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 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.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Revolutionary Road

My husband and I watched this movie last night, and I personally felt a little apprehensive about delving in a movie with such tension and conflict. Before we even considered committing 90 minutes to it, those who have watched had made Facebook status updates saying: "Don't watch Revolutionary Road if you are married." or on the other hand, "Don't watch Revolutionary Road if you want to get married." We watched anyway because we heard good reviews and found that it was worth the watch, at least for me. The film depicts a bright young couple, who once had extraordinary dreams and passions, settling down in the suburbs of Connecticut with a cookie cutter home, an office job that his father once worked, and two children. It wasn't a movie about marriage at all, the two were married yes, and the bulk of the problems had consequently played out in their marriage, but it was about purpose and living your life to its fullest. Marriage, children, the house, the clean streets, dresses, cars, and the meaningless toiling to earn money to fund all that without true purpose, that is what it was about. Cliche, I know, but that's what every desperate house wife on Astoria lane or on Main St. America is longing for and desperate to conjure up any "drama" to fill their empty lives. The American dream, peaking in the 1950's was at it's pinnacle and the cute cozy home on Revolutionary Road with life of cleanliness, order, and leisure had been what everyone was working for. This movie was not out dated. It speaks yo the American people today.

I feel it spoke to me.

I felt I was watching Kate Winslet play out my hind-sight on screen, describing and replaying what had plagued me once. The things she said, the way she said them and the frustration that oozed out of her every pore, I knew them. Even when she said terrible things she didn't mean, I also didn't mean them in my life. It was just to get a rise out of yourself, from you life, to scream out so that you can't bleep out of existence, almost understanding what a troubled young is thinking when she cuts herself to feel. Yes, one can accuse the Wheelers and me for that matter of being selfish, there are so many in Africa starving, children fighting wars with machine guns and North Koreans dying of starvation, their souls squeezed out of every dignity. Yes, they are dying violent deaths, but Americans, we are dying in a mono dioxide death chamber, where we are being lulled to death. It's the unsettled feeling of more that April Wheeler longed for, not more stuff or more comfort, but purpose. There's a phrase that April Wheeler cries out during one of their many spats and she says, "I don't need everything we have here; I don't care where we live." It was never about the money or about status, but living the life that is unique to you. We were not meant to live in the sedated suburbs with an invisible fence to keep out the riff-raff .