Friday, July 15, 2011

Dreams or nightmares of being a mom?

I'm not sure what kind of mom I would be...and no one can actually know until you become one. Before babies were the norm in our circle of friends, we talked about how we would be, how we would treat them and how we would never be over run by babies in our conversation. Some of those girls are moms now and they are very different from the talk that they talked. It's easy to say that I would be a mom not controlled by my child's mood, naps and sheer existence in my life, but who knows how I would react when all of this is a reality. It's difficult to step back and think clearly when you're tending to your little one all the day long, and all you want is for the child to be quiet long enough for you to plot your next move to pacify your baby. In desperation, I don't know if I would be so resolute as my words and claims to be the kind of mom I wanted to be. calm. collected and to be my own person.

I visited a friend who had just given birth to her second child and with only one week under her belt, she's already feeling like a cow and can't seem to see through the smog that is made up of cries of her baby number one, baby number two, cooking, cleaning and juggling to keep her own personal hygiene the best she can. After visiting this poor girl dizzied by her own hormones and tantrums, she texted me a message saying how happy she was I came to visit her and that she feels more herself after people visit her. This made me think that like for most moms, the day is made up of all that appeases and pacifies their children. Not because moms wake up and think to themselves "how can I make every whim and dream come true for my children today?" but because children are selfish and have primal needs that causes a stirring in the house that makes moms a bit nutty and in  turn moms lose themselves to keep those primal needs met and the subdue the whines.

I would be proud if I became a mom just like my mom. In pictures, we were happy, she looked calm and she says that we never threw tantrums or whined for no reason.  Rather than ascribing good parenting skills to my mom, maybe we were good kids? Whatever the case, my mom has been giving me passing tips about parenting and not letting your baby go  into a panic stricken frenzy when they cry. She says, "babies cry, that's what they do." She also tells me various other things "in passing" I want to remember in moments of desperation so I don't pack a bag and leave those damn kids one day.

Things to remember:
1. Babies cry, that's what they do.
2. Babies cry when they're hungry, put them down and calmly fix their food. It helps them to learn how to wait.
3. Babies cry when they're sleepy, but them down and walk away...they'll give up soon or later.
4. Have a hobby.
5. Leave kids to their own devices to play, you don't have to entertain them all day long.
6. It's okay for them to be bored.
7. Have them run around in a field. All they need is some exercise.

Any other advice is welcomed...

Girl Crush Friday ~ Jung Ryeo Won

Jung Ryeo Won (30) is a Korean actress and model. She's been in what is equivalent to the One Tree Hill and other shows on the WB, but recently have grown in her acting and have appeared in several movies that have stretched her emotions. She's a devoted Christian and shares her faith in her poetry, art and the blogging she does. She's a free spirit and a little shy, you can tell by her interviews and the way she interacts with people on T.V. what I like about Korean celebrities is that they are so accessible and human, and who knows you can even be related to some of them. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Heart Strings

For the 7 years Harvest has been going to Tuba City on mission trips, I've been the admin here supporting part of the logistics. Purchasing, ordering and sending VBS material to Tuba City, reimbursing the team members and corresponding with the permanent missionaries in Tuba City, and keeping track of all the fundraising prior to the trip. All of those years, I've been a detached and functioning part of the mission process to Tuba City, but my heart strings were never tugged. I never understood the reason why Harvest spent thousands of dollars sending our people to put on a VBS for a people that seemed randomly picked, as though we spun the globe and pin pointed with our index finger. I didn't understand the reason why the same group of people returned year after year, even with their young children in tow. I didn't know and I didn't really care to find out until this year. After seeing for myself what Harvest, along with other partnering churches do every year, it changed my mind about our ministry in Tuba City.

While chatting with a pretty Navajo girl named Grace during dinner one night, we asked, "do you go to the Skate park often?" She tell us while picking at her food with her fork, "'s nice when you guys are all here and people just are there to have fun, but when you're not there, there are gangs that hang out there." It made me see that just our presence alone made a difference in the community. We've become a vigil of sort, looking after the well being of the community and bringing hope in the form of Jesus. When the team of 115 leave, it leaves a vacuum in the city and parents beg us not to go and the kids ask us when we'll be back. I have new eyes for Tuba City and the relationship formed between our two communities is a special one, a deep one. Although many have found deep connections and their hearts are desperate for the kids there, I felt a little bit disconnected and made me miss my KCC family.

Watching the others receive a flood of text messages from the kids even as we were just landing in Chicago from the flight home and facebook exploding with messages of "I miss you already," I don't necessarily feel left out, but only reminded  of how it is when KCC is over with for the summer. It's funny the people that God puts on the hearts of certain people and not others, to love them for some odd reason or no reason at all. It's an unexplainable love that's not so unique to KCC, but everyone has a passion for a group of people and I don't feel we choose them for ourselves, but we are chosen for them. The way the Tuba City teachers relate to the Navajo/Hopi kids is eerily similar to the way the KCC family relate to one another. Sure there are differences, but the desperation for one another, the love, the care, the "I would do anything for them" passion is the same. Can't wait .... KCC 2011 is in 9 days...

(art work by Amanda Cass)

Girl Crush Friday ~ Lee Hyori

Lee Hyori (32) is the pop diva in Korea and she intends to stay that way. She was offered to expand her brand and music to the states, but she refused, saying "I'm made in Korea, I'm staying in Korea." There are rumors that Hyori got to the top in the back alley ways of the industry, cozying up with the big dogs, but who knows if they're actually true. Getting to know her back ground and the way she loved her dad and helped around the house, she seems true blue to me. I love her because she doesn't allow her looks get in the way of saying what's on her mind and being a total goofball. I like a girl with a whip-sense of humor and honesty about who she is. It tells me she has nothing to hide and doesn't take herself so seriously!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Forgotten people

There must be many a cities around the world truly forgotten or undiscovered and untouched by civilization, going on day by day by the ancient ways of living off the land and bartering with neighbors. The reason Tuba City is different than these savage lands is because Tuba City is a piece of land reserved for the Native Americans by the United States. This city sits on the most affluent country in the world, yet, their people cannot find good produce in their supermarkets, half of it's citizens are reported alcoholics and homicide and suicide double the statistics of the United States. This isn't to accuse the United States of being a bad parent neglecting it's young, because our history goes beyond just a little bit of charity from the almighty nation that once belong to the Native Americans. Tuba city along with other Indian Reservations are independent and self governing, separate from the United States although, together in one chunk of land.

Driving from Phoenix to Tuba City, we marveled at its great canyons, majestic mountains layered like Neapolitan ice cream with earthy colors, brown, white, red. Cactus, their desert flower, abundantly lines the high ways with their prickly arms waving hello to visitors and passer-byers. By the time Tuba city was at the horizon of our eyes, where there was a line drawn between Flagstaff (the bordering town) and the reservation, all living things stepped over the line favoring Flagstaff over Tuba City. The scenery seemed to change as quickly as a flip book, deteriorating before our eyes. Dry desert, deserted with homes with only panels leaned up against one another like a house of cards and looked as though they would fold with a blow of the wind.

Their struggles are eerily similar to the problems in the inner city ghettos, fatherless-ness, abuse, alcohol and drug abuse and a school system that fails them year after year. A blanket of depression swaddles the people and its not uncommon for the mental illness to drive them down the road of any vice that would release them from the darkness. It's hard to get out of the ghettos although everyone promises to or wants to, but they never do, they never can. Many young men and women dream of cities outside of their reservation, but too uneducated and scared to leave the comfort of their country to the foreign lands of the Anglos. When a young man or woman finally leave the reservation for college, they never return, causing a "Brain Drain" where the brightest and the most talented are skimmed off the top and only the hopeless remain.

Finding ourselves closer still, the people of the reservation are of Navajo and Hopi decent. The Navajo nation is largely made up of Navajo American Indians and there are three small sub nations within the Navajo Nation that is Hopi American Indians. The Hopi Nation is also self governing and independent from the United States and also the Navajo Nation. The two tribes are relatively peaceful and does not have any ancestral war waged against one another, although many of the tribes do have animosity against other tribes over generational conflict.

The people are beautiful, and by the looks of the one's I've encountered, some of them have found forgiveness toward the "Anglos," and have left the past to their fore fathers before them. Some do harbor bitterness and prejudice that's been left to them as legacy to carry on until they are willing and spread the hatred as far as it goes. The people are peaceful still, they talk with a steady quietness that is audible and rock steady, but there's a pool of grey water settled in their eyes and their souls relaxed and unhurried. It seems they don't plan anything, but goes with the whisper of the wind and speak out as their hearts have a thought, no secrets or hiding, who they are is who they are. It's the kind of confidence they have as a people given to them as entitlement for being Navajo, Hopi.

Those who have found Jesus are bright with hope, fearlessly visiting the prisons and homes to sing and proclaim the Truth to the caged and the down trodden. "I love the Lord" they say and it's the most honest thing I've ever heard anyone say in a long time.