Monday, July 27, 2009

7 sleek cows- part duex

"And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up."
(Genesis 41:4)

Seven years ago, not knowing I was just a child, married and grew up, you can say it was baptism by fire. Looking back, I wasn't ready for children of my own, nor did I know what I was really asking for. He knows best for my life, and despite the protest of this child, He made me stay where I am to test me, mold me, and fortify my life for this. Seven years of ugly and gaunt, I had not known what my purpose was, what I was being honed for, only that I wasn't getting what I wanted. Tantrums, melt downs and rebellion, what child like this can care for another? or be selfless to another? He broke my heart, just to mend it again...

Seven years ago, a mother bore a child she could not keep and a family had received that child with eagerness. Though out of brokenness she came, she was made whole by the love of ones that were not related by blood. This pure love of sacrifice, an example of His love and open handed giving made her who she is, so that she can save lives all on her own, compelling me to adopt, to be joined with the one God has fore-known. By whispers of truth, allowing me to know the tenderness of a child, swelling my heart, making me see I can love one that is not my own.

Seven years since the beginning of these separate lives, brought together by the conductor and orchestrator of life, has composed a story far more intricate and far more beautiful than either child could ever have imagined.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The way He speaks

In the times of Moses and Abraham, God spoke to people in ways that could not be ignored; A dismembered hand, a pillar of fire, a burning bush, a donkey, an angel, a prophet, no, not even the hardest of hearts can deny His voice. Today, God speaks to us in quiet, clandestine ways that we must listen with our eyes and see with our hearts.

"God is all good with no evil, and Satan is evil with no amount of good."

"Yup, you're right Bonnie."


"I don't like dancing..."

"But you danced with me last night! Bon Bon."

"shhh....I don't want anyone else to know" (covering my mouth and smiling)

The secrets given in whispers, told only to one, I've been showered with these this past week.
These tender quiet moments of clarity with her is the way I heard Him. She was an angel, a tiny little priestess that was sent and more than this little girl needing me because it was her first year of camp or because she's so helpless and young, I needed her.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Undefined roles

Over the course of 6 days at KCC, everything I've known of relationships, love, adoption, God, and friendships have been altered. My beliefs have been weakened, strengthened, blurred and made clear. I think most of us need defined roles between people, to call them my friend, my teacher, my sister and that's why we have "DTR"s (defining the relationship) with everyone that challenges the confines of those roles. Am I your peer? Am I your mentor? Am I the alpha dog or are you? People who I have an advantage over by years, are ones who have humbled me and re-educated me about those roles that we desperately need to define. 

As I spent extensive time with a seven year old girl, she teaches me to trust others to love me without agenda, that God loves us no matter what and to be kind. She reminds me of simple things I use to know but have lost sight of because of fear or disappointment. She reminds me that even though the actions of others may hurt us, it doesn't have to alter us and who we were created to be. She is my teacher. Observing another young woman, in whome I see so much of myself, I see that I have forgotten how to let go and to be carefree. To be joyful even though others may think we're flaky or shallow, not to forget that God told us to rejoice and that to rejoice is not being frivolous or thoughtless, but brings honor to God. She is my role model. A boy age of 10 or 11 offering me his friendship, makes me rethink friendship all together, can he really offer me anything? or can I? The answer is a resounding yes! He is my friend.

The restructuring of what family is has been most important to me, to be able to really love someone outside of my small nuclear family is freeing. I see that I've been boxed into thinking that the 4 people who are directly related to me are the ones I had to fiercely protect, because they the only social network that's been consistent and lasting. I've learned, I don't have to draw lines and build walls to contain people into categories and tiers. These undefined roles have also freed me from them, of not being confined to what people think I am or trying to break from what they think I am. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Love...

You never forget that love you find at summer camp, those crushes you've never forget the feeling of stolen glimpses and rumors of how he has a crush on you too. Even after your mom picks you up from camp, you replay camp over and over in your memory reel until it's completely worn. I can't eat, I can't focus, I haven't been able get myself to really do anything since I've returned from Korean Culture's like I'm in LOVE. To be completely honest I went to camp with tired eyes and lots of decisions without verdict swirling in my head. I just wanted to go, fulfill my duty and come home without expending too much energy or giving over to it too much. But since I've returned, nothing ever has been this clear; I believe in adoption and I can love people without the fear of rejection. The children at KCC has shown me unconditional love that has humbled me more than I can bear.

After only days of knowing them, they've given hugs, climbed on my lap and have asked for piggy back rides and shouted out "I love yous" without reservation. It's as though I've known them for years and as though I've earned their love and trust. But I didn't earn it or deserve it. After five days, I can't explain this place, this love, this connection we've made and all I can say is "what is this place?" because I can't explain in words what this place has done to me and why it's affected me so. The children here, in this place, accept you like family and I think God has really allowed them to know first hand what the gospel truth really is. We were not born to receive God's inheritance, but we were adopted into his family. I've written about adoption and the how biblical it is without knowing or witnessing first hand. Here, in this place, I am a witness and I can testify to the love of God...

The children here, they understand exactly God's Love and they taught all of us counselors to be vulnerable to it. We've all come undone and we've fallen in love, even with one other. It is the children who teach us, the purity of their love we cannot withstand, we can't help but to succumb to it, to be prisoners of it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Art in words

I'm not a writer and I've never thought myself as one. In English 101, I had the most difficult time forming words and I was careful to keep each structure of a well written paper in mind. The attention getter, thesis, paragraph one containing the first illustration to support that thesis and paragraph two, to further strengthen the thesis, you expound with another example. Third, you would maybe do a compare and contrast, just to show that you thought through every angle of your thesis to really hit the point home. It was always this, this rigid cookie cutter to write words! I was just thinking about how people don't write just because it's the out pour of expression, an art form that is not easily formed by accident, but every word and sentence intentionally formed to illustrate in the reader's mind eye, the exact flavor of what you feel. I read so many blogs and Internet ramblings, but everyone is out to be the next self promoting nobody who makes it big! To do what? continue to write the sonnet of life in words? or just move on to becoming a commentator on some VH1 show debating whether Ginger was hotter or was Mary-Ann hotter. Sure, they're write well and the sentences are savvy and filled with smart, sharp quips, but aren't they just talking to entice the audience to see that the writer is so cosmopolitan and so edgy?

I remember my high school English teacher my junior year and so does a lot of my other high school friends. They all profess that he was the most inspirational English teacher there ever was. He made me love Tale of Two Cities, the Scarlet Letter, and even Grapes of Wrath! He ate those words and made us feast with him every day for 45 minutes, making us see the spices, the oils and the secret ingredients the author used to make what we call the gourmet masterpieces of all time. Let me reiterate that I was no Nathaniel Hawthorn even as I loved the story, my teacher and my class, and maybe I'm not in the realm in which such writers exist, but do people write just for the art of it any more? Do authors write masterpieces and timeless stories of the human essence any more? or does writing serve only as a stepping stool for the occasional VH1 apearances?

A Good Hobit

Dan is one of my closest guy friends besides my husband and my brother. He's originally from Chicago, but moved out to New York after he married Betty. He will be attending CUNY in the fall and is an aspiring journalist. He is my guest today, and here is his story...

A Good Hobbit

By Dan Chung

When I came to New York two and a half years ago I was in awe. I was amazed by the sheer magnitude and significance of the city. I would look up in awe of the buildings. I would laugh at the grit of the people. Even the “ethnic” sounding music my neighbors would blast late into the night sounded charming to me. Today I am not as impressed. The buildings look dirty and the people are just plain rude. And that same person blasting that same damn music – I want to strangle that person.

You can attribute New York’s fall from grace to a lot of things but at the end of the day it really comes down to one thing: Money. I hate how people out here are driven by it. I hate how the lack of it creates a huge distinction in class, more than any other city I’ve seen. And I hate how people – people who I should be able to trust like say, uh, doctors – are trying to con me out of it. Most of all, I hate what all of these things have done to me. I’m less trusting, more cynical, more jerky.

However, my time in the city has shed light into a part of me that I’m thankful for: I’m truly not motivated by money. Now, I think I’m smart enough to appreciate money’s importance in life, but I also realize that it shouldn’t control me or define who I am as a person.

Do you know what I want? I’ll tell you. I want to be a Hobbit. I want to enjoy the simple things in life like friends, family and food. The thing that makes Hobbits stand out isn’t so much their stature, it’s their motivation. While others are clamoring for wealth, glory or power, Hobbits just want to relax and have a good time and be with other Hobbits.

You can call me a dreamer or even a slacker but I don’t care. Just give me some peace and quiet, some space and some close friends and I assure you, I’ll be as content as a squirrel in a tree or a Hobbit having a beer with his friends.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Romance...not for the stiff around the collar

Looking at these photos from Chris Craymer's Romance, I noticed that Romance, in it's essence requires a free spirit. It doesn't have to make sense, just complete abandonment of reason and pride.

Ambassador in the home

I want to say that I'm a blessed wife, who is fortunate to have a woman whom I call, my mother in law, to be so easy. When I first began my life in the Shin dynasty as a new bride, there were several requests from my mother in law I did not understand, and most of the time she wasn't being difficult or filling the typical role of nagging mother in law who reluctantly gave his precious baby boy to marry a cunning and manipulative woman who will surely turn him against her. I realized the household we were accustom to was starkly different from one another. Continuing the years in this family, I began to see that she was not as demanding compared to some of the mother in laws I would hear about from the other girls. My mother in law was indeed different and has not cause me frustrations as nearly as much as the conventional norm. I am thankful for this. I often thought that she was a little bit lax, letting her kitchen build up with rotting fruit on her counter top, making the same go to meals for every occasion, and allowing their pet to see to his "business" in their dining room carpet in their Oakbrook home. I believed it's because she raised 3 boys and lived with a rugged man, but that's just not the case.

My mother in law is the Ambassador in the home. Not only is she the peace maker and keeper of her immediate domain, but she is also the Ambassador out side of her home, always vying for the honor of her husband and the family as a unit. When I was dating Hans and we were nearly engaged, my mother and father were especially smitten by my mother in law, she talks with a humility no one can contest and when Hoonie and Christina were finding their path down the aisle, she was also the one to mend the gaps and build bridges between each family. Lately, the youngest of her sons declared his Independence and announced his intention to marry. His girlfriend's mother wanted to meet my mother in law in person to discuss the union of their son and daughter. The two matriarchs met for 2 hours over a long laborious meal, and found in the end, that the meeting was a pleasant success.

Its not always the joyous occasions that she would become the counsel of peace, but in her own home, when long past history is still dragged on in the present, she is still wise. My mother in law recently told me a long story of the wealth of her father and what's happened since his passing. I asked a simple question, "You know...that kind of wealth doesn't disappear in one generation, what happened to all that money?" (I was just curious, partly because we haven't seen any of it). She was reluctant to open that Pandora's box, but she did. She proceeded to tell me everything her father's children had done in his absence, but in the end, she says, "money is money, all I want is peace. This is why I don't open my lips." It seems, my mother in law wasn't a lax person, too lazy to speak up or fight for what's rightfully hers, but she is the wise counsel of peace. Without airing too much dirty laundry, I'd say, without her, I feel this family would not be what it is.