parents, I will know that I am going to miss them and losing them is only my immediate circumstance and not literal. I do know, that the losing of family isn't happening only from the perspective of me losing my parents to a locational move, but the losing of a child never to be. The family that I took for granted and considered an entitlement to have as a woman who is married to a nice husband and leads a good life will not be my destiny. There is a loss of the child that was never born, but through this, I will know the gaining of a family that is not my blood but building a family that can become my blood. Though it is hard for us human beings to see, whether a child comes through physical baring of the biological kind or through paper work and saving of money, God is ultimately the one that places each and every child into a family.
We are mistaken if we think that we create those children out of our physical ability and sheer will. No, God puts it there, he wills it there. Although some people say "but you won't know what you'll get if you adopt!" But you won't know what you'll get if you have biological children, you are conceited to think that are that biologically superior and have prime cellular make up, that you yourself won't produce a "special needs" child. Have you considered your husband, who is not your blood, but you call him your family? It's the people you let in and the ones that let you in, these people are your family.

This summer, I've gained such a family, people who have can become like my blood because God willed it so. And aren't we blood in some way because he did? even biologically? I'm starting to learn that those who you call family are ones you'll love forever, you will never disown. Family within the confines of it's loving arms is haven from the outside world, acceptance and freedom is the theme song played over the airwaves. It supplies fulfillment that we do not experience outside of it because we are not free to express and let down our walls, walls of shame, mistake, flaws, quirks, and the ugly, we accept every inch of each family member because we are in fact, family. And even if no one understands them outside of the family...we do. The act of adoption is not just barren parents who adopt to fulfill their maternal and paternal instincts, but the act of adopting is also accepting each other, as brothers and sisters. It's not just children that are discarded and disowned, but it's also us, who are misunderstood by the world and have no place to call home. We adopt each other as family, to take responsibility for one another and to protect each other, even from ourselves at times.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Losing Family (First Edition) - His love stands alone

In the 2000 Movie Finding Forrester, young Jamal is given 2 sentences from the legendary writer William Forrester and he makes those sentences his own as he expounds on the morsel that Forrester gives him. I take 3 sentences from Jamal and make it my own..

"Losing family obligates us to find our family. Not always the family that is our blood, but the family that can become our blood. And should we have the wisdom that would open our door to this new family, we will find that the wishes we once had for the father, who once guided us..."

is merely human and he himself needed a father. Growing up and looking up at adults, we assume that our mothers and fathers were above all that is petty and base, and when you are a mother or a father, you have become the fully moral being of righteousness and good behavior. We don't realize until you are an adult yourself that parents are people too and that if they have not dealt with the demons of their past or even bad habits, they continue to be that little boy that cried wolf or that little girl who pouted when she didn't get her way. There is a saying, young fools grow up to be old fools...that is if you don't grow steadily from the time you are a young man or woman. I am not exposing my parents as liars and pouting ingrates, but I AM losing them and I have wrapped my identity around my mom and my dad and my brother. Confident only because at least the three will love me and not to say that is dysfunctional, but it is when they are your chosen ones above your immediate and new family that you have created.

I am realizing that God is beginning to break down the crutch I have called my mom, my dad and Jon and he is no longer allowing me to supplement his love and the identity I should have solely in Him. This I fear will be a long and lonely road, because I will either have to lean on him only and become a secure child of God, or be forever insecure and forever finding ways to fill that void in me through an unhealthy reliance on human beings who will disappoint. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am to be fully His and unshakable so that I am a vessel of love offered up to the people he chooses for my life, namely my adopted child that is to come. I don't mind this discipline and challenge from God because he's fashioning to be the daughter he would like for me to be. My heavenly father has no deficiencies and I will not lack anything in Him.

Craving you like cake

I'm having the worst day today...and it's partially because I've had this backache that's progressively getting worse and spreading up my back and into my neck, which in turn, is giving me the worst tension headache ever known to man. The kind that you go to bed with and you wake up with it too. How long must I endure?! It's not allowing me to sleep well at night and I normally have a difficult time sleeping anyway. All this physical discomfort is making me emotionally sensitive and making me notice more than I have. There are certain people I love (and not to alienate ones that are not those people), but there are certain ones, and I'm feeling especially needy and vulnerable to them.

I hate to be here, in this place because my appetite for them is deep and I never want to wrap my identity around human beings, no one should. I want to pull back and center myself, I want to pull back and move on just to protect myself, but I can't. Normally this would be my typical behavior when I can't handle a relationship that I think is going to be too intense for me or will disappoint me in some way, but I just can't walk away from this one. It frustrates me that this one is long distance and we are limited in how close we can get. I rage with jealousy because every day that goes by, someone else is getting closer to them instead of me. If it were anyone else I would shrug my shoulders and say, "oh well" and just move on, but I can't!

My friend June says,
"it's like finding the BEST cake in the world and finding out it's $10,000 and you COULD buy it but you know you really can't" and I add "and you crave it all the timethat cake" She says, "But God did provide them in your life and for good reasons, now you have to figure out how to not get fat and keep eating the other stuff God gave you like salad."

Who is "salad" in my life?
How sad to be the salad, to be good for you but not necessarily tasty, all the nutrition and no sense of yummy. Although you do learn to love salad and it does become yummy to you as time goes by, and you eventually learn not to crave so much cake. But I don't want to call these people my cake, because they give me more than sweet satisfaction, but I need them and they are nutritious to my soul. Right now, they are what I call cake because all I want is that sweetness that you get out of the honeymoon stage. Portion control.

Life is in the details

I often feel that I'm "trapped" in the suburbs and being lulled to sleep by the mundane, but really, no matter if I did live in the city of Paris or Morocco, I would eventually settle into the mundane. Running errands, working, making dinner and doing dishes, there's no life that is lived in any city that is exempt from the tasks that maintain a human being's life. I'm pretty sure that no matter how fantastic and fabulous Mrs. Croissant is, living in the city of lights, the house needs tiding up, the children fed and that table from IKEA put together before the weekend comes around. I realized that once I've accepted this truth, life is in the details and nothing is ever too childish or juvenile. I think the young have it right, laughing out loud, for reasons almost too unsophisticated for an educated adult, but when I watch them I see they know how to live life and the "sophisticated" are on the losing team. Some say that youth is wasted on the young, but I beg to differ. While young and able, with all the freedoms of being young, it's crucial to enjoy life's details. Taking a series of pictures of just your silly faces and playing pranks on each other just because you can, and who really needs all that much sleep? Things like being caught in the rain! why is this the epitome of romance and frivolousness? Because you let it soak you, that rain will inevitably stop and you run out of it all because you'll get your clothes wet. Clothes dry and so will you, nothing is lost except the fact that you missed that opportunity.

I've focused too much on the world at large and the needs of it, trying to throw my arms around the world to change it for good. While anointing myself the priestess of this generation and commissioning myself for a crusade not really asked of me, I've been neglecting the people in my life and the details that make up the life we live. Smiling and nodding at the things people are saying, just enough to pretend that I'm there and then I get back to doing what is "higher." I've always been far off and far away in my mind, dreaming up plans and ideals and the "how things should be" scenarios. Restoring Shalom. All the while, the shell of me sits in the middle of an earthly life we were meant to enjoy with each other is wasted. That is NOT restoring shalom. I've been trying my hardest, at least with my immediate friends and family, to remember the "good times" the details of what we ate and how we ate them. To remember what we talked about, and to be completely present there while the details are unfolding. To get caught in the rain.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Unlocked (Kimmy)

She doesn't know that when she walks into a room, the temperature rises and it's instantly warm. It becomes summer, and not the kind where it's sticky, hot and scorching with heat, but the kind where it's cool under the shade and bits of illumination beams in through the gaps between the leaves. There's a sense of quietness, even when you laugh out loud, it is muffled by nostalgia, like a story once upon a time. There's possibility in her like a summer day, where anything can be accomplished as long as you have the imagination and time. The more you spend time her, the more you get out of her, in love, in joy, in humility and acceptance. She doesn't know because it's cold where she is, and although she brings summer, she has seen through a lot of winter.

You begin to see that she's locked away all that you want to get out of her because she's afraid that you'll break it. You'll begin to see that she's a deep well of careful thought, wisdom beyond her time and the kind of love you learn from God on high, and not from human beings who are fickle and full of qualifying conditions. She has locked up in her, what you would describe as summer, warmth, love and acceptance, but in the end, all is squashed by human error, disappointment and brokenness. Summer is imprisoned by the scar tissue of past contention. You see it and it's shines out her skin despite the scar tissue, but it's nearly not what it should be, what God has fashioned her to be. It's possible to unlock it, and she does, when it's safe, when it 's time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can't hear myself think.

The discipline of quiet is lost in our day. We are constantly bombarded with noise and chatter from the morning news, the morning radio, to emails, to facebook , to more email and texts. Sometimes, it's required of us, by our own drowning souls, to cut it all off. Today, I deactivated my Facebook account and stopped all incoming emails to be forwarded to my crackberry, which delights in blinking a red light at me whenever I have an incoming message. That blinking red light, has finally broken my spirit and I had to get rid of it. I understand the convenience of technology and online communities like Facebook, I completely appreciate it, but sometimes I feel I need quiet, or the slow human touch, instead of the instant gratification of speaking to someone this instant. Me thinks that I need the flesh and blood, human voice on the other end, to feel like I'm not talking to a machine all day long. Does anyone ever get the eerie feeling that you're getting a response from an algorithm of some sort? A sneaking suspicion that some machine is answering your questions and your witty commentary on life that you send over on your crackberry, instead of your sweet friend that you love?

I've recently discovered that I am completely enthralled by words on paper. That thing that comes in the mail, in an envelope, with a stamp on it and someone with a pulse had hand written your name, your address and a message. It took them more time and effort than to write an email, and hit send. It's exhilarating to get one of those, it's warm and it's human. I'm not saying that technology is evil and I'm against it, no, I love it that I get to send something over email and I get that quick response, I love it because I'm not that patient a person. However, I heard on the radio today, that an overwhelming portion of the population is completely offended when children spill over to their yard when they play. They complain that just because there is no fence, they should not come over and infringe on their private property. These are their neighbors that they are talking about and not some riff raff off the highway from another town, who decided to take a break on someone's yard. Furthermore, equally overwhelming portions believe it is inappropriate to make small talk with strangers that they encounter through out their day. Are we to ignore all people who are strangers and act like we are an island on to ourselves? That we do not belong to a larger community of people that share the same land, zip code and area code?I am not an extrovert and do not talk to strangers, but when I am talked to, and it is quite often, I am more than delighted to respond back!

This maybe the cause of a pandemic disease called loneliness in our world today, no community and no face to face contact. No humans are actually interacting with one another. Did you know that the most happiest people living in poverty are the people living in Calcutta India? Do you know why? Because they live together in a community. They are not in poverty all by themselves and disconnected like the poor in America. They are part of a support system and even when they have very very little, more than a human being could ever go without, they are content because of the people they have.

My thoughts, my mind, my belief system has been drowned out by the noise of this world. God has been pushed out of my field of vision and I've lost myself in doing so. I want to see myself again in the way that God does, to be completely human again and to be quiet with him. I feel I need the discipline of knowing and pursuing Christ. I don't want to constantly respond to the world's demands like an android, I want to hear what I think and feel.

I'll be back Facebook, just need some time to cool it!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Don't call me Christian

Don't label me "Christian", and with it the notion of righteousness and perfection. Don't assume because I am Christian, my actions, my mood, my tongue is always flowing with goodness and love, although it should. That "I would never do such a thing", that I am this mannequin of all things Christian without the slightest traces of what humans are like. That I've forgotten temptation, sin, basic human emotion and weakness, that I am super human and a saint. I am not perfect, Christ is.

Don't call me Christian and assume the worst. That I pretend to be good and speak Christian-ese, all the while, judging you from a pulpit of self-righteousness and self-reliance, and in secret, I am unkind and hypocritical. Don't assume that I won't ever become like the One that has saved us, that His salvation is cheap, that it doesn't mean anything to me. Don't think I will condemn you to hell and with it brimstone and fire, throwing you down a a well of shame and baseness.

It's more organic than the bipolar, black and white picture of what appears to be, but I belong to Him and believe in Him. I fall and I stumble, I fail and I lose, but I gain and I grow, and find victory. I'm not sorted into a box, labeled, "good one," and "bad one," or "level one," and "level two," rather, I am ever growing in the next steps I take, the season of life I am enduring. I'm not "Christian" rather, I belong to Him, I'm in a relationship....I'm in my Father's Hands.


A thousand times I've failed Still your mercy remains.
And should I stumble again,still I'm caught in your grace.
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades. Never ending,
Your glory goes beyond all fame. In my heart, in my soul,
Lord I give you control, Consume me from the inside out Lord.
Let justice and praise become my embrace, To love You from the inside out. - Hillsongs

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Protection (Kate)



She takes you in with her crying eyes,
the dark vessels fill to the brim with salty sadness.
You can see she really cares, she really loves.
When she cries, she blushes with rosy cheeks,
the hot toiling heat rises up.
It's painted on her face and it's clear,
it's broken her, and you want to fix it.

She takes you in with her smiling eyes.
Wipes away the tears from your cheeks, when it's really her pain you feel.
She comforts you from the sadness she feels,
she says, "it's ok...I'm OK..."
A broken heart buried under so that you cannot see,
so that you can be protected from it.

She takes you in with her embracing arms,
it swallows you up and shelters you from the coldness of pain.
You forget you were embracing her, instead, she's embracing you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Photographs fade....

I found these old photographs of my family. Some date back to the 50's when my father was a child, and they are old, faded, and weathered. In one of those photographs, I can barely make out the people and the clothes they are wearing is post war and dark, but I can tell it's my grandmother as a young girl, in her twenties and her two youngest. It's the way she's standing and the way the children are clinging to her, I can tell that it's her. Her good posture, her small stature, her smile that goes from one end of the horizon to the other, a smile that exposes a perfect row of teeth.

As I was scanning these pictures to preserve them digitally, it made me a little nostalgic for a time I didn't know and I didn't live through. I felt my parents have lost their innocence and their bright eyed notions of the world while enduring hardships in the States to raise their children with a certain upper hand. They were only starting out, my father in suits and riding on camels in Jordon, with a pretty wife who was slightly too young for him. Recently my parents have slowly started making plans to move back to Korea for good...in my mind and heart, they're fading like these pictures, old, weathered and ready to be forgotten if I don't preserve our relationship.

It's really hard to love. I hate the losing parts, the missing parts, the longing parts, I don't think I can withstand so many heartbreaks. This might be why I have been building a shell to preserve my heart! So many moves and so many goodbyes, once I love you, I love you. Once my parents move to Korea, they will start fading in my memory just as steady as they fade in those photographs. Then, will I know who I am? Will I still be confident in the person I am and know that the two someones out there love me without judgment and condition? Who will speak about who I am, tell me that they see me and tell me that I'm not invisible and fading too. Pictures can only reflect what you've lost, unless you preserve the relationships you have with the people that are in them.