Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Spun into Bitterness

The other day, while strolling through the streets of blogsville, I stumbled upon a decrepit little house, shriveled and dwarfed by neglect and pollution. The wall paper wrinkled and puckering, with mold of black and blue climbing up each corner of the whole house spewing spores and poison into the air.  The oxygen in the house stale and muggy laboring breath and life.  All the furniture inside are broken, there are discarded boxes, empty cartons of milk with mold growing at the bottom of the container, the remains curdled and putrid from time gone by. There are dishes piled high in the sink of and it seems no one had lifted a finger to undo all the disarray that happens when one occupies a home.

This is what I think happened to the person who had started this blog called "Aborted Mother." I happened to be looking through a tee-shirt link that supported adoption, my friend had posted on my wall and eventually I had drifted into a frenzy of looking up various types of adoption tee shirts. Some were offensive to non-adopting parents who don't understand what it's like to adopt, and some were just too passive aggressively defending adoption and it even put a bad taste in my mouth. Soon, I was perusing through a stream of google images that displayed a popular tee shirt that says, "Adoption is the new pregnant," and I almost bought that shirt. Not because Adoption should replace biological reproduction and all baby making should come to a halt, or if that would ever even be possible, but I liked the idea of a family being pregnant with an idea of a child that is not random, but specifically growing into their heart, soul, conscious and even in the spare room where the nursery is slowly being built. I began reading this woman's entries because I was confused why anyone would be against adoption, so I read further just to make sure I wasn't reading her "messages" wrong.

This woman and numerous others who comment on her blog states Adoption is hateful and ugly. She hates adoption in general and claims that adopted mothers are psychos who steal babies from their biological mothers. Some have even stated that Christians are so stupid supporting adoption because the bible clearly states that God is against adoption, misquoting a verse from Job saying "The wicked snatch fatherless children form their mother's breasts, and take a poor man's baby as a pledge before they will loan him any money or grain."I'm not sure what that has to do with adoption, because clearly this wicked man is wicked and isn't prayerfully considering adoption, even trying to raise a child as his own. Some continued to accused adoptive parents as needy adults who need to be loved and have an inner longing to fulfill that part in them through parenting a child. I see that some people do that that tendency, but I don't know if that's unique to adoptive parents. While reading through this blog, I was completely and thoroughly disturbed to think that there are people so twisted and disillusioned by their own pain that they would twist what is good.

I had to find out why she was writing such bitter and hateful things about something that gives remedy to orphans and those who are childless, in some cases a mutual benefit. I scrolled all the way back the day she wrote her first entry. She explains that she had put up a baby girl for adoption that she felt she could not raise. In the course of several weeks, she changed her mind and tried to get her baby back from the adoptive parents who had already received this child as their own. When this child was not returned back to her, she began a journey of bitterness and hate toward the adoptive community, posting poems, riddles and tirades about how she lost her baby to adoption, like it was cancer or AIDS or some other terminal disease. She had been so blinded by her pain that she could not see that she had been an unfit mother, she had given up her child and this child was an orphan for several weeks. There was a solution, a good one at that, but when she did not get her way, her pain had twisted her mind and her heart turned sour.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for...

When asked what you're thankful for around the dinner table, no body ever says things like, my beautiful new off white Lexus with a panoramic sunroof or the award I received for the best American Writing. Those things are something to be thankful for, but it's always the basic things in life like, a job, a home, food to eat, clothes on your back and people. Most of all, people are thankful for people. I wake up in the morning of Thanksgiving and besides all the food to be prepared and consumes, the most important thing is to see who I can spend Thanksgiving with. Whether a way or near, you want to say that you're thankful for them for the moments you shared and what they mean to you.

I am thankful for my husband who makes me laugh like no one else can and makes me truly happy through and through. He pursues me everyday even after knowing each other for over 15 years and have grown out of my girlish freshness and innocence. I am thankful that he has character that is unshakable and a love you can't escape even if you tried. He holds on to you with his tight panda grip and is fiercely loyal to his friends, family and the like. Although he doesn't completely understand me and no one can, he learns, he tries, but never pretends to know.

I'm thankful for my family, who have always loved me unconditionally, knowing my flaws and loving me regardless. Almost seeing my mistakes, temper tantrums and grumpiness as if it were a kitten trying to claw at you. You deal with the sharp claws, the occasional hissing, and retreating from the people in  moodiness all come with owning a kitty. I am thankful because my family has instilled in me honesty, self worth that could not be mustard up. I'm thankful to I have a brother who is my best friend and would be even if he wasn't blood related to me. I'm thankful that he's funny, smart and I genuinely like him as a person and I can tell him anything. I'm thankful for my new family who I feel like they are my blood even though I am bound by them only by law. I am thankful that I don't have in-laws who are typically Korean, but treat me like I was their actual daughter.

I am thankful for my community, who are always there to pray for me, quick to support and help in anyway they know how. I am thankful that they have seen me through highs and lows, but do not grow tired of me, rather grow infinitely closer and multiply in love. I am thankful that their children are like my own and I am bonding to them every day seeing them grow right before my eyes. I am thankful for the church I belong to and the pastor I have, who understand the human condition and does not judge with religious eyes but love with godly compassion. I am blessed to have a church that cares about the poor, the orphans and the marginalized.

I am thankful for my friends who have long suffered my complaints and drama that comes with feeling too much. I am thankful that they know my dreams, longings, desires, favorite stores, and who my celebrity crushes are. I am thankful that they have scraped me off the floor when I have lost all value in myself and have grown insecure and spiraling out of control. I am thankful for the love that my friends shamelessly show because I need it, I want to heart it, see it and taste it. Despite my demands I am fulfilled each time I see my friends in spirit, heart and mind, teaching me with every interaction the true richness of life is to have people and to love them. What else is there?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ventilation - Adoption and it's broken system.

Okay...So, can I just vent a little about this whole adoption thing? I think I've been patient enough, not being anxious about when the baby will come, I've been the model waiting parent. I was understanding when my social worker kept calling us while we were on vacation to produce paper work she said we didn't have to fill out. I was patient when they didn't give us the referral in August like they were suppose to, I was even patient when they told us that our baby might NOT be a baby after all, but a toddler. I was a butterfly, fluttering and dodging those punches like I was Muhammad Ali, but there's no room to sting like a bee because we are at the mercy of the agencies and the government, both the U.S. and Korea.

I can't takes it no more, I have to open a can of spinach, or a can of whoop-ass. Probably in that order because that's how Popeye does it. First of all, I am scheduling my homestudy and my adoption around my social worker's Thanksgiving plans and following up with my case worker about turning in my revised homestudy before receiving a referral. That can take months!! This means my referral date will be pushed back again and I may not receive my baby until, what? She's 3 years old? What if I hadn't said anything to my social worker? What then? I'll would be waiting and waiting until my social worker had her fill on her turkey and pumpkin pie only to realize that we had to revise our homestudy, while my babies are getting ready to go to Kindergarten! Do they realize that they are dealing with lives, people's lives, baby's lives and not just an exchange of money and pushing around paperwork.

I am so frustrated with Korea right now I don't even know what to say about them. They have been so proud and superficial, to look out for their own popularity and appear dignified in the eyes of their international neighbors, they are not looking out for their own children! How can they not allow these babies to be taken to the ones that actually want them, instead of forcing them upon Korean natives who are not past the Korean war mentality of adoption and child abandonment. If you really want to seem sophisticated and cosmopolitan, then look out for the well being of your children first instead of the society as a whole. Do you know what you look like to the rest of the world in efforts to be "first world?"

On a different note, I love how my dad, who is Korean through and through is asking me about my agency and if I have all the contact numbers of the people who I have given money to the last two years. "Are they trust worthy?" He asks. Of course they are and I know where this is coming from because he's been trusting the wrong people and my dad has terrible judge of character, willing to trust anyone. He is a pure of heart, but please don't tell me that my agency is the one that is duping us out of our money and making us wait for a child that doesn't exist. It's your country dad, it's Korea. He gets a little offended and tells me that it's my agency that's feeding me this kind of news and it might not be true. Well no, because it's international news and it's not a secret that even the Korean president is known to say he was embarrassed that Korea is "selling their kids overseas to foreigners." Thanks for asking about my adoption dad, two years later..."what's your baby's name? do you know if its a boy or a girl? When do you pick her up? Who took your money? You have their contact information?" Seems a little late, but thanks for asking.

Girl Crush Friday ~ Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow (39) has been my favorite girl crush since she appeared in "Hook" when she was a little girl. Her godfather "uncle Steve" (Spielberg) put her in the movie as young Wendy, but I especially loved her as Margo Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums. She's an actress, she sings, she cooks, she is fluent in Spanish and is a fashion chameleon. I know she's either loved or hated because she's so perfect, too perfect, but to me, she's the kind of woman I wanted to grow up to be. Down to earth and cool..I mean, she's married to Coldplay front man Chris Martin, works out with Madonna and parties with Jay Z and Beyonce. Can you get any cooler?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lifetime Stress

Since I resigned from my job in October, I stopped going to the Academy of Athletics where I received personal attention for my work outs and motivation to work hard. I really loved that place and made friends with the trainers and the "Athletes" themselves, unlike Life time fitness, it's a family-esque atmosphere. The only down side is that it's too expensive to attend now that we're only on H's one income. I'm barely working at Anthropologie, my part time job, which gives me part of what a part time should be working. Three weeks since I've been employed there and I've spend 29.99 on a shirt after my discount and having earned a cent because there are no hours to be had. I'm beginning to think that this is a ploy by Urban Outfitters Inc. to recruit exclusive shoppers. It's hard not to shop while you're walking up and down the store so beautiful, but I digress.

I recently unfroze my account at Lifetime Fitness, the work out mecca for all d-bags and cougars on the prowl with their too tight, too short and too revealing sports bras and leggings that make them look like a over cooked brat with all their stuffing spilling out of their athletic gear. What's worse, the parking lot of this particular gym is so crowded that strangers are following behind you, inching their way to your car ready to pounce before you can even get your keys out. I don't know why suburban moms in the Midwest need Hummers and how they get their children inside without a step stool, but there's just no room to maneuver your farm equipment around such a crowed lot. Once you enter the mall of treadmills, StairMaster and weight lifting machines, you realize precisely the reason for all the lot commotion outside. Lifetime must be signing up everyone in Schaumburg and the surround cities for this one location and there are sales people showing potential members their amenities every single day. I want to to slip a note to them that says, "Run away...quickly. Don't fall for all the shiny new renovated facilities and lockers."

Another reason why I don't like Lifetime besides the reason that I'm Anthrophobic and I hate a lot of people congregated in one place, but also these humans are strangers to me. I don't want to be lying down next to a hairy sweating man on a over used mat while trying to reach inner peace during hot yoga. (Partially because I lost my inner peace in the parking lot of this place). It's bad enough that he grunted through the whole session barely being able to touch his toes. Maybe he should start with light stretching before he comes into a hot yoga class because you might embarrass yourself, if not by your grunting and your ridiculous poses, but maybe you might fart in efforts to do so. It's hot in here, and already I can feel your heat seeping from your pores and escaping your suit of hair, so I don't need more hot air blown out of your rear end.

Sigh...maybe I'll cancel my membership and go on the P90X regimen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

To Be Honest

To be honest with myself, I am afraid that I'm setting myself up for failure. I'm a perfectionist and if you know a perfectionist in your own life, they will have certain standards that they hold to themselves and others. Perfectionists don't require perfection in all areas of their lives, but very specific areas they choose to define themselves. For example, I write out all my prayers and biblical notes in a small Hello Kitty note book I write in with a specific light blue pen. If by chance I forget my pen, I will NOT write in this book and mar the perfectly uniform pages that I have worked so hard to keep neat. And if by chance I forget my note book, I will have to take notes on another piece of paper and recopy it in my note book later before the day goes by. And if you are wondering if I had kept my notes this meticulously uniform and tidy in college, the answer is yes. All notes go into it's each binder, not note book because some days you will have to add a page in and it's best to use a loose leaf college ruled page to control the flow of your notes. This is the look into my psych, I know it's scary, so you can exit now.

With Perfection, you have a lofty goal you set out for yourself and any thing less than what was fashioned in your mind if a failure. You see the crazy of this logic is that you don't actually receive any reward or benefit to having a perfectly manicured and organized home or in my case a binder full of carefully outlined notes from all of your college classes, but you have to achieve them. To be honest, I am afraid that I have for myself a perfect picture of what my life will be like with this child coming into my life. I want to be the perfect mom and perfect wife, having cleaned the whole house and even gone as far as polishing the kitchen cabinets with orange glo, I have a sneaking suspicion that I will have a breaking point,  because who can keep this up? Especially with a child on your hands that will probably be semi-permanently attached at your hip, I'm not sure if the dream sequence of my day of working out, doing some light reading while the child naps and cooking a gourmet meal and set before my hard working husband comes home is going to play out as I hoped.

I have such high hopes for this next chapter in my life and week three into my wifely duties in the home and I'm already sick of thinking up something different to cook for dinner every night! I'm beginning to become so lazy that I've been eating cereal as my staple meal while I'm a lone at home. The dream sequences are slowly turning into a nightmare and I'm not sure if there's anything I can do to stop it from coming true for the first year of my life with this coming child. I can just see it, stickers on the walls, laundry piled up and my baby running and jumping into the dirty basket of mess. The dishes piling up as I order Thai food for the third time in one week. I know I thought I would never let myself go, but I see why first time moms are more inclined to show up in their yoga pants to the grocery store, because they're too lazy to put real pants on, but on the other hand they look less sloppy than in plain old sweat pants!

I can see it all now..and to be honest, what I'm afraid of the most is to be the rejection I will face in the beginning stages of bonding. My own child asking for another bosom, another mother who she had left in Korea. As much as I want to say that I am a mature and wise grown up, I still desire the love of a child and covet their affection. As much as I remind myself that this will just be a phase, a season in our lives together, but I can't help but to cringe at my nearing future of crying and fidgeting on the plane ride from Korea, coming home and not sleeping for the first 6 months. The mourning my child will weather through for the loss of her home, her familiar surroundings, the woman she had grown accustomed to.

Friendship Under Fire

To see gold, you'll have to let the metal purify under extreme temperatures to see what floats to the top. All the debris separates and sinks while the gold floats to the surface, revealing what's real and what's rubbish. Identifying true friendship seems quite similar in that when the relationship is put through fire, death, hardship, sickness, struggle or even disagreement, you can see what you've done with the time you were given together. Did you actually get to know this friend and get down to the bottom of their heart, knowing their true character? Or did you spend a lot of idol time knowing their brand of humor and how much booze they can pack down?

I had been thinking a lot about my friendships and giving them a good hard look in the face and into their eyes. I have several friends who I've known for over 10 years now and they have been the kind of friends that I have never had conflicts with, but have seen a lot of life's seasons with them. Their character still the same and consistent no matter summer or winter, and they have always stuck by me especially in the winters of my life. They are the kind of friends that are like long marathon runners not sprinters, long suffering, loyal and steadfast, keeping pace and taking their time. Sprinters on the other hand are ones that love you intensely, fast! hard! and short, burning out like a fire cracker with deafening booms and crowd pleasing lights. It was for the summer, when the weather is warm, the love is new and the climate is just so that you don't ever have to cover another with your coat and walk through the long dark days with them. They proved true over a stretch of time.

I have friends who are "brothers from another mother." They are the closest friends I have and these are the people that I've been the most raw with in disagreements and in the deep dark days of winter. They are the ones that had given me the opportunity to point out their flaws and I've given them the same chances, but at the end of the brawl, we just wanted to save our friendship. They believed me and I believed in them. There are others who I have walked through what it seemed like at the time, the shadow of valley of death. Suffering through life circumstances and seeing each other through the mundane things that we could not afford to perform, cleaning, taking out the trash, changing a diaper. We have picked up the small things for one another, small things we can do so that the heavier life's lemons wouldn't be so sour. Diluting the pang of sour and adding a little sugar to the pain helps to go from victory to victory, not letting lemons trip us up.

I often feel close to people I've had conflicts with and have overcome them because it makes me feel that we can overlook the disagreements and we're not just being polite to one another. To give each other the grace to explain and actually believe the things they are saying, to allow the other person to fail and cover, absorb the failures until the next time. I am thankful for the friends I have, who have long suffered under my life circumstances and my own temper tantrums and antics. I am also thankful for those who have confronted me with the speck that is hard to see in my own eye. To ask for explanations for my actions without assuming the worst of me because they know that in those times I am acting out of character. I appreciate my friends, who remember the names I wanted to name my future children, the snacks I most love, and know when I am down just by looking at my profile picture. I appreciate that without telling too much for a situation, they know exactly what I'm thinking and what I would do in that situation.

Set fire to my friendships oh life, I welcome it. Let purity rise to the top and I will treasure them forever.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Adopting a toddler

I recently received word that we are no longer recieving a referral for a baby, but we may be matched up with a 15 to 24 month of child. The limited amount of Exit Permits distributed by the Korean government has been more of a problem than the decision makers realize.  Perhaps they do realize that the children age and by the time they are ready to come home to their adoptive parents, they are fully aware of their surroundings, have attached to their care giver and is being rip from their home once again. It's already difficult for even a 12 month old to attach to a complete stranger, but for a two year old, he or she is able to articulate their disgruntled angst and grieve the loss of their first home and care giver.

I'm not much into babies and skipping all the burps, the runny poops, the sleepless nights, the formula mixings and feedings several times a day would be reason enough to accept a two year old with all gladness, but I'm worried. I've been worried that this child would not bond to me right away, and sure, eventually this child will call me mommy and Hans daddy but the process will be filled with tears and gnashing of teeth from everyone involved. On top of the bonding process already set up for feelings of fear, I will have to add in the disciplinary aspect of parenting when you receive a terrible two year old as you hit the ground running. I'd much rather cuddle, kiss and dote on a static creature that can't think on it's own two feet, lovable and clueless then show the wrath that can come with disobedience and rebellion.

I'm not afraid to disciple children and with my first grade teaching back ground, I'm also not afraid to discipline cute children. What I am afraid of is, that I will cave in the face of the child that feels alone, that has just been taken from the only mother she has known the last two years and is now with two strangers that keeps saying they're "mommy" and "daddy," while adjusting to the sights and smells of a foreign land. I'm not going to be so inclined to give a child a time out or a spanking for things I would a "normal" two year old, and to enforce that on a child who essentially was kidnapped one day out of the blue is cruel to me. I'm afraid to confused her, but I'm also afraid that I also will be confused. How do I keep the balance between showing unconditional love and showing a hard side of the law when all you feel is heart melting love for this child. I want to protect her, even from my self.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jesus I Never Knew

I recently came into a lot of time and I've been reading books that I've been purchasing for the last few years with intentions of reading them but have ended up in a pile of "books I have to read someday." Well, that some day has come and I think you can expect a lot more book "reviews" or just my two cents about each of them as I finish.

I recently read The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancy and I realize that I'm a little late in jumping on the band wagon of this book, about 20 years too late, but someone suggested this book to me and thought I would really appreciate it. I did appreciate this book. Especially because it turns out that I never really knew Jesus at all and it dispelled some notions of him that I thought were correct, but not. Like most of the world, we think of Jesus as a good looking white man dressed in all white with a halo looming over his head, blessing everyone that walked by. He wasn't the lamb cuddling, soft spoken and an even tempered man that couldn't be faze by anything thing, not even death. But reading this book made me realize that he was in all entirety human and God, but I often forget that he was human.

He was the kind of human that I am. All along, I pictured him as an austere man with no sense of humor, no emotions and his face gave nothing away, but he was just the opposite. He wept as his friend Lazarus lied dead in the tomb even though he knew he will raise him, he cried for death and the separation we face in sin. He burned with anger and chased out merchants and those who took advantage of the poor out of his temple courts with a whip and called people dogs and rubbish (words I imagine are equivalent to our contemporary curse words like bitch and shit). He spoke with conviction and prayed sweating, crying and with passion, leading a masses with his charisma and leadership confidence. He was a king, THE king after all, so he had to have been a man people were attracted to and intrigued by and no someone that they were able to cast aside as a soft spoken nerd of some sort.

In this book, one paragraph that quotes Scott Peck who was a skeptic before reading the gospels for himself to see Jesus all on his own. He writes:

I was absolutely thunderstruck by the extraordinary reality of the man I found in the Gospels. I discovered a man who was almost continually frustrated. His frustration leaps out of virtually every page: "what do I have to say to you? How many times do I have to say it? what do I have to do to get through to you?" I also discovered a man who was frequently sad and sometimes depressed, frequently anxious and scared...A man who was terribly, terribly lonely, yet often desperately needed to be alone. I discovered a man so incredibly real that no one could have made him up. 

It occurred to me then that if the Gospel writers had been into PR and embellishment as I had assumed, they would have created the kind of Jesus three quarters of Christians still seem to be trying to create...portrayed with a sweet, unending smile on His face, patting little children on the head, just strolling the earth with this unflappable, unshakeable equanimity...But the Jesus of the Gospels who some suggest is the best-kept secret of Christianity did not have much "peace of mind," as we ordinarily think of peace of mind in the world's terms, and insofar as we can be His followers, perhaps we don't either.

I am relieved to know that Jesus perhaps could have seen, felt and thought things that I have, in depression and anxiety and to be scared and sad at this world. I can accept and follow a man like this, to see him as the example I will look to when I can't seem to get out of bed or see the brighter side of fallen state of this world. To have hope and to heal the world just like Jesus came to do.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hope for the wait.

It's only been 2 days since my unemployment and it's seems like an eternity of doing nothing. I've been keeping myself pretty busy and feels like I don't have enough hours in a day, but the days without structure makes it hard to distinguish one day from another, or even one hour to the next. It also makes me think about my waiting child, I'm waiting, she's waiting.

Many of my friends and even people I barely know have asked me for updates on the adoption process and I'm just a record player repeating the same thing over and again. "November is the referral, February is when we pick up the baby, but we don't know if that's even written in stone, it's just projections." There's a bunch of silence between the time the dossier is submitted and the referral is given. There's much else they can tell you specifically about your adoption process except the fact that you've been waiting this long. What they don't know or maybe they do, is how long we've been waiting for a child period. They don't tell you that the whole time you're pushing around papers and signing your life away to the agencies, you're waiting then too. A whole year goes by and the waiting still persists, and in my case, it's been almost three long years since the time of application to our agency.

I recently did receive word from my agency and it was the monthly news letter all waiting parents receive. It updated us on how all waiting parents are expected to update their home studies because the babies will be 10 months at referral instead of 5 and probably will receive them at 15 to 24 months old instead of 10 months. All the fears of not being able to bond and the child having memories of the caretaker's bosom multiplied 10 fold and I'm not sure if I'm ready for what's to come. Friends and co workers alike, have asked me if I feel free and happy that my time at Harvest has ended, but I don't really have that sense of freedom because I know the eminent responsibility that is far greater and heavier.

Being home, I've had an "ah-ha! moment" where the time I thought I was wasting away locked up in the Harvest office has been saving grace. Giving me a routine and a purpose every day to do something for others while I was being pruned to be the mother I was suppose to be. At the time, I didn't know I would be adopting so soon, but regardless God had a plan for me and the time at KCC has also been a comfort. Without the surrogate kids and family members I've known the last three years, I would have been shopping online all day long to fill my empty heart and running off the stress that would have been piling up on my body everyday. Who knows what else I would have been up to, already it's been a long road to this point but the last three summers with the KCC kids and my Ohio friends has been some of the happiest times I've had in my life up to this point. 

I'm suppose to be "nesting" while at home and I have cleaned the whole house today, scrubbing all the sinks, tubs, and toilets, reorganizing all the cabinets, vacuuming and washing the sheets. But now what? I guess I'm getting started on the closet tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Her love is like...Gospel

She loves like the gospel tells you to, the way Jesus use to love his ragtag group of nobodies. They were the needy, the bleeding, the crippled, the blind, the dirty, and probably even bitchy and maybe especially the bitchy. I mean, look at Judas, the name every person identifies with stab you in the back sneakiness and betrayal. Who betrays someone like Jesus for a couple of silver pieces? I don't know how much that would translate to now a days, but I don't even have to know. I'm not even about to betray my crabby grandmother for anything. Judas might have been a common name until the day he became Judas in the Bible, that's how famous he is for letting Jesus down. But alas, this entry isn't about recounting all the ways Judas has failed his friend and savior, but how Jesus loved him anyways.

She loves the people in her life with all of her strength, mind and soul and not even because she's a pleaser, but she's just the opposite, she's sort of the against the grain kind of rebel with a cause. She is a beautiful looking girl, smart and funny, any boy would move up on that girl but she chooses her friends from the L section of the library, the "loser" section. Where all the boring and out dated books are discarded with pages torn out and coffee stains on it's front cover. It's the ones that have deep scars and need more love than anyone could or would ever afford to give. They sniff her out like a blood hound knowing she is the kind to invite a friendless down and out to dinner at her apartment, making them all the foods she knows how. It may not be the same genre of cuisine, but she'll feed your belly and your heart.

Not only is she sought out by the world would call a loser, she is drawn to them too! She can see right through your crap no matter how put together you are, no matter if you are the deacon or the  teacher, she will see you through and  through. That's why when she is your friend, she truly sees you in your goodness and you have a forever ally. She plays 20 questions with you every single day, wanting a play by play of what you've done and what you've eaten, also, what your super power would be if you had a choice. She wants to know you inside out and will continue to no matter how long you've known her and no matter what uglies or sins she's already seen in you. The gospel, I mean the real gospel that's messy and filthy is a reality to her and no matter how much she complains about a person, she will go back and love on them. She is not double minded or two faced, but at the point of action, she always makes the choice to love.

I only hope to love you this way Mia. Love you.

Once there was shalom

I once knew a little girl who was like Wednesday from Addams family, with long dark hair and a look of knowing. Her eyes dark and gazing, you know she's looking beyond your skin and face. You hear her small giggles, and it's like chimes or bells, crisp and pure you think it's a baby's laugh.

I once knew a girl who hand made hairpins for other little girls and although she was well grown out of those pins, she still fashioned them for ones like her. She never really changed in her spirit of purity and trusting, that's why little ones responded to her with understanding. She understood new souls like she was still one of them and spoke with them so they can make sense of this big wide world. There was no one else that quite related with children the way she did, the way she loved them, the way she cared for them. She gave them her life, selling all of her possessions, giving away all of her precious things so she can be unattached to the world except to the glory of God in those children.

I once knew a girl who saw the potential for shalom on earth, where the people in her community would be in one spirit, and share possessions, lives, conviction and above all, love. She knew how it should have been or how it should be, she was right and all of us were wrong. When she was happy and when she was who she was created to be, she was the best of all of us. She made the best jokes, she was creative with her hands and resources, she did not covet or desire possessions, she was smart and talked to kids in their words, she bantered with boys and loved Jesus.  In her patience and all the strength she could muster up every day, she fought how she felt about this fallen world. We should see and realize just what she saw, just what she wanted, continuing a work that Jesus had started and soon finish, to heal each other and heal the earth.

Thank you J. for sharing with us your smiles, your convictions, your story, your life, reminding us of heaven each day. Missing you already...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Speak now.

It's ironic that I cannot get my words out as I write this entry. But I have to write it down, I have to write a note to myself and to let you know that we have to say it now. We can't think about emailing, texting, making a phone call or reaching out in any form because unless you do it right at the present, the moment just passes you by. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and then years go by... I wish I had years to count with people that are on my heart now.

"She was on my heart, for weeks, I kept thinking about her for no reason." There is a reason why self absorbed people like me have a tugging in our hearts for certain people. Its pray for them, say it to them, encourage then, they need it now. I want no longer want to wait around for permission or the closeness to settle in before I speak into someone's life because I've been commissioned to love by the One True Love. I no longer want to be bothered by the idea of talking on the phone for someone for 20 minutes when you've only intended on leaving them a quick message to say "Hi, I'm thinking about you." What if it turns into a "can you meet me for coffee?" So let it.

I no longer want to have regrets like, I wish I have written her a little note because she would have appreciated something like that. Maybe with just a heart drawn on it and slipped it in her hand while giving her a hug. I had passed her by giving her a quick smirk because I was busy, I'm not sure it was that important now. I no longer want to think too much about writing someone a text, just in case they take it the wrong way, or what if I sound too earnest or needy. What if they never respond to the love I've lavished on them? I no longer want to love with this high expectation of receiving the same kind of love back from them. The same kind of caliber, the same things I would want or like or what I consider truly loving someone. Say I love you, I think about you, believe in love, believe in God, I'm sorry, I was wrong, I miss you! Say it, don't regret it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Girl Crush Friday ~ Fearne Cotton

Fearne Cotton (30) is a British T.V. Host and Radio announcer for BBC. She isn't really known to anyone in the U.S., but I happen to stumble upon her hair when I was contemplating my own cut. Needless to say, my hair was fashioned after her's and now I'm a little bit envious of her punch pink hue. I'd say I would attempt that too, but my hair is too dark to cover up with any color. 

Happy Birthday Mr. President

Today is my Bear's 35th birthday and he can finally run for office and become president of the United States. He now fulfills all of the qualifications to be the leader of the first world! He has deep character that is unshakable and unchanging, he is malleable and teachable in all aspects because he is humble. He makes the people believe that there is good in the world, congregating the them with love and shepherding instead of resting only on his charisma and humor. He has a heart of a pastor, a minister, a shepherd who will give and give till there is no more to give, generous in all his ways. Time, material goods, heart, and will give up his pride for sake of peace and reconciliation. His concern is for the widowed, the poor and the orphans, especially the orphans! Always wanting to take in anyone lost, isolated and abandoned. His patience runs deep and you sometimes wonder if he's just slow to act or just lazy, but you know his hand is always working, always diligent. Lazy could not be the answer.

His gruff and boy exterior lends himself to men, relying on him for loyal friendship that is relentless and unending. He will run into a burning house, jump on top of a live grenade and tell you bluntly, "dude, you're not being a man!" Although all boy with mischief, potty humor, and can't-stop-talking-about-sports antics, little girls can't pass up his empty lap. He melts into a puddle, concealing his weakness for cuteness with scrunched and turned up nose yelling, "who's kid is this?" but deep inside, he wants her to stay. He doesn't have to kiss babies to run for office because like the pied piper, a trail of tiny foot steps follow in his.

Our nation will see that nothing seems to matter so much, nothing seems so bad, now that he is president of our good country because he is the source of stability and good humor. Valuing tradition, good sense and chivalry, opening doors for ladies, pulling out their seats, still after 10 years he still puts me into the car before he gets into his side. He will work for your family and not just his own, he will make the community a safe place to live because he detests injustice and corruption. When I am with him, nothing seems so bad, things will be okay no matter our circumstance or situation. He knows my heart and more importantly knows the heart of God, so get up out of your seat ladies and gentlemen! If you are of voting age, make your vote count! Hans Shin for President.

Happy Birthday pups!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rumor has it

You're getting close you can tell, she will look for you and call you for talks. You tell her about yourself, just the safe parts, the ones you rehearsed and scripted, enough to implore her. Lure her to step into the sticky strings, she suspect something but she doesn't yet know the web of lies you weave, the paranoid stories you tell yourself and you believe. You'll have to make it up as you go because she will try to defend herself, she might contradict your tellings. You tell them something sticky sweet, a rumor, a suspicion and it's more of a concern, a sharing if you will, of what you've been worried about. Tell them in general, in broad strokes so that they will ask for the details and you'll be forced to tell. You tell so that you can arm them into your circle, "I tell you because I trust you."

They hang on your every word, it's exhilarating to have their eyes sparkling for more drama, more dynamics,  there has to be a punch. "On top of that she was pregnant!" you blurt out, but you're not sure if that's even true, you want it to be true, just look at their reaction. Surprised you hear it come out of your mouth, but it's too late, you'll have to believe it, you'll have to defend it. Dropped jaws morphing into half concealed smiles as they look to see if the others are finding it just as delicious. You detect their pleasure and you add on, oh the suffering you go through, oh the drama! With your head tilted and your mouth into a frown, "I just don't know what to do about it, how can she be so mean?" Fishing for their hand upon your hand, patting and comforting, "there there my dear innocent friend, I believe you." You have them, caught in your web.

It doesn't matter if it's right or true, as long as they believe you, as long as you believe you. You'll have to tell it with confidence to anyone that will hear me. That's how rumors are begun and spurred on. They won't know who to believe or how it all started, but you'll have to have them spun and wounded in your sticky cocoon, woven from your web. 

My Noah

I didn't always think H was my Noah, I mean, he never understood me and always thought I was such an alien. He made efforts and I had to teach him, pulling tooth and nail the last 10 plus years. Although he tried, I overlooked him and I didn't try. Looking at him with a side ways glance and a wrinkled fore head thinking to myself and sometimes out loud, "I don't understand you, you're a weirdo." Despite the differences, we have been good friends for a long time and no one can deny our common vision for life and ministry. We've talked about adoption from the beginning, when we sat in that old Apples Bees in West Lafayette. Talking about how we would adopt, not together because we weren't getting married to each other, but separately, with other people.

No matter how many nights I've broken down feeling misunderstood by other and by him, complaining no one can know me like God or my family, he had been patient and listening. Even thought I said he never listens, he had secretly wrote down in his mind's notepad every important he needed to remember about me. After making the long list, 10 years worth, he sees me more clearly than anyone else I know. He IS my Noah. Noah isn't the one that you desperately loved and with blinding passion you are drawn to one another for life, but he let her be. He wasn't afraid to hurt her feelings, he wasn't afraid of her and all that she was, so she was. She painted, she wrote, she swam and made fun of him, teasing him, arguing with him because he let her be free.

Every time I watch the Black Swan on T.V. or in the theater I say to myself and tell Hans too that I am doing my best to kill the Black Swan in me. The one that is wanting to kill the seemingly weaker self so that she can be on top, where ever that top is, to be able to disregard anyone's thoughts about you or feelings you may hurt. But Hans makes sure I know that I am White Swan, "People may think you are Black Swan and maybe you look like one sometimes, but Sus, you are a white swan, through and through." I think I sat in the darkness of that car just tearing up because that's something God would say to me and anything short of that are lies that fill up my mind when I spiral into self doubt. He says to me, "you can't correct everyone, and not everyone can know you or believe your good intentions but what can you do?" He grounds me when he says that, and I am reminded that I don't become what people think of me, but I have to protect what good I have in me. What is Jesus in me, what's sincere and not believe the lies.

I tell him I'm tired, cold, or just plain crabby and his reaction time to me is that of lightening. He will fix dinner, put a blanket over me and feed me chocolate and wine while putting on my favorite shows on TV. I don't ask him to and sometimes burdensome because I'm afraid others will point fingers at me and think I wave my princess hand and all my dreams come true at the expense of the broken back of my slave who I call Hans.

He's my Noah not because he makes me dinner and feeds me chocolates though, he's my Noah because he knows me deep inside and appreciates that he married an alien, a little naive in her thinking, a little too idealistic and trusting, but he calls me white swan. He tells me I should write a book and "heck yeah you can!" pushing me to be happy in the things I'm good at. Singing, writing, painting, and I am just me around him all the time, the ugly and the pretty, he sees it all, but still he can call me "my angel." 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Judge a Book by it's Skin

The gym I belong to is called the Athletic Academy and it's kind of like school because it brings me back to when there are classes for one hour, extra work, crushes, gossip and well, high school kids. I have 2 more days here at this gym because honestly we can't afford the tuition without my second income and in a way, I have to go back to my old school, which is more public. The thing I love about this place is that they have become my friends, almost like family. Maureen who is the blond part owner appears as though she's a bad biker chick who still likes to party on the weekends and doesn't care a hoot about who comes and goes through the gym as long as you pay her on time. Over time, She's become like your boyfriend's cool mom and she makes you cookies while she chats about hair but still give you wise advise about life and career.

Ryan, who likes to play hard music and has dark hair that goes over his eyes every time he looks down rarely talks and could seem gruff is my most favorite. He's the guy that makes the Tee graphics and markets the events about town, promoting boot camps that benefits families, illness, kids and the poor. He makes these low mutterings that make you laugh because it seems so off with what he looks like on the outside. He laughs about almost anything and saves my little post it notes I leave on his desk on days he's not there. I finally broke through the old man serious, who calls his live in girlfriend his "lady friend." Jason is a young slugger who is under 30 and makes his cute girlfriends like his old lady and he isn't going to joke about when you're training under him in speed and agility. Of course, when you happen look his way, little boys are always looking up at him laughing and smiling, and I always wonder what kinds of jokes Jason would make with them.

Derek is the most different from what I thought he was. He looked to me a quiet mousy blond, who didn't know what to say to girls even if he had the chance. In the beginning I mistook his joking to be serious and actually thought he was a little bit afraid of me because I was a girl. Then he says to me after a whole year of chit chats here and there, "sit down, tell us a story Susie, we know nothing about you after all this time." I did sit down, "only for a few minutes, I have to get my run in or I'll turn into a monster." I sat there for over an hour cracking up at everything he said because he was sarcastic and would boss around little boys like he was a 1940's dad always giving that disapproving look gruffly saying to them, "get a haircut."

The trainers and the owners at this Academy surprise me, but my fellow trainees have become unlikely friends, yelling "bye Susie!" in a chorus when I leave. I'm friends with a mom of three, an MMA fighter, a Bliss girl who plays football in lingerie, a half Japanese business man and a hair dresser who goes actually competes in hair contests. Included in the mix are college soccer girls, boys who play football, baseball, run track and ice skates professionally, and there is a little glimpse of what each of these would be categorized outside of the Academy, jock, that tattooed guy, the biker, the cheerleader, the popular kid, the golden boy, the geek, but at the Academy, no one is categorized as any of these things, but we are all athletes, dedicating 90 minutes to our bodies and no one is judged upon anyone else's standard but your own.

I will miss this family, a hodge podge collection of people who seem far too different to ever become friends. But we've over come age, gender, stereotypes, and race! This place taught me how I can never judge anyone by who I think they are by first glance. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bizzaro Us

Every time I'm in Korea, I wonder about how we would have turned out if we actually grew up there. If my father hadn't moved us around all over the place and especially if we had not settled in the States. In the year my father's mother died, my brother and I accompanied my dad to Korea to bury my grandmother. After the arduous task of shipping a coffin with my grandmother lying in it, and finally laying her to rest in a hole that was dug too small for an American sized box, we sat in the subway seats with a collective sigh. We squished into the three seater that was reserved for the pregnant and the elderly, ignoring the signs because the three of us wanted a little privacy, a little closeness after such a stressful three days. We sat close, talked in low voices reserved just for us, I giggled at everything my brother and my father said, wishing my mom had been there too.

My brother began as always asking questions that begin with the phrase, "what if...' This time my father was roped into his imaginary bizzaro world and he began to respond in thought. "What if we were stayed here dad? what if you were never transferred internationally? where would we be?" My dad gave this a good seconds thought and began with my mother, who would be a happy home maker taking classes on 'how to make a quilt", have daily lunch dates with her college girlfriends and would rush home just in time to make dinner. He then moved on to me, saying I would either have been a movie star or married to one of his collegues' well-to-do-sons and have lived a good life. I asked my dad how he knew that's what I considered a "good life," and he merely looked straight ahead moving on to my brother's bizzaro life. "And Jon, Jon would have been spending all of my money on girls, fast cars and coming home late every night. For some odd reason, we sat their in half agreement, laughing at the prospect of my father's predictions and we finally came to the conclusion that we were living the better life in the States. Our struggle may have saved our lives.

Granted my father had to start all over and maybe we would have been more comfortable in Korea, but God saved all our lives from the frivilous living that may have been our reality. Would we have been so influenced by the popular culture? Would I even look like myself from all the plastic surgery I would incur and the shallow, materialistic Seoul snobs I would've had as confidants? I hope to think that we would still have been the same people, but spoke less English. Of course it's foolish to think that we would be the same exact people with varying circumstances that would have led us in different directions for all of us. The three of us sat in silence for a few minutes, watching the passing people, each imagining a life of what could have been. Then my brother broke the silence by saying, "I wouldn't have been spending all of your money! Susan would be doing it too!"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Teenage trouble

When you have become a responsible adult with a stable job, a steady income, a home, consecutive weeks of going to church, you feel a little better about revealing a few of your childhood escapades you kept secret for the last 20 years. I wish I had stories to tell of sneaking out of my second floor window onto the garage and eventually into my boyfriend's convertible at 12 am on a Friday night, but I don't have any stories like that. As I was telling some of friends how I really was a well behaved girl, and not only was I behaviorally serene and docile, I was innocent in mind. Sneaking out of the house never occurred to me, and if I came home later than my parents had instructed (10:15 instead of 10:00 pm as a senior in high school), I had to face the consequences.

I had lamented all those times my brother would pass me by in the hall way, while dressed in my pajamas carrying a glass of water into my bedroom to turn in for the night, he was leaving in his dressed in his jeans and a jacket, heading for the door. He wasn't sneaking out, my brother definitely benefited from the double standard that measured us both, finding independence and autonomy that I never really experienced until I was actually out of the house for college. But even then, when I did come home for breaks, I had to be home at a reasonable hour or I would suffer the lectures and the sit down conversations about being a prudent girl. Although I was already a "good girl" the relentless expectations of perfection was unbearable. My father already thought me a doll, but slight misbehavior was too much for him to bear.

My brother recently confessed to me that he had been sneaking out since he was in Junior high. He would leave out the balcony and scaffold down and his friends would pick him in the middle of the night. I was flabbergasted at the thought of my little brother, whilst all of us were snug in our beds, dreaming of lambs and lollipops, sneaked off with his leather wearing friends with flip knives, fast cars and bandannas over their heads. I interrogated him, with questions I would have asked 20 years ago, "where did you go? " "who were you with?" "what did you guys do?" I half expected some kind of house party 15 year boys threw in their parent's shed with pot and skunked beer someone had stolen from their father while they weren't looking. Taking only one at a time over several weeks so that he wouldn't notice and after the collection had sufficed for a good party, he called impressionable boys like my brother over for a good time.

But his story was different. He said he went to our youth group friends' house, to play video games. I was even more appalled at his response, because if you were going to risk getting caught sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night, you better be having some kind of great adventure or involved in a delinquent act! Video games? Were you not just playing video games with these kids a few hours ago in broad day lights under the semi-approving eyes of our parents? Why risk it for video games? I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to vicariously live out a teenage rebellion without all of the consequences and disapproving eyes looking down at me. I half wish and fantasize about making plans to meet my friends in our pj's at the park and drinking the left over champagne my father had purchased for last New Year's and giggling on the grass all night before we realize it's dawn and all of us run back to our houses. Then we would pretend sleep and perhaps pass out under my covers reeking of booze and wet grass.

If I was a regular girl, living in one town  and impressionable by my peers I imagine I would be like Quinn Fabray from Glee. Not because I was necessarily the popular pretty one in school, but because I did have a squeaky clean reputation, but nothing like Quinn's misadventures and manipulations for what she wanted. I wish I had let that rebellion and carelessness play out in my youth because it's costly and foolish when you are 30 and trying to get away with a little misadventure.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Girl Crush Friday ~ Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton (38) is a former dancer that sustained a back injury when she was 16 years old. She was born in London, but her mother is a Shona Princess and her name Thandwie mean "beloved" in some African languages (Thandie is the English variation). She's another one of those girls with a degree under her belt and not from one of those online ones like Pheonix, and graduated with honors. 

Blowing Smoke

During the day, when I encounter a crazy mom trying to get her three soul-less suburban kids in her over-sized farm vehicle and she's taking her fluster out on the innocent citizens of her town, I use to call my brother and let him have it. I mean I vent to him about her, the mean girl that's been talking smack about me and he would give me responses like, " what? that's stupid!" or "I should kick his arse!" when I call H on the other hand, he gives me a rational answer, as a man that grew up with all brothers would. He tries to talk me through my irrational rant and talk me down from the ledge. Although I appreciate this when there are serious matters and I have some serious soul searching to do, but not when I'm just blowing some steam from the stress of the day, I don't need a lecture on how we need to give people a benefit of doubt. I'm don't actually believe the things I'm saying at that moment of rage, I will eventually come down from the balcony railings and settle into my rational view of the world.

It's the same with my writing. My girlfriend J recently performed an imitation of me that deserved an award for keen investigative work and an Oscar for acting me out just the way I would look! I was amazed and a little bit horrified that she knew me so well. She acted as though I was looking out the window of the car, her legs folded up into her chest, and her sharp elbow digging in to her knee while her hand supported her delicate chin, fingers curling up on to her lips and cheek. She then has a thought, takes out her phone and types in a quote or an idea to save for the Shindig entry she will write later. I couldn't believe I was watching myself in her. I laughed a loud and suddenly had a light bulb light up to know she sees me, she really sees me.

I write down things I feel, but don't really believe to be truth, things I feel but need to fix in my own heart and things I really feel and I need to let out. There are thoughts that I process through throwing it out on the table and sort through all the colors, shapes and separating them into categories of right, wrong, indifferent and brilliant. I haven't really written too much what's been really been going on in my life but rather, raw emotions and letting word vomit soak through the fabric of this blog. (I may actually be doing that right now - a random blog entry about how this blog is random). I don't intend these entries to fit any theme, feeling or arrange my blog into a succession of stories that would ever make sense. I just want to blow hot air, writing about the suburban mom, old high school boyfriends, feelings of insecurity, made up stories, stories other people have told me and pass them along as my own.

This blog was created just for that after all...

Thursday, October 20, 2011


"Time against us, miles between us..."
Eventually has come where there is a gap in between you and me. I don't know where you are when I send you messages in a bottle and there is no response. It's as though my words float along the dark waters of the digital vortex and fall down a waterfall, but when you peer down, you see no end. My thoughts and words seem like an empty plastic bag tossed to and fro in  the wind and snagged on a sharp corner of a fence.

Eventually has come where you and I are finally growing apart and there is no summer to come when we will reignite and rekindle our love again, our friendship again, it's just one continuous day now, of now or never. You won't share with me what's every day and what's real, you won't share with me the life circumstances and the let downs. You don't tell me what you really feel and what your day is like, so we eventually become strangers. Eventually, you and I will be fading in the old photos that we scrolled through like obsessed madmen surveying each eye, hand and fingers on each picture we took one summer. We will pass by those pictures framed on our wall and not notice that once we loved each other with intensity. And maybe eventually, you'll take those pictures out of those frames to replace them with pictures that are more current, people who are more present.

Perhaps eventually, it won't hurt as much to think of you and resent you for not responding, not believing me and not seeing me the way you should. Maybe in a few years I won't obsessively think about what you think about me, what you're doing, what you heard from her, what you heard from him. Maybe eventually I will forget you too like we never even met because it seems that might be what's easy for me to do. Easier on me, on my heart, on my soul, so that eventually I will be able to stand up again and with my memory gone, I can love again and I  can love another. I have always done just this you know? Count on "eventually" because without letting them go, I would not stand here today, I would not love you like I do today. It's because I eventually forgot about the pain and decidedly loved, that you and I are brothers, sisters, friends.

I hope this eventually will never come, although some has already been here and gone. Let me down easy, it's a high place to fall from.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

If you're a bird, I'm a bird.

-When she stares at your mouth kiss her.
-When she pushes you or hits you like a dummy cause she thinks shes stronger than you Grab her and don't let go.
-When she starts cursing at you trying to act all tough kiss her and tell her you love her.
... -When she's quiet ask her whats wrong.
-When she ignores you give her your attention.
-When she pulls away Pull her back.
-When you see her at her worst tell her she's beautiful.
-When you see her start crying just hold her and don't say a word.
-When you see her walking sneak up and hug her waist from behind.
-When she's scared Protect her.
-When she steals your favorite hoodie let her keep it and sleep with it for a night.
-When she teases you tease her back and make her laugh.
-When she doesnt answer for a long time reassure her that everything is okay.
-When she looks at you with doubt back yourself up.
-When she says that she loves you she really does more than you can understand.
-When she grabs at your hands hold her's and play with her fingers.
-When she bumps into you bump into her back and make her laugh.
-When she tells you a secret Keep it safe and untold.
-When she looks at you in your eyes dont look away until she does.
-When she says it's over she still wants you to be hers.
-When she reposts this bulletin she wants you to read it
-Stay on the phone with her even if she's not saying anything.
-When she's mad hug her tight and don't let go.
-When she says she's ok don't believe it, talk with her because 10 yrs later she'll remember you
-Call her at 12:00am on her birthday to tell her you love her
-Treat her like she's all that matters to you
-Stay up all night with her when she's sick
-Watch her favorite movie with her or her favorite show even if you think it's stupid
-Give her the world.
-Let her wear your clothes
-When she's bored and sad, hang out with her
-Let her know she's important.
-Kiss her in the pouring rain
-When she runs up to you crying, the first thing you say is: "Whose ass am i kicking, baby?"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You see?

If you can't see what I'm talking about ...If you can't see the difference in our interaction and relationship, there's nothing to be said. How can I argue when you don't see it at all. How can you think nothing is wrong when  so much is wrong?

If you don't realize and if you don't see it, then it's worse than if you had. This means she has filled in your every part of what you need and she has completely replaced everything you had in me and everything you wished I was.

Even if you call to talk, to see what we need to remedy, there's nothing to be said. You say nothing has changed, you know what I'm gonna say. You say, "what do you want from me?" there's nothing specific I can say. How can I give you rules, boundaries and stipulations and quotas in love?

I know you try, I can see sometimes when there are surges of attention, a succession of calls and reaching out. You can see it too, but that's all I need, no it's what I can cope with. I see that you and I have grown, no longer the way we were, no longer in the season of being together as friends.

As longs as I know and you remind me intermittently that you remember me that you love me despite the silence. Shatter the quiet when you think I'm losing my way...only you can awake me from the encased curse.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In The Train Of His Robe

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

When I've had it up to here and all I want to do is burst into tears from all the grief, I want to run away. I see myself small, with my  little girl natural curls swaying against my back as I run. My full white dress with the edges of the skirt dirty from being dragged on the floor of the forest and long dirt roads I've walked, sometime to chasing after friends, sometimes to chase my rebellious heart. A salty reservoir pools and trickles down my cheek as I blink to see through the watery haze welled up in my blue black eyes. The tears leave a trail of clean streaks down my face, revealing the dirt caked upon the rest of my skin.

I run away, dropping all my responsibilities and cares of the world, garbage and treasures a like, I leave them in the mud where I stood, always finding my way back to Him, no matter how far I've strayed or how long I've been gone. Whatever I have been depleted of, he will fill me again because what he gives me is meant to give a way and not horded. Sometimes, I am lead a stray blinded by promise of love and fulfillment, floating on a boat of darkness that has only one destination, like the river of Styx it floats onto toward death, it floats on secretly without me knowing until it's too late. My heart is ripped wide open and my soul seeping out of the wound and spirit dying as I am being consumed by them. I open my eyes wide, turning side to side, noticing I shouldn't be here and I have been misguided. I jump off the boat, swimming desperately waving my hands and grappling at the thick water, keeping my head above, while the once beautiful garb donned on me by my King is weighing me down, sinking me with its heavy cloth.  My greatest gift, also my greatest downfall. I grab on to the crust of the shore and climb up, running as fast as my foot can touch the ground. 

With burning in my lungs and cramping in my legs, tears in my eyes and turning in my stomach, I run through the wilderness, burst through the forest and finally seeing the mighty white tower perched upon the hill and I know I am almost there. I run faster because I can't waste any more time being alone, being without Him. I burst through the door of the castle, and down the corridor paved with marble and swirling with gold. The guards with swords step back, and I run past points of the sword, but not aimed at me, but to protect me because I have the right to be there. I push hard upon the towering cedar doors and I run to the throne, the train of his robe cradling my tired feet all the way to his lap where I bury my face. Without pomp and circumstance, without so much as a courtesy or a bow, because he is my Father and I am his child. 

I cry there in silence and he wipes my face with the sleeve of his silken robe, dismissing the legion of angels, he himself takes me to a basin of water to clean me up and put on me a new tailored dress reminding me of who I am in his eyes. He says in a whisper, "I made you this way, pour out what I gave you." He crowns on my head what was lost and what is not gained by my own hands and what I am not worthy of, His love, his grace, his forgiveness and inheritance forever and ever. I lost my way or lost myself, but I will always come home to regain and recharge, so I can go back out again.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Girl Crush Friday ~ Emma Stone

Emma Stone (22) is an American Actress, a comedic actress. She recently appeared in the Help, a book turned film and she was perfect. She's the kind of girl that I would want as a sister because I can imagine us in our PJ's cracking each other up at night and gang on up our other siblings and scheme under our parents' noses. She's uber pretty, but is completely down to earth and funny. I like that in a gal.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Birth order

I recently read an article about the power of birth order and this is a topic I've always been interested in. I'd think about all the boy friends I had and all the girl friends my brother has had and see if I can see a pattern in the kind of people we date. I found one. All the boys I've dated have been the middle child of three boys, or the boys I've liked are the eldest of two boys, none of them ever had sisters. I'm not sure why these particular boys were magnetizing to me nor do I know why they were attracted to me in return. Even the boy I married is one of three boys, but he happens to be the eldest and this makes me think that I've been dating the wrong brother all this time and that's why the other two never worked out. All of the girls my younger brother had dated were the youngest of two girls and never did he date anyone that had brothers. I find this a little strange or maybe a little worrisome perhaps because we may be wanting to be the unique one in the family, hogging all the attention.

I've also picked up a way of sensing when a boy has an older sister. Can't really list off distinct words or pin down a distinct characteristic unique to these boys, but I can always tell when a boy grew up under the ruling fist loving influence of an older sister.  Boys with older sisters are generally good with girls, in that they treat them dignity even when they're goofing off and even when they are making fun of you. They treat you like a human being instead of a barbie doll or some alien creature they must probe and prod to figure out how to contain them.  These boys have an ease when they are talking to girls because they are trained in their youth to listen and respond to complaints from their older sister. Not the kind of listening with vague nods, eyes glazed over and "uh-huhs" we get from boys with only brothers as their educators, but listening that comes from days and years of training  from their older sisters, most of the time unwillingly or even without their knowing.

Children are innately more sensitive and keen to their environment and survival than we give them credit for. We can tell this because if any of us grew up with siblings, we know exactly who which parent favors what child. Of course any good set of parents would deny any accusation of favoritism by their children, even when they are fully grown because that's the way  they show love to the unfavored one. After all...even the unfavored child is your own. Birth order can show a lot about a person and when you meet a middle child, an oldest child, a youngest child, you can always tell. Middle children with same gender siblings are true middle children because they have no uniqueness to them, not gender and not birth order, she or he is neither the eldest or the youngest, slipping through the cracks and being over looked. They seem to over compensate by being the peace maker, the trouble maker, the black sheep, to stand out from the rest of them. The eldest are usually confident and mature, independent and a little bit stubborn, taking care of those around them. The youngest, which I am frequently mistaken for, are free spirited and cavalier, they are the ones that take chances and a little bit thoughtless.

It's amazing to me how the person you grow up with shape you in ways your parents cannot. You learn from your sibling how to vie for your parents affections, learn to stand out or hide, negotiate your terms of survival and learn from the mistakes your older sister makes. You find your worth from the way your older brother, your younger brother at that, treat you. What if my brother had been born a sister? I may have killed her spirit, or she might have killed mine. Maybe I would have been a good sister and she would have been my best friend, causing me not to pursue girl relationships as hard as I do. Maybe I would have married a boy who had sisters instead of these boys that had brothers only. Could I have been the person I am without my little brother?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It takes a village

It takes a village to raise a child, or no child has just one set of parents is an African proverb, but isn't limited to their culture. We imagine an African tribe, living in huts with open cutouts in shape of a square but no doors, the village so close in proximity that it's more of a group camping trip than an actual village or a town. In this context there must be a need for this proverb to really play out so that there is camaraderie and trust among the villagers, keeping your children safe. There must be children spilling into other people's yards and homes because there is very little boundary in their culture, so as a village, to raise the children of others is raising your own children.  Americans have boundaries set up for every part of our lives from my money, my house, my bank to my side of the yard that is drawn by an invisible property line given by the city or the village, or more distinct still, a white picket fence to properly keep the riff raff out without being rude of course.

The invisible property lines are not only drawn for our belongings and brick and mortar possessions, but those invisible lines are drawn in our day lives, between our friends, our mentality, our beliefs and our personalities. I wrote about this topic last year and I have seems more in the last year about how it does take a village to know one person fully and we may never really know our friends in their full glory to the intricate detail and I'm not sure we were meant to. We can describe to our friends how someone is when he or she is when they are surrounded by a certain group of people, but you cannot truly see. Even if you were to be around when he or she is surrounded by those certain people, your sheer existence in the room taints the her reaction to them and you effect the way they are in front of those people, not seeing how she or he would be in their presence.  There's no knowing what a person is like when you are not with them, you merely need to trust  whatever interaction you have with your friend is true and genuine, and accept the side you bring out in that person.

When I am with my mom and dad, I am completely content and happy, but if you throw in the mix, a person that makes me feel uncomfortable, I will be uncomfortable. The chemistry of people is drastically changed when you are in combination with family and friends, your other group of friends, your enemies and your frenemies. There are a million different combinations of people you can be with and this is exactly why you are slightly panic stricken when you see your "worlds" collide. You constantly adjust, change and accommodate, let loose, hold tight, let in and let out as you are in various circumstances and "villages." I'd love to be a fly on the wall of friends rooms and their hang out spots, their homes and their classrooms. I want to see them interact with their parents, their childhood friends, their ex girlfriends and brothers to see what they are really made of. I want to see them be their full self when no one is looking because as soon as I am there to look, they are already different. And as soon as you're looking, I'm different too.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Drowning in Molasses

I just can't get back to the normal routine of things when I either come home from camp or when the Ohio people come and they leave. It's difficult to just back into reality when you're struggling to adjust your eyes and mentality, while the people you have spent a heavenly seven days with are beckoning you at the same time through letters, emails, texts and phone calls. You can to be with them, but you can't be with them all the time, there is work to be done, there are people to be dealt with, family to see. I love them with all my heart and I am willing to drown in their love, but right now, I feel as though I am keeping my head above a deep pool of Molasses and I am struggling to keep my breath. The love is sticky, thick, demanding and it makes me desperate. The sticky sweetness that I would love to die in and reincarnate into an angel, surrounded with the angels I love so much.

In my initial primal reaction, I want to protect myself from all the rawness of the love and emotion, but when I think about detaching and spending a little time away from them so that I would be able to come up for air, I'm so afraid that they will forget me. I am afraid to be forgotten by them. Are they my idol? Am I making this good good thing into something I am consumed by, putting them before Jesus and my desires for Him? When I think about losing them, is that the worst thing I can think of? I feel out of control...

I need some time away from them and let the rest of my life catch up with me, or maybe the other way around, catch up with the "real" life I live in when the high light reel is not playing...the rest of the movie that connects each of the good highlight moments and makes the story of life flow with continuum. There are moments of sadness they will never see, they will miss the nights you cry yourself to sleep from loneliness or just overwhelmed by your sin. They will not see the deepest desires of your heart and what your soul is wrapped up in. That you hunger for things that are deeper with them, but we may never reach, I want to go there with them, to the deep dark beyond. I will follow you into the darkness, hold my hand and I will blindly follow, would you follow me?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sinking Ship

I think I'm spinning out of control.  The stress of dealing with friendship and relationship problems, my family dilemmas and adoption lull has been getting to me. I wasn't feeling that stressed, but lately, I'm getting a really weird burning sensation in my throat, chest and stomach and sometimes it shoots up into my brain and I get some of a brain freeze, like I slurped up too much of the stress juice. I can see visible signs of my life coming undone, literally. Half my clothes are on the floor of my wardrobe, the sink is full of dishes, the living room is strewn with random things I don't have a place for (or, they do have a place but I don't know where to put them). I am breaking out, losing sleep and losing hair, making me busy with one more thing to do, sweep up all the hair off the floor.

The funny thing is, I do feel sad and I do have bouts of crying here and there but not emotional break down. It's the kind of small releases I need, but I'm not spiritually and emotionally downing in my sorrows and foibles, which I attribute Jesus for. I am though still frustrated with too many communication breakdowns, whispers, twisting of words, suspicion and flat out lies. I am overwhelmed once again, with my own sin, and the sin of others. There were so many out pours of brokenness last night, I felt as thought there was a huge monkey straddling my shoulders. You know that monkey from the family guy and he sits in your closet with sharp teeth and points at you as the target for his next attack? That one.

I am sick of talking, defending and explaining myself and I'm beginning to hate the sound of my own voice. The things I'm saying feels like it's falling on deaf ears and what goes through my mind over and over like a Tornado warning that scrolls over your favorite sitcom says, "only if they knew me, they wouldn't say this, why would I do this? only if they knew me, they wouldn't think this, why would I do this?" I don't think I saw anything through the scrolling words in my mind because I crashed into a boat today. YES, a motor boat. A pick-up truck hulling a motor boat, most likely prepped for the holiday weekend has been leading me down Higgins Road for a whole mile. The red light signals us to stop, but I kept driving because I couldn't see anything through the scrolling words in my mind. The cop shows up and asks if I just had a blond moment, and I guess I did...absent minded and floating in space.

This boat is finally going down....Sinking Shin.