Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hair cut Dilemma

Every single time I grow my hair out, I get sick of it and want to cut it off short. Then, I totally regret it! I'm still stuck in the crazy vicious cycle of wanting to cut my hair just to regret, although this time I'll be in Korea when I get that hair cut. I'm busily pursuing through google images of my favorite celebrities for ideas...because I look most like them??? Anyways, these are some of the possibilities I came up with...I just don't to regret my short hair cut yet again....

Maybe it was as bad idea pulling haircut images from beautiful women and I'm just setting myself up for failure...and maybe y'all are rolling your eyes at how serious I'm taking this haircut business, but if you saw my past haircuts, you would be too. (I've cried before)
Lee Hyori: Although she's Asian, She can pull off anything! I don't know if that's the same case with me. 

Same hair cut 

This is the same idea...but looks different on her right? This is what I'm afraid will happen to me.

Or just go straight up short hair cut with no bangs. 

She's my most favorite...she's french and this hair is very french. I'm a little afraid I'll end up looking like a Korean mom.

This is yet again, the same type of hair, but less commitment on the bangs. She's also Jessica Alba....

The Poor an the Down trodden

There has been a lot of discussion about the poor lately, at church and in my small group, not to mention a friend who has been voluntarily packing lunches with a little note in it saying "you are loved and you have a God." She drives around in her neighborhood and because she lives in the city, there are a lot of rag tag groups of homeless people who gather and are looking for hand outs. All of this made me think about the unspoken rules and guidelines I have for the poor and how to handle the "situation" at large. When I think about how I handle the poor, I typically give all out to the people who are truly "deserving," although that is not something that can be judged by me. Those who are from the ghettos of China or the North Korean displaced who are desperate for freedom to live and eat, those are the truly poor and down trodden and those are the ones that I don't have a problem serving.

The people I do have a problem serving are the American poor, although I typically do stop and offer to buy food rather than give them money, there are definite rules I abide by. I don't give money because I think to myself that my few dollars will not put them back into a home, it will not give them the inspiration to put back on a suit and find a job even if it were at Mc Donald's. My few dollars in the grand scheme of things will not buy them a life suitable for human transformation, what it will buy is a pack of cigarettes or that colt 45 in a brown paper bag. At least my few dollars can fill an empty stomach and some how I'm sustaining this person's day for another meal. This is what I think when I see a homeless person in America. It's a broken system. Somewhere in the several articles I've been reading online and books, state that it is cheaper to actually take each homeless person off the streets, pay for their apartment and give them a paying job than to actually keep them on the streets. The rationality is that as long as you keep them on the streets, the truly down and out, the ones with the drinking and drug addictions will one day overdose and the cost of reviving their life and the days in the hospital will cost them more than actually rehabilitating them for life.

So why don't we take everyone off the streets that are costing us hard working, upright citizens millions in tax money? Who can say that one person is more in need of rehabilitating than another? It's a gray matter when we are talking about the poor. In some cases, there are those practically living in the suburbs with their three children off of the government, but the truly needy are dying and living off the streets. It's a broken system. All this to say, I don't have the answers to how to feed the hungry and end all poverty, because I don't even think that the American poor really knows true poverty. I want to help the poor, but the righteous judgemental side of me says, I want to keep you from having your cigarette and having a beer off of the five dollars I will give you when you refuse my sandwich. But is it so bad? That they will find a small  release or pleasure out of a cigarette and a beer if they wanted? After all, my few dollars will not cure them of that either.

Everyone has a story and most of the time, the homeless are looking for dignity as much as the next person. they are being ignored by the passer-byers and I won't even look them in the eye as they walk past my car with their "I'm hungry" sign. How do know who to eve help? Some need food, some need gas cards, some of them don't know they're poor and they are offended by your offer. Some need professional help, where they are homeless because they have a substance problem, mental problems, emotional ones. How can I judge whether they just need a friendly conversation or just a silent hand out?  I feel confidently fine about getting to know a homeless person's name, then their story, but I want it to stop there, I will by you a meal, have a conversation, but I don't want them as a friend. I have this twisted view of them eventually wanting more and more and wanting to move in with me and Hans some day, or even hold my baby one day. I can see that at the end of this rabbit trail of worse case scenarios played out in my head about the homeless, I am the one spiritually bankrupted and I am morally poor. 

Study of Love: People I love

I .....sometimes feel like it's fake
I sometimes feel like I want to detach from it all because it requires so much time and energy and love. 
I sometimes feel like they forget that we are real and that we actually exist outside of our time together.
I sometimes feel used like I have dispensed all that I have, but still nothing I am gaining
I sometimes feel His love is the only thing that's truly real and we shan't expect anything on earth.

Maybe this is what I asked for but it's hard when it's reality. 
Love without return and pouring out of your self without the reciprocity, it's empty and lonely and painful.
Do they think about me? What keeps us together?
Why have they all gone and found one way or another to push me away?
Maybe he's right, "you expect too much from people, I don't expect anything."
I hope that's not true...

I sometimes think that we all are a projection of what  we really want in our hearts
I sometimes think that we are only a personifications of the fantasy each of us has, all different, but found in the same place, because we all become dependent on something, someone. 
I sometimes think that I am seen as this old fool who is trying to live out a childhood I never had. But we all drank the punch, and we're all addicted and sold out.
I sometimes think that I am vicariously living through this time, this place, this group of what I never had as a wolf pack.

Is this desperation, this pursuing and endless talk about it a hint that I actually do love them?
Maybe I am to love them no matter what ...unconditional and that is my existence for them.
If that is the case, I am honored in a way and devastated in another....
I will hang on.. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Girl Crush Friday ~ Rose Bryne

Rose Bryn (32) is an Aussie actress and she has the kind of cool girl next store look that I love. First I thought she was a Brit because she does do a killer British accent, but then again she is Australian and I think that helps. She's not the pretty girl that can't take a joke or to be made to be the butt of the joke for that matter. She manages to maintain pretty while the whole scene is making a mockery of her. She's that cool. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I have a dream...

Today, during our staff meeting Pastor Dave had given us a mini-workshop on the concept of what drives us and what makes one succeed and constantly innovate while others are constantly following only one step behind. He gave us several examples of men who were less equipped than their contender, but won out in the end only because of their approach in following their dreams. They began with why they believe in something...the "why not..." and the "what" came only as the tangible product of their vision. The how? everyone will need to push through the "how" but the vision cast was a better motivation for the human spirit than trying to reach for the "what."

Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of conviction and he was a Reverend that didn't love God more than the next man of the cloth. He was no more educated or no more in desperation for people to be equal in America just as we are in the eyes of God above, but how did he become the man that started a civil right movement that will not can not be conceded? Why did he stand out among all that wanted the same things? Because he had a dream. He was able to cast a vision for a better America, a reality that is better than the one that was in existence at that time. This dream can be had for any reality, your job, your relationship, your spiritual life, your physical life. I want to stop reaching for this impossible standard of who I want to be and what I can get out of life, instead, to start with the "why."

Why not have a life of freedom and love that God has already forfeited to you in full. He has not withheld anything from you. Why not live like you are rich, you are fully loved and have full access to the value and worth  he's ascribed to you as his princess, his child and the receiver of everything goo? Why not be that person because there is nothing stopping you? Wouldn't that be wonderful?

I have a dream that I am a woman fully devoted to Jesus and to Him only. 

I have a dream that I am wise and I will chase what is only wise and what is good. To be devoted to the decrees of God, because it is the only good thing that will keep me in the narrow path, although the yoke is easy.

I have a dream to be innocent and pure, my heart completely devoid of selfishness and entitlement or position,  recognition and even love. I will be satisfied with the love only God gives and be filled with it so that I can pour out and not hoard. 

I have a dream that I can be fully me and only me, to be comfortable in the skin I am given without being apologetic or bashful about it. Be proud of the person God has made me to be. I will speak my mind and be who I am without the fear of being judged. 

I have a dream I will be the kind of mother that will be for every young and old. Not only for my future baby but for all who need the touch of kindness and gentleness, an openness, a listening ear, a speaking lips that drips only with Truth. 

I have a dream I will not spin and toil for outside beauty and the applause of man, but I will desire the beauty that will glow out from my spirit and heart, the kind of beauty that cannot be corrupted or spoil, but will grow radiant with splendor as I age. 

I will not be perfect here on earth, but I will choose to remember and believe what God has promised me. Making the decision every day to follow his dream for me.

Sing it to me over and over again my God, that I will become who you envision for me to be. Amen.

None But Jesus

In the quiet
In the stillness
I know that You are God
In the secret of Your presence
I know there I am restored
When You call i won't refuse
Each new day again I'll choose

There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise

In the chaos in confusion
I know You're sovereign still
In the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do Your will
When You call I won't delay
This my song through all my days

All my delight is in You Lord
All of my hope
All of my strength
All my delight is in You Lord
Forever more
- None But Jesus By Hillsongs

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pheonix Rises

They are good, absolutely good, maybe too good in my eyes that I am willing to do anything for them. I have never known this kind of forfeiture, I feel out of control. They ask and I say "yes" without thinking about the consequences, I think, "I'll deal with it later." When I am with them I lose myself and I don't count the costs of who I am or where I am in life. I don't think any of us do, our main concern is to be with one another and consume of one another as much as we can. I know I have in me a free spirit and when I let that out, it takes over me and I am no longer Susie, but some other form of me. It's like when Jean Grey becomes Phoenix and when she lets loose her powers, her wrath, there is no stopping her, not even herself. In the end she says, "help me" in the most desperate voice, and she has to die. She herself does not want to be this person and she has to die to herself to save the people she loves. I have to die to myself and let Jesus live in me.  I am that girl that can free it all up and when I do, there is a loosing that is like a Pandora box, good the bad and the ugly and maybe that's why I'm doing my best to hold it all in. I'm afraid to see it too.

I have to be the Jean that has great powers, but should be monitored carefully, she has to be subdued so that she is good for the people. I cannot awaken the inner self that was carefully avoided by the hand of God and his provision. I look young and young at heart, but I believe that I am at a stage where I am to be a nesting mother, focusing on my family so that my baby has a nest to come to. I don't want to be the mother that squandered all of her time and resources to do all that she wants to before the baby changes her life forever. I want to cultivate my heart and my soul for this child. I believe that God has allowed me to avoid a time stage in my life as a young 20 something year old and that has shaped me into the woman I am today. I have to admit that I regret not partying it out in college or even rebel a little in high school, I guess it never occurred to me or maybe He had put it out of sight. I want to be able to have the careful balance of having fun and being able to hang with them all, but at the same time know when to reign in, to be responsible. There is no one to catch me when I fall, there's just consequence now.

I'm not sure why I feel guilty for having too much fun, too much freedom lately...perhaps its all of the indulgence in every conceivable way. The food, the drinks, the desserts, the late nights and fly the seat of your pants kind of spontaneity that's getting to me. Not just with my friends, but even with my husband. Maybe it's like when you eat a whole box of Oreo cookies and although it is the most delicious thing God has ever made, you feel just a little gross after wards, even a little fat. My body definitely feels it and I have heartburn, both physically and metaphorically. I need some real food, some discipline.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Come down from up there....

It subsides so's like lightening that love. It's so fast and so intense. It's here one moment, like a rush of storm, lightening crashing, thunder rumbling, then it's tranquil and quiet with only drops of rain to clue you in that it was actually here. It leaves you wet and cold and soon as you have changed into your dry clothes, the storms comes at you again. It's not sustainable or long lasting, the way we love, the way we spend all this time together. It's saturated and only reserved for heaven, and we are here on earth. Our heavenly place will have to live on only in our memories and fading photos we look at over and over as if that moment could be relived.

I wish they would stop living in my photos and in only highlight reels of my life. I wish that they would jump out of the pictures and resurrect from my memory to live on with me every day. In the life of an ordinary yokel, to grow old together as neighbors, with kids running across our yards, safe in their territory because we form a fence of safety and love around them. I wish that we can casually have a BBQ on a Saturday afternoon for no reason at all but the fact that it's summer and it's time to.

We love in an opposite, upside down ways. Normal human beings will ask who are your parents, where do you go to school, how old are you? And begin getting to know what's your favorite food, what's your pet peeve, what's your favorite color? Then finally moving on to what is your deepest fears and highest hopes? But we hug, kiss, love, share the most intense moments and then fill in the blanks when we can. It seems details don't matter when we are together. We are alien.

I wish I did know those things about you....where you live, what your parents are like, and why you don't like seafood, have you tried it? What about your brother? your sister? what are they like and how do they relate to you? how do they shape you? I have all these questions and details I want to know not because they matter in the way I will love you, but because I love you I want to know everything about you.

Can we come down from way up there? I don't want to dream any more because you always wake up from a dream.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Freedom Firm

In light of the recent blog entry I wrote about girls being mean, jealous and insecure, I wanted to shine some light on women who are making a difference the lives of other women. When attend events like this, I am ashamed of myself in thinking too much of my life and the stupid first world worries I am consumed with. Freedom Firm is a rescue missions firm that seeks to eliminate child prostitution in India by rescuing minor girls, providing means to rehabilitate and prosecuting the sex traders and the pimps. This firm raids brothels and rescue young girls who are sold or tricked into prostitution by other women and sometimes even their own family members for the sake of money. They act of desperation and most of the girls grow up only knowing what it is to be a prostitute and when  they are of age, as young as 12, 13, or 14 years old they are put to work. The boys that grow up in this society, grow up to be pimps and pimp out the girls that they've played with in the streets together.

After the girls are rescued freedom firm allows girls to stay with them for one to one and a half years to begin the healing process. They go through job training, receive health care and therapy while under the care of a family type setting through the Freedom Firm. When they are job training, they learn to make jewelry, cards and key chains so that they have a way of sustaining themselves and have the dignity of earning a day's wage without receiving hand outs long term. Some girls are rescued without the follow up of rehabilitation and job training, only to go back to the brothels because they don't have anything else to do or anywhere else to go.

India seems so far away and even when I write about North Korea, they seem so far away too. It poses the question, "what can I do to help this situation? I am only one person in a far away land." You can help! Freedom Firm allows you to get involved by having a Jewelry party at your home and all the proceeds go to the women who hand make then in India. For more information go to

Shameless plug: If you would like to help Crossing Borders, go to

Girl Crush Friday ~ Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba (30) has been in a lot of bad movies right? So why is she so famous? Because she's just so darn beautiful! But what a lot of girls out there want to know is "what is the big deal? I mean...she's cute, but what's all the commotion over her?" One time or another I had say to my own brother, "Ok, I get that she's cute, but do I have to hear about her every day from you?" No one can explain the essence of her lure, but one friend had said posed that she is the perfect balance of cute, sexy, and pretty, where most girls are tilted to one side. Is that it? She's the perfect balance? Whatever the heck it is, she's got it down.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Most Eventually

Most eventually, everyone you know will hurt you, disappoint you, break your heart, let you down, at the very least annoy you in some way. If not in one, two or three years of knowing one another, they will in their 11th year. We are all fallen beings and not only are we naturally self-seeking and sinful, we also hide our sinfulness because we know it's shameful. Although there is heartbreak through being with one another, there should not be a fear of protecting ourselves from one another. We will have to learn to brace ourselves for the worst, but expect the best, even though that might be a contradiction in itself. We have to know that we are all standing in the same boat of loss and depravity, not one is saved except by the blood of the Lamb. Then we will understand that although we hurt one another, there is hope in reconciliation, hope for mending and fixing.

In dark times, when I am spiraling in my tiredness and lack of food or down time, I feel black swan coming up from my throat and seeping through my eyes and I think that all is my enemy and I have no one. Then I have to swallow her down to see that God has blessed me with people who love me regardless of my mistakes and my quirks, that I truly live the good life. It's only when I forsake and forget the gospel that I am without defenses against the lies that the world tells me. I want to be able to absorb the hurt and lay at the foot of the cross, tossing it like the rubbish it is and forget that you have wronged me and I have wronged you. Who are we to pick up a stone and throw it when we are in offense to God, when we are the ones to be stoned in the court yards of the town. we have been forgiven for much, so we must forgive others.

Most eventually, everyone you know will hurt you, but most eventually, there is room for hope and room for making things right again. There is wordly wisdom of detaching from everyone in your life just a little bit so that the sting of hurt will not wound you beyond your capacity, but in protecting ourselves, we harden ourselves. Never really loving, never really trusting. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Study of Love: Sin of Omission

There are two kinds of sin, sin of commission and sin of omission. The first is when one purposefully or actively whether or not they are aware, performs an act of offense. The latter is when one commits a sin, again whether or not they are aware, not perform a task that offends in it's silence or inactivity. I don't consider myself someone that walks into a room to command it or to be noticed, and most days I mind my own business chit chatting and giggling with friends that make me feel comfortable and secure.  Lately, I've seen a pattern in myself that may have been glaring to others, but I haven't seen it for myself. My expression of love for the people I love is so obvious that when compared to that of people I don't really know, it's a high contrast. So high, those in the contrasting side will even say, " Susie doesn't like me," or "She's a snob," as if I am purposely isolating them.

I have had several girls feel like this when I really don't mean to and to be honest, I don't think of them at all and that might even be worse, that they don't even occur to me. This hasn't been a problem I developed recently, but I distinctly remember girls questioning me because I was loving on my small group girls too much! It was almost as though I was rubbing it in the faces of the girls that were not in my group. This is my sin of omission. Jesus is ever so attentive to me and careful to listen to my heart, why won't I do the same to those around me. Sin of Omission doesn't excuse me from isolating and banishing people because "I just didn't know I was doing it." I must be aware. I must be aware of those who are being shunned by society, the poor in spirit, the down trodden and even the neglected. I'm not suggesting my love is so great that I need to share it with the world it's sweet goodness, but my overly expressive nature for those I love shows exclusivity and invokes jealousy. In turn there are accusations of my genuine heart and intentions to keep peace among some groups.

Although I do resent that girls would actually think that I would do this and that I am actually capable of girly meanness. Part of it is that girls are jealous and it comes from insecurities that they can't express besides through gossip and harden hearts. We are by far feelers rather than thinkers and no matter what we explain about friendships, love and circumstances, we will believe our hearts first and what it will tell us to feel. I have a charm that I wear every day, and it's quite large, it states in Latin, "Animum Debes Mutare Non Caelum" - "change your state of mind, not the sky." I want to logical and reasonable when it comes to the Truth and perspectives I need to change in myself so that I can love others better.  At times my best guys friends would trade stories about the "crazies" in my life and laugh about it, but on the flip side, I have to take responsibility of what I can control. Me.

In love, there is no favoritism. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

KCC Rate R

Some KCC people came to visit this past week and it was a longer trip than we were use to. I'm not sure how we squished in all that face time in one short weekend in the past, but even the longer week didn't satisfy our desire for one another. In the end, while planning to say good bye, everyone just threw their logic out the door, cancelled and rearranged everything to be with one another one.more.night. Then that turned into let's stay just for breakfast and they finally left before it struck noon. I was especially tired this week because unlike real KCC, we were capable of so much more and gallivanted around the city, the beach, the game park, and lots and lots of just loitering around, being with one another, doing a whole lot of nothing but to be near each other.

While talking to one of the girls, I realized how when we are together, we lose all common sense and reality for the outside world and nothing else matters. No money, no time, no normal, but it's like we've walked into a vortex in a wall somewhere and we all fell oblivion and landing down on "KCC La la Land," where only we know and we can go. When we're together, we float around on our personal Cloud 9's as a vehicle and our heads are in a misty smoke of happiness and delirium. There's no judgement, there's no anger, we are who we are and appreciate one another for it. Our one purpose and our one goal is to find the next funny thing and to be around when it happens. We can't bother to eat, sleep or drink or think about things like work the next day. 

While saying good bye, I felt a little bit of relief because if we in fact are a dream and this all has been a fantasy of ours, then we don't exist or we aren't real. I want the love that we have for each other to be real and not something that we have to wake up from one day. Realizing that all this was a figment of our imagination. A bunch of people having the same kind of dream and only using one another as a fulfillment of that acceptance and group. I'm in a little bit of daze from lack of sleep and finally when I got a little shut eye last night (12 hours worth) and back at work, I'm beginning to think that everything was just a dream and hope to never wake up.

Girl Crush Friday ~ Camilla Belle

Yes, I realize today is Tuesday, but I missed last Friday. Not that I haven't missed other ones, but I feel like I should submit a late one today. I had so many things floating in my head and meant to post, but I can't get my mind honed in on one thing right now. So here's Camilla (24), she's an actress who speaks both Spanish and Portuguese fluently because she's Brazilian born. I don't recall her in any other movies besides 10,000 BC, do you? I thought not. But she is beautiful, and that's all that counts right? Because outer beauty is more important than inner beauty.

I may have to talk about a lot of other topics before I actually talk about how I really feel....Ready.set.go.

Study of Love: C.S. Lewis Returns.

Reminder to myself:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” - C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Don't Say it's Fine

Don't say it's fine when it isn't.
You say with your mouth, "fine, it's fine," but your actions scream it isn't.

When you say it's fine, you put a blanket over my head and pretend there isn't a divide between you and me.
You set fire to the bridge that is already starting to give way and you let it burn while you turn away.  You make yourself believe that you will never need to cross that bridge again.

When you say it's fine, you push me away and dismiss me with a flick of your hand, commanding "off with her head."
When you say it's fine,  I am shut in a lonesome dungeon with no one to hear my thoughts and my cries of defense will fall on deaf years. The dragon of hate will come to consume us, the poison from it's fangs dripping with bitterness and resentment.

When you say it's fine, you turn a blind eye to the wound you have, and wound I have. You say you will not cover it or heal it. You say you will cannot be bothered to mend it's pain.
It's the pride in me, it's the pride in you that will not allow us to see. The heavy veil of pride hangs over our eyes, and plugs  up our ears and you don't hear a thing but the validity of your own feelings.

Don't say it's fine.
Cross over  the line to my side, because we are friends not enemies
we love each other, and we are under Christ.
Mend with me this fabric we began to wear away
Build with me this bridge we set fire to.

New normal

One thing I've learned up to this point of "growing up" is that there is no normal or a basic standard of leading your life. I'm not talking about alternative living like nudist colonies or living on a compound with six other "sister-wives" and 32 children who call you mother. What I'm talking about is what every person expects out of life like get a job at graduation, get married at 26, have 2.5 kids before turning 30 and having your own house with a picket white fence. There's a standard expectation of how things will play out as you live out your life, but my life hasn't been as normal as I expected. I don't know why I'm surprised because I lived in 3 different countries before I was 12, visited over 5 countries by then and attended double the number of different schools before I entered junior high. I met my father when I was 6 months old because he was working in Amman, Jordon and brought me toys from Paris and London.

After marriage is when the normal melts into a pool of vague gray and I realize that we as a society of people have formed a cookie cutter and expect each person to cut out a life for themselves and whether you want to sprinkle them with sugar or add chocolate chips is the only choice you're given. But in the dough of your life, God's ingredients for you can vary from people to people an there is no normal. I was the only one out of my friends to marry so young and Hans and I practically grew up together in our marriage, becoming adults together from childhood. In that growing up, we found that not all are made to have children right away, we found that there are people in the world that live lives with fear in the tip of their tongues and always having to turn their eyes side to side for any tip offs to run for her life. We found that you can find family in your friends, in your small group, in campers miles away in Ohio.

My cookie dough is made of unconventional ingredients; white chocolate, some things in my life are pretty typical, education, good family, then bacon is added. Everyone loves Hans just like everyone loves bacon, but he's hardly the choice I would have made as a husband, but God must have made this choice for me as a gift because he's more than I've ever asked for. There are sour components like lemon peels making life a little sour and you figure out how you will make lemonade our of such tragedies. All in all, even when the indredients aren't conventional and may not make sense when making the dough, He puts in the oven the uncooked pile of blob and out comes a purpose and life never more clear with blessings and fulfillment. We have made sons and daughters that are not of our flesh but of the heart and of the spirit, thus pruning us to be the parents of a flesh and blood child that may not be our own, but in heart and spirit, one hundred percent ours.

I don't know if I had lived a purposeful and fulfilling life if it were not the way God had fashioned it just the way it was. He knew me in the inner most part  while I was still a twinkle in my father's eye, he  knows how my life is to be so that it is to the sweetest and the most yummiest cookie there is. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

100 layer cake

It's a like a 100 layer cake. I keep finding more and more layers to put my fork through and soon, the handle of my silver trident sinks into the chocolate frosting and into the layers. The instrument of consumption is too short and would never reach the bottom of it until it's fully submerged into the layers and layers of yummy goodness. I began another year of planning and dreaming of KCC just like all the other years, but unlike all the other years. We motioned through the same old routine of emailing our ideas, speaking up for the groups we wanted to consume, volunteering for the classes we will teach. Knowing each phase of the preparation like the top of our feet or the back of our hands.

We worked like a well lubricated machine, pulling and pushing, sawing and mending, putting together a camp worthy enough for the lovely feet that will enter into the front door of our family room. They will know we will be waiting for them at the door in our Hanboks, Kimmie in her yellow top and pink skirt, Emily in her contemporary hanbok that suits her more than the traditional ones we wore, and Joshua in the hanbok that will soon be too small for him. One by one, two by two, and some times even three, there will be campers who I have spent countless hours with will enter into those doors. There will be high pitched squeals of delight when the fab four arrive and it will take the room into a whole another level of buzz of excitement.

I know each one by name, all 55 of them and even though I had drawn a blank while staring at the past KCC pictures to jog my memory, all of their names came rolling off my tongue once I see them face to face. From a far, I see them as the fab four, the sexy six, the good looking boys, Nick Bieber, little Joshua, little Bonnie, we all have them in our minds as characters in a story or a Saturday morning cartoon. Then you look further, you look closer, and maybe ask the right questions and you'll see that there's a whole different person behind the kids you knew. They are ever changing, ever growing, having things to say about what they are learning and realizing. They surprise us with their hidden humor, unknown talents, future dreams and yearnings no one has asked them about.

They surprise you with gifts and you realize they've been listening, they've been paying attention and remembering. You dip your fork deeper and there's more of them, another layer. I thought I knew these kids, and I don't, not all of them, not deeply. Every year, you find more, you learn more and this time, I learned that camp isn't just camp, it's not just for fun, it's for life. In this layer, I see that I don't have to be desperately clutching them because they are holding on too. That I won't lose them and they won't forget me. I learned that they see more than you give them credit for and that they truly mean family when they say family. There's no way of enjoying a cake so rich, so  thick but to consume it layer by layer.

The Graduate

This year I feel as thought I had graduated from bathing, wiping, dancing and reading books to the little ones at KCC. It's not that I hadn't done any of things, I did! I still pick the smalls over all the mediums and the larges because I have a special way with the little ones. Perhaps because I cherish purity and innocence and morn the loss of it in myself; perhaps, just maybe their little souls will commune with mine and purify it too. I hang on their every words and their laughter fills up the energy tank like in Monsters Inc., where the laughter of a child is worth more than their cry. Still, I long for a connection deep and authentic in a different way, verbal, emotional, and vulnerable. I had graduated this year to the mediums and the larges where they crowned upon me the crown of trust and vulnerability. Handing over their coveted scepter of their true feelings and inner lives, the inner workings of their hearts. Things they would never utter to their friends or family, tears they would never drop in the presence of their own mother or father.

This year I had the undeserved honor of sharing three entries from my blog, mainly just complaining about my circumstances but over-esteemed and allowed to be shared in front of young girls and boys that I love and care for more than I had ever loved and cared for anyone. I was nervous and felt a shamed as I stood in front of the mediums and larges, with eager eyes and listening ears, I had fooled them into thinking I had anything to offer. But they were there, sitting and waiting, so I began reading my meager thoughts about losing, gaining, losing again and adoption. I read to them my letter to the biological mother of my future child. I cried, they wept. Then, we faced one another and they asked me questions seeing their own mothers on my face, and I asked questions with my child on their faces. We exchanged heart, soul, and information filling the gaping holes that created longing and angst, holes that allowed spirit and hope to seep out. I patched up theirs and they patched up mine, filling it once again with love, hope and answers that may ease and quiet our groaning hearts. Tears that washed a way doubts and debris from this cruel fallen world that began both our lives in brokenness and shattered pieces.

The misunderstandings given over to understanding and knowledge, unraveling minds that fantasize about mother and children mended and knit again, beginning the journey of wholeness and contentment. Another layer of the cake laid upon the other, or another layer of the onion peeled back, I am drawn deeper and deeper into the vastness of their love. 

Girl Crush Friday ~ Emma Watson

Emma (21) was born in Paris, France but of half British Blood (like Harry, he's a half muggle). You would know her as Hermoine Granger from the Lord of the...Harry Potter series. She wasn't that noticeable as the snooty, know-it-all brown noser from Hogwarts famously quoted to say, "we might die, or worse, expelled!" She now models for Burberry and graces the covers of very grown up fashion editorials like Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and Vanity Fair. She's beautiful no?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Girls like us

Girls like us, we give over everything, when we give it, we're bankrupt.
We will be with you or we won't, don't know how to teeter, don't know how to balance.
There's no here nor there, but  it's nothing or it's all.
No gradations, no easing in or out, we let you in and we cut you out.

Girls like us, we can't hide it nor fake it.
The hearts of our souls rest upon our chest
It's easy to see we've been crying, it's easy to see we're happy
no guessing, no manipulation.

Can we play a game of winning and losing in love?
It is not a weapon of war nor weapon of seduction.
We do not have the head for it, we don't have the means.
Our emotion can't be explained or controlled, not even by us.

Girls like us, we are made fools and made a muse, rising and falling easily as the other.
I love yous and I hates yous, you're beautiful, you're a monster
you have fallen and you have risen...girls like us, we believe it all.

Girls like us we need to see, Jesus' love is filled in us.
We can't let our eyes go blind, we can't let our ears go deaf.
Don't detach, don't pull back, we were made to love.
Shelter, cover, undo, unveil, kiss, embrace, engage and smile.

Girls like us we must not listen to the wisdom and the blackness of night.
Keep sights on the brightness of light!
Keep filled your heart with love, the eternal love that no one will fight.

Study of Love

A Reminder to myself.

Cliques are not what makes a community, and even if you don't have friend chemistry, community is built on the love that is not your own. Love that is our own is selfish and content with the proceedings that will make us happy and no one else. What is honorable about loving someone that's easy to love in your circle of people? Has God not called us to love people, no matter who? Especially the unlovable, your enemies for that matter? I'm not one to talk, I'm a snob when it comes to love and friendships, I am a human being and at the recess of my heart lies dirt like no one else, garbage strewn, graffiti on the walls, scar tissue and barb wires to protect it. However, what floats in my heart and inspires my soul is the command to love like Jesus did and the offering of his limitless out pour so that we don't have to conserve, protect or be careful for the people we truly love on our own volition. I'm not saying we are forced to love and we have to muster up feelings, but as we pray for people and obey, it will come.

9 Years...

It's hard to believe that it's been 9 years since we said "I do" at the Roselle Church alter. We had 200 guests at the wedding and 300 at the reception, you'd think it should be the other way around, but you know how it goes with people attending weddings. I was only 23 years old when promised to be married and I feel I was just a child bride given a way almost for free! We had nothing when we first money, no job and Hans was just beginning at his company he still works for now. Every single piece of our furniture was a hand me down, except for our bed and mattress which was purchased new, after saving up for it with my part time Pottery Barn money. Anything new in our one bedroom apartment were wedding gifts, and in the second apartment we rented had mice.

Talking about the first years of our living conditions sound like a scene from an old English movie, where the whole family sleeps in one room with mice and rats to keep them warm, with a coal fueled stove in the middle of the room to cook food and heat up for the winter. Everyone has a perpetual runny nose and a cough that lasts year round. It wasn't nearly as bad, but we definitely didn't live the kind of life we are living now. I'm thankful for the young first years of being married without really knowing anything because we didn't expect anything. We didn't feel entitled to a brand new condo or a townhouse right as we entered marriage with a spread of beautiful and contemporary furniture that resembled a page out of a Pottery Barn catalog. We were also open to moving, traveling, relocating and being re-educated about what normal life was, we were mold-able and teachable.

I dreamed of working in foreign services or translating for the United Nations, Hans dreamed of making millions on his patented furniture and products, becoming the youngest Industrial Designer to become famous. None of that came true, but they aren't dreams wasted nor are we crushed by the disappointment of dreams unmet, but we found that God had given us new dreams and new purposes of living. We dreamed of having children 3 years into marriage, God gave us 9 years and we are still without child. Some days we cursed God and some days humbled by his provision of having the bandwidth to participate in organizations, ministries, camps, socializing, traveling, disciplining and peace in the house from not having whining children strewed among us.

9 years is a long time, but then can't believe it's been 9 years...we have a good story written so far and here's to writing another 9 years. Happy Anniversary and Love you Bear!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tokyo Sonata

Last night I watched a movie from Netflix that came in the mail. It had been sitting on my Kitchen counter for a whole week and didn't bother to watch it.  It's one of those foreign Indie films that you have to muster up the mood to watch and finally I bit the bullet. I added this one on queue because I thought it was about a boy Prodigy playing piano into the hearts of his community and the response he receives from his family and his public, but it wasn't. The story is about an economic crisis in Japan, with unemployment at a high, deflation, layoffs and family units coming unraveled through a tough fiscal season. There were two suicides, a murder and a series of unfortunate turn of events that made me want to turn the movie off because it was too accurate a  portrayal of the current state of our country.

The man called father deceives his whole family into thinking that he still held a job and dressed every morning to go to work, then returned every night as though he had been working hard at his office. For weeks and months he continued to stand in line at the unemployment office and made money to deposit into a remote account so that his pay checks were not erratic, but the same salaried amount he was receiving at his old company was received by his wife. Men just like him littered the book stored and loitered around remote yards to pass the time. Some even programmed their phone to ring five time an hour to deceive themselves that they had someone calling for them, that they were still useful.

This entry wasn't meant to be a commentary or a critique on the movie itself, but I had a question that may be tainted by worldly wisdom. At the climax of the movie, each family member is at the pinnacle of life crisis and find themselves at a cross road for complete abandonment of family and starting over or to return to their family unit and find themselves with new eyes for their circumstances. The father is run over by a van trying to run with a wad of cash he found in the bathroom stall while working at his janitorial job, the mother is kidnapped by a man similarly down trodden man, unemployed and desperate but become short lived lovers, the kid brother is arrested and spends a night in jail for trying to board a bus without a ticket. In the end, all returns to the home and finds that they don't have to start over, but remedy the situation as a unit.

No one asks the other where they were or what they've been through, the end scene shows the family eating in silence just as  they have day after day. Now my question is this, is it always necessary to share with your friends, family or community your personal crisis if that's what you needed to see the worth of your life? If you don't tell and keep it to yourself, there's no crying, no questioning, no concern or worry. It is what it is, and what you have neatly sorted in your mind and soul cannot be revisited or rehashed again by someone else's emotional processing of your personal experience. It's not to keep secrets or be ashamed of your sordid behavior, but to save them broken hearts, disappointment, and doubts. If one person in the family had asked the question, "where were you last night?" that inquiry would have spawn forth a sequel (or too long a movie) because of the emotional trauma each one would incur the other. Do we share with one another all things, or only things that will build the relationship?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What you add to the water

In Korean, there is a phrase that suggests a person or group of persons would either contaminate or enhance the "water" just by their presence. Say for instance we suggest a club in Seoul and someone says, "no, the water is bad there!" it means that the people that usually party there are either too old, too forward, too whatever you think makes the water bad. I noticed this recently, how just a few people added or substituted for new ones whether bad or good changes everything. The environment, the attitude, the experience of it all. This year at KCC, there were a lot of elements that made the water...well, not the same. I don't really want to say whether the water soured or sweetened, but I can say that it was sweet enough when things were just the way they were the last two years. 

I'm not sure if it was the change of hands in parent volunteers and how they divided up  the whole operation, or just the sheer fact that the Hartmans were not present, the rules and conduct for all of us have changed. The Hartmans did add a sweetness, a family oriented security that permeated through all of us and made us all feel secure, warm, protected. This doesn't necessarily mean that KCC was less or more, it just means that things were different this year. That's the refrain I've been repeating since my return and friends and family ask, "how was KCC?" in their most excited voice. Maybe it was the counselors, and as long as I've been to KCC and it hasn't been long, but it's always been the same group of people, same familiar faces. I was always the new kid on the block since everyone either grew up knowing each other or they were veteran counselors of 3 years or more. Then, this year I became the veteran counselor and instructing new ones this or that, and it felt a little bit out of body from my usual role at camp. Of course different counselors means different dynamics and I can't say we meshed as well as I'd like when we're somewhere so intimate as camp. 

We also had 15 new campers, that's roughly10 percent of the kids who were new changed us in family dynamics. I was proud of the way our family welcomed these new faces but after a day or two, it began to blur, who was new and who was already part of the KCC family and by the end of camp, no could distinguish who the strangers were because there weren't any there. We deeply knew and loved every single one of those kids who lavished on us their trust, and eventually love. Whatever was in the water this year, it wasn't the same water we've been drinking out of this KCC well, but in the end, no matter the evolution, it seems that this well of water can't be contaminated. It's as if it were protected God and is renewing it's life over and over so that no one is able to change what KCC really is suppose to be, no matter who tries.... I hope this is true. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Waning Honey Moon

I typically come home from KCC and immediately begin pouring out my heart, soul and brain onto this blog, in efforts to save a portion of KCC and not to forget it's small intricate details. I was determined to save in a bottle all the smells, the sounds, the trinkets of camp and display it in the museum of my mind to prove that it was once real and it wasn't just a dreamy figment of my imagination. That it isn't a reoccurring dream I'm having of a heavenly place where I am fully happy with the family I'm with. I was afraid that if I had not saved up all the emotions I was feelings and describe each and every excruciating detail, it would fall in to a vortex of darkness that swirls into oblivion, forever forgotten as a fading black and white photograph in a dusty old attic of my head. It's taking me a while to write a post about KCC this year and for a moment, I was beginning to think that I was over it or the connections I had with the kids and the counselors didn't cut me deep enough that I couldn't bleed out the love that over took me 2 years back. This was precisely what I was afraid of my second year at KCC, of having the sophomore blues, camp not living up the to the first year love struck, that I was just having some sort of high and coming down from it would be an inevitability.

When reflect on this past year at camp, I realize that out of the three summers I spent there, I finally broke into the hearts of some campers I never thought I see the inside of. I began conversations and relationships I thought were reserved only for the adopted counselors to have and not me, it wasn't my place. The mentality that there is no place for a non-adopted counselor to be in the conversation of wonder about biological mothers, anger toward them, fear of being left alone, and the whole well of other questions and statements I wasn't meant to hear, was corrected. This year, I was invited into that warm and vulnerable cocoon where it's safe to say statements of heart break, disappointment, things you wouldn't admit to yourself, and words you would never utter to anyone outside of the camp walls. I saw in each one that there is a deep reservoir of thought and deep feeling I was finally allowed to dip into and my blindness cured. The "larges" this year invited me into their secret garden and allowed me to explore, enjoy, see, and even prune in some ways, correcting and filling the curiosity of the "other side," the side of the adopted mother.

The honey moon is waning, but the sophomore blues hasn't set in. It's a deeper connection I've made, coming down from a shallow high of love at first sight, and developing a relationship that is deeper, stronger and a new layer has been peeled back. I love the "smalls" and my heart is always for them, but this year, I felt I've graduated from merely grooming, dancing, and feeding the little ones to actually having meaningful conversation about the state of one's being. Likes, dislikes, favorites and pet peeves. It's time this honey moon has waned to a harvest moon, where this family matures in love for one another. Like new lovers becoming more familiar, more comfortable and becoming more that just lovers, but a unit of functional love that teaches others to love too...even outside of the KCC walls.