Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Horror of your will


When you ask for deepness with God, you must realize the terror of his holiness. How deep, how vast, and how intense, and demanding it is to love like him, to live the way he wants.

You ask, but you only want the warm feelings of being loved and lovely, not the darkness of being lonely, being separated from him intimately all the days of your life. Until heaven. You must hang on with nails clutched into the splinters of the cross. Knowing the horror of his death, covered in venomous blood poisoned with your own sin. Bled out, so that his pure blood loosens you.

You ask him to do what he will with you, then you reject any form of discipline and discomfort. Your flesh and soul cry out with tantrum, storming and toiling, defiance, anger, bitterness and twisted hands, twisted soul, and you harden your heart.

Give into the deep waters, drown, rid of yourself in death and come alive again belonging to him and him only.  He will be the lover of your soul, lavish you with love you have so desire and begged for. Let him enter you and take over, that you are not recognizable. The old has gone and the new has come, she has died and what lives is Jesus in the place where she used to be. You, who were bound in flesh, sinful, lustful body which was slave to sin is now floating free in spirit and the aliveness of the will of God. Let your life flower like the mind of God.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

S.O.S

Dear God,

I am sick and tired of waiting on you. I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish and what glory you are trying to abstract from me?  You say that you love me but everything seems bleak. My loyal and true friends are closer to me than ever, but I can't feel their love, I feel numb to it. I see that Jude, Hans, and I are happy together most days, filled with laughter and play, but I am out of my body and inside of my head. I feel my head is decapitated and I no longer own the body I have. I am a floating head full of bad ideas, hasty decision, poor judgement and I make despicable choices, which lead me down a dangerous path of hating myself and the people involved.

There is lushness in my spiritual life, or there should be, leading a CG and I've been taking more ownership lately because Hans is so indisposed as of late. I lead a woman's group called Lies Women Believe and I believe the most lies out of anyone in the group, I'm afraid...I am in the praise team and I feel the gift of worship I once had, where there was so much power, is drained and now, I am just a resounding gong when I sing. It's just noise to you. I've been part of MJ's group which has been such a safe place for me for the last 10 months, but all of the sudden, my heart is turning against it because I have too much to hide, too much to share, too much to deal with and fix that I'm sick of myself. I'm tired of being in my head all of the time and although I'm not divulging a copious amount of dirty laundry onto others, I feel I'm just a burden to them.

I'm sick and tired of waiting to be the girl that I once was before I've been affected by the world, fed lies, believed them, and wounded beyond repair. I'm sick and tired of the continual damage I inflict on myself as well as damage flung onto me by others. I'm tired of waiting and my heart grows ever darker and bitter still because why wouldn't God of Love, who says he desires a love affair with me keep me in the dark and at an arms length. I hear of your great love and know that Christ has died loving me, I only know it as concept and I don't feel it, see it or taste it, I don't experience it every single day, nor have I known it for years. Are you the typical Asian dad that makes his children assume he loves them, but there is very little expression? I pray for it and desire it, why would you withhold THIS from me, why wouldn't you grant this to me?

How long do I need to wait to live a full life in you? The kind of life you promised, the kind of life you dream for us to have, planned for us to have. Is it just reserved for some and not me? Why must everything I do be SO difficult, slow moving and roads paved with obstacles and traps. How much do I have to do? How many books must I read about prayer, characters of the bible, holiness, reaching for the invisible God, the life I was suppose to have and the Jesus I never knew? How many songs must I sing? How many desires and dreams must I put away before you are satisfied...and as I typed this, I know you don't require any of this shit, but I don't know what else to do...I don't even know how to just be, I forget how... because my mind is ringing and my heart is failing. Shall I just die right here?

Where are you?


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lies I believe


A voice as she strolled by, "psst...Eve, listen..."
She listened, then thought about it, she conversed and replied to it
She saw that it was good to eat, glistening, skin taut from juices at the cusp of bursting forth as teeth pierce through
She was convinced, she believed 

God is holding out on me, he isn't giving me what I need or what I desire
He will always say no to whatever is pleasurable to me
If I have a dream he will kill it, if I have a plan he will thwarted, he will trip my feet and bind my hands

He will not spoil me because he knows I can withstand it, he knows I wont complain...at least not out loud or with my lips.
He is hard on me and disciplines me because he is afraid, if I have it easy I will go astray
I am astray...and he doesn't bring me back

I will eat of this world what I want because I don't trust he will give me good things
I have to help myself
I need to get it on my own
things that cover up, lift up, make up, hide, compensate

I eat of it and see; I am not clever, I am not love, I am not good
I eat of it and I am naked and I have plenty to hide
I open my eyes and I cannot the bare the sight, I am ashamed

I will clothe myself and save myself, fight against my evil inclinations and forcing myself to resist
Lamenting my sins and imperfections, neither of them specks
How can I defend myself against my sins and flaws?
A gaping hole in my heart that is desperate, it swallows me whole
Shovel as many things in with expiring and deflatable means, as the hole is ever growing

The hold on me is tight, claws sinking in my failing flesh, deeper every time
How will I survive without the claws that plug up the holes, I will bleed out
Whispers of sweet nothings I'm yearning to hear

"psst...Sus, listen..."

I am defenseless against his seduction who gives me counterfeit words and synthetic fill, I fall each time weaker and deeper in
I am deceived and my innocence slain

Defend me O God, I commit myself in the care of your sword, defend my true self, that is not the fallen Eve but the Eve who was the crown of all creation before the bite
Take my bankrupt soul and heart and fill it with your tender love, pure, full and sincere

The Calm After the Storm

Before the Ohio trip a few weekends ago, I desperately needed to get away from home, from my family, Chicago, my reality in general. There was this pressure building up in me, like only stuffers can really work up and generate, and I had no where to release. I didn't know how to release. When S came to pick me up for the long road ahead, I skipped to her car and threw my luggage into the back seat because I couldn't be bothered to place it neatly and we needed to get out of Dodge stat. The drive to Ohio was the kind of road trips you imagine when two giggly girls are confound in a car for a long stretch of 6 hours and 2 hours of traffic, just trying to get out of the city. We began talking and laughing, dancing to our jams, ascribing people to songs that came on the radio asking, "who do you think of when you hear this song?" Then came the silent lull that is comfortable only when you're in a car together that long.

Once we got to Ohio, it was non-stop fun and there were stories we would recap on the way back home, the second installment of the road trip, a little less lively but never the less enjoyable. Our friend Lynn was a beauty and we knew she would be beautiful as a bride, but when I looked at her, I kept bursting into tears. Something about her purity that made me see myself and how I would like to be some day. I was also a little jealous she as already this way without working at it, and lurking into the deep dark abyss that is her soul to fix herself, to be different and improve, to live in freedom. When the weekend was over, the morning of departure was a little depleted of all the buzz for the future fun we would have in the short days to come. We had bagels, fruit and a some water to drain the boozy weekend, then we dragged out bags into the car again and slumped into our seats for take off.

There was nothing that was ground breaking in our conversations, just a lot of thoughts and jokes and giggles. We didn't encounter anything holy or godly in the conventional sense of the word, but when I got home on that Sunday, I saw my family with new eyes. They looked and sounded different to me, precious, lovely and I as enamored with my community, my friends and my church again. I often confine the almighty God, the creator of the universe and all living things into a tiny box in which he can do great works. I dismiss God and exempt him from my life as I walk out of my QT, church, small group or, just holy talk. But I think God had given me a weekend of venting and letting me laugh, the kind of laughing that makes you cry and have stomach cramps. He let me see myself if I were to live without self will and be fettered to his loving will, in the bride. He also let me miss my baby a little and when I got home, he was adorable to me again.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lovely L

This past weekend, our little one got married. L has to be the most purest, the most naive and trusting person I have ever met. She's the type of girl that lives in a small Ohio town, the kind of town that has neighbors that allows chickens run a muck in their front yard, and she's completely content, she relishes it. There was a time I visited Ohio and L wanted to come with us to Kent which is about an hour from her house on the highway. This was a major problem because she doesn't drive on the highway, it stresses her out and it's not that she can't, she just wont. So, she hitched a ride with us and because she had to leave early for work, one of our kind friends drove her all the way back home and drove all the way back to Kent, making it a 2 hour round trip for him. That's the thing about her though, she felt perfectly fine with exposing her deepest fears and not so deepest of fears, but also to be accepted in it and to accept help. She didn't strive, twist and wring her hands because she felt bad that our friend had take two hours out of his day to drive her home, she accepted his help because I think she can picture what frienships ought to be and she believes in it.

She's also the kind of girl that gets into your car for a long road trip, and within the first 5 seconds of getting in, buckling her seat belt, she asks, "So, do you believe in God?" A valid question and perfectly fitting for a long ride conversation topic, but not within the first 5 seconds, perhaps hour  2 or maybe hour 1, but not before you even get off the local roads. I love her purity in that way, that there is no waiting or manipulating time or situation for the right way to strike, but she genuinely wanted to know. So she asked. When she was met with a startled response, "Woah, you just got in the car!" She giggled and asked if he wanted a chicken nugget. This was also the same friend that drove her home from Kent, mentioned above. She didn't press the issue after that.

L is in her twenties and she still brings "baby" along with her on trips, a stuffed bear that her parents had given her when she first came from Korea. Baby's nose is now bald, along with most of her body, her eyes a little milky from all the roughness that came with being a child's chosen, her outfit has changed over time because she just needed new ones from the wear and tear. She wanted baby to have a white dress just like her on her wedding day, but her mother says she couldn't be responsible for Baby's where abouts while the day progressed, so she had to stay home. I missed Baby that day. L use to send me text messages littered with pictures of Baby, and that didn't seem ridiculous to me at all. In fact, I wanted more as if she was my sisters actual baby and Baby was my niece.

Watching her from a far, she was so lovely...her long limp arms draping over the shoulders of her guests. She placed light kisses on her family and friends and I couldn't wait to hug her and smell her. As I watched her make her way down the pews to greet and dismiss her congregation, I never saw her more radiant and pure. She was my role model. Sitting there, I wanted to be just as pure, light, naive, kind, and the way she accepts love without feeling burdened to perform, saying whatever was on her mind because she knows it'll be good and not malicious, she doens't control, manipulate, toil or press, she is the picture of a content child. She is lovely.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Renamed

I've been part of a women's group for the last 7 months now, and I am more and more thirsty for our meetings each time we meet. We meet every other week and it seems too far and few between because of the healing, comfort and purpose the group gives me. It's not a Bible study, it's the study of God and how he has written in our lives, his story of redemption despite our sins and the sin of others. We have been exploring our relationship with fathers, mothers, our culture, our ethnicity, the women in our lives and eventually the men too...I realize, even though my past has faded into a foggy picture of what was almost forgotten, the pains and mistakes of our own making and not, we compensate for them by having deep addictions to specific behaviors we play out every single day, in every single interaction we have. We've not healed from them, we've only looked the other way.

I have been proud thinking that I am confident in Christ who has covered me and I am a princess in my own right. I am assured by my earthly father, brother, husband and other brother like figures along the way that I am loved and appreciated for who I am. I sailed a long way here without really knowing what plagues me and once I am tested, my sense of self comes shuffling down like a house of cards. Slippery foundation, with slick surfaces, the flimsy cards hold nothing but bluff behind my brave and sometimes smug face, there is nothing that holds when temptation and hardships come.

I have been feeling like I'm failing at everything and feeling less than confident in anything I do or am, which is unlike me. Even being open here, where I have bore my soul and heart, my anger and depression, without apologizing or blushing in the past, has become with held proses and euphemisms, only hinting at what I'm really feeling. I think it's because I have much to hide these days, my thought life and my spiritual life has fallen to waste and I am ashamed someone might read my mind. I feel all bad, and no good at all...I am especially feeling the weight of sins in my life and I am crushed by them. Then, I realize that this is not the gospel, what we know as the Good News. I'm living though I am dead and that's not living at all, to be under foot of my own sins and it's consequences. I am a new creation and I am no longer in condemnation! I am good by the righteousness that is given to me by grace alone. Amen.

The women's group has given the assignment of listening to what God has to say about the name he is giving us. The new name that is to replace the old names like, failure, bad, lonely, unworthy, ect. I'm not quite sure this is my final destination, but for now, my name is still Good.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Quickie: A post-It note entry

Pre-Jude days when I had an infinite amount of brain power and time, I would just think of things to write and Voila! There they were, without even much effort or time, everything I want to say lay there on a page. These days, it takes much more effort to get myself to sit down and use my brain beyond the conversations I have with a two year old. I think my vocabulary has dwindled down to exactly the amount of words Jude knows. So, here are some things I've been thinking about and would have blogged about in full form if I were still pre-Jude. Some things I've heard on the radio and seemed like it was worth it to explore and some are observations I've made.

Do you have that one girl friend that makes you insecure? Because she's prettier than you are, she dresses better? she's smarter than you? I can't think of any...but I'm sure I'll come up with someone.

On the same note, I also wanted to write about relationships girls have with other girls. Why so difficult? And how do I have the kind of girlfriends Rachel had in Friends or Carrie had in Sex and The City.

In light of having my family around for Jon's wedding, I noticed a common family trait...maybe a family curse. Chronic Loneliness...my grandmother had it, my dad, my uncle and I do too. Where does it come from?

Those people who can get you to do anything or believe anything/everything they say.

And why mommy-hood sucks the brain juice and mojo from every girl out there. And how do you get it back? Can you get it back...? I hope so.

Okay, that's all I have...
I'm sorry
I can't
Don't hate me.


Epic Fail

I feel like I'm failing at everything lately. And by fail, I think I mean I don't having anything in my control and nothing is tidy or the way I would like for things to be. My brother married very recently and I wish I had more time with him this weekend and maybe even asked him to have dinner with me one last time, just him and me. Not that he's moved away or he's sailed away at sea, but he no longer belongs to anyone but his wife, so in that departure I think I could have said my last say as just my brother.

I imagined this two weeks with my aunt from Korea to be leisurely, three women and a reluctant little boy lunching in a shady out door city eatery. Sight seeing, walking in museums and absorbing everything good and holy about women from a different generation who's blood pulsate through mine. I wanted to know what they thought about family and how they came out the other end still honorable and sane, still married to their first husbands and their sons praising their name. I wanted some kind of connection and reliance on someone that just sees me as Susie, without judgement and flaws seem a distant faint figure in a foggy day. Alas, it's not turning out to be how I planned the days of her visit in my head. It's hot, I'm tired and agitated from shushing first graders all day long, and I've more than once wanted to snap at both my mom and aunt. In fact, I think I actually did....more than once.

Not only am I biting the heads off of all of my relatives and first graders, I'm swinging to the other end of the pendulum, shutting down like I'm conserving my energy just to stay mentally contained...or at least appear like it. You know...like those really rich women who dress in Chanel suits whilst doting on their pet philanthropy project, but do cocaine and have affairs with their drivers? Like that.

Whatever interaction I've been having with KCCer's through text messages and snapchats have been in haste and less enthusiastic than years past because I've had too much to juggle this week. I want to virtually participate in KCC like last year, but like I said I'm trying to conserve my energy to keep from exploding and have everyone around me die. I haven't talked to my husband in what seems like a year, and I am constantly fighting and making up with a two year old all day long. I want to minister and be kind to small children who have too much energy and equal amount of things to say, but all I do is shush them and make them line up walking back from the playground, like the VonTrapp children in the sound of musical. All I need is a whistle. I haven't seen my friends, I haven't been to church, and somehow I feel like my feet have been tied to a horse with a rope, and it's dragging me through a western town. I would normally find blogging therapeutic, but I've lost my writing flow and can't get the words out. What I thought would be a venting session is making me even more frustrated because I've lost my writing mojo along with my spirit.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blurred Lines

Between my favorite jam of the moment, watching Anna Karenina, and reading an article called "Gone Girls" in from one of the many magazines I subscribe to (we had lots of expiring frequent flier miles), it's come to form what I've been thinking about in terms of what makes us, or me specifically make the kind of choices I'd rather forget. I've been thinking a lot about how people come to do the things they do, I mean sins, big sins. I'm talking about people who murder, shake babies, kidnap, leave their families, things we look down our noses and think, "I would never do that... monsters!" I've especially been sympathizing with the monsters who shake babies and lock kids in attics because I know what it's like at the moment when your child is making no sense, kicking and screaming on your last strong nerve. You begin to understand what road they took and what exit ramp led those 'monsters' to lie over the lap of the U.S. judicial system for the big spanking themselves.

Anna Karenina, if you ever read the tome by Leo Tolstoy, is not so much a love story, but about a virtuous woman married to an even more virtuous man that spirals into a destructive path, lured away from her 6 year old son and her devoted husband by a younger man, a soldier. It seems romantic, the two lovers forsake all not excluding their place in social standing, family, safety, wealth, and future, all was to throw away because the passion was so excruciatingly seductive. Anna however, was virtuous, but beautiful, charismatic and she would and could have lived a life of swirling romance, carefree adventures if she were not tied down to her dull husband and her 6 year old whom she adored. There was a pivotal moment, between light flirtations, imagination running wild in the privacy of her own mind and the actual moment when she verbalized and make physical what would have been a passing train in the night. She would have remained in good standing with her community, her social circle, with virtuous, illuminati reputation in tact, safe in her own home with a solid husband and a loving son. But she lost all of it. Family. Soldier. Herself.


The article I read strangely cited Anna Karenina too. She plunged into the book in a seminar called "Fiction of Isolation" and she felt highly intrigued and repulsed by the book feeling as though she may become like Anna Karenina. She had a grandmother who had the same spirit as Anna did, beautiful, magical, loved to fall in love, a free spirit and she left her husband and daughter to follow a blond air force pilot (eerily similar to Anna). She also had the same kind of mother who fell in love with a 24 year old African Stunt man and left her husband and daughter to follow him to Africa. I begin to have this strange sense that Anna, this author and I floated a long the same river and maybe even kept company in the same boat...living in our head about the "other" life we may have had. The author was deeply afraid she would be the third in line to do the same to her husband and son, forsaking them and herself for a young poet, but at the end of the article, she finds herself right where she began, in her head. She says to herself, "I did it! I really did it!" She never crossed the blurred lines.  

It's the blurred lines, of playing out your inner frustration and letting it die inside your head, instead of allow it to burst into form in the physical reality, where there is severe and monstrous consequence on your subject. Whether it begins with kicking helpless animals or handling your child a little too rough, it is a very dangerous beginning that leads to the point where you never really know where that edge begins and ends. It's easy to give into your emotions when you are not vigilant and wake from your rage of anger, lust or boredom to find yourself on the other side of the line, where the lines are suddenly clear. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

School of mommy-hood aka hard knocks

In about 10 days, it would be a year since Jude has been part of our family, and since then he has slowly morphed into an actual toddler. Moms generations before us have warned about "Terrible Twos" and "nothing prepares you for motherhood," but in our innocence, or our childless ignorance, the wisdom doesn't quite sink in until you actually live it out. Jude has changed and he's not the boy that I first held in a small room in Korea, feeding him spoonfuls of mashed up strawberries. I'm also not that girl that sat on the floor of the foster home gazing at him like he was my nephew and not actually my son and it amazes me to see what I've realized about myself and what I've become. Every day, I lie in the dark after a long day of spiritually, emotionally and physically wrestling with a two year old and think to myself, I am not that evolved.

While giving a bath today, I opened up a battery operated bubble "gun" that would blow out a million bubbles by rapid fire by the turning of a tiny fan. He realized by the fifth time that he could stick his little finger into the turning foam blades of the fan and it would stop. I would say "uh oh!" in my best Cookie Monster voice and he belly laughed for the next 7 times I did it. I realized that I haven't laughed like that in so long that I can't remember the last time I doubled over and cried from a funny. I let him do it again and again because as the days grow older, his occasions for breath-gasping laughter would wane too.

 On the flip side of the same coin, let me tell you how much he cries and what he cries about. He has cried over not wanting to wear a pair of overalls, he wants to eat goldfish crackers for breakfast, his eggs falling off of his fork, he doesn't want to wash his hands, he wants to wash his hands, he doesn't want to play with the kids at a play date, he doesn't want to leave the play date, he doesn't like what I put in front of him at dinner time, he doesn't want to take a bath, and he doesn't want to listen to Beyonce on the radio, to name a day in the life of Jude (and me). You can't make him do anything he doesn't want to and he will show his discontent without thinking or regret, he knows what he wants and he will not stand down. On one hand, I realize that he's still a baby and along with his physical development, his emotional quotient is yet to mature, but every day I'm teaching him in little ways that he should please others before yourself, that he should keep his emotions at bay, and quite frankly, mommy doesn't want to hear about it. I regret so many moments where I scolded him for showing how he feels about a moment when I ought to let him get it out, to show it, because there is a million moments in my lifetime where I have done things that I have compromised who I was because I didn't want to tell the other person "No, I don't want to do this." I would hate for Jude to swallow his standards and his convictions because someone told him to calm down.

These are only lessons from the last couple of months and the schooling will continue until I am grey and old, but Jude is a gift from God to sanctify me. I have been my own selfish being for far too long and he is shelling my exterior, exposing all the hidden insecurities, flaws, and wrongful thinking in my new name. Mom. My actions will trickle down to a whole new generation and will mar and sear the life of a human being other than myself. I am no longer just hurting myself or benefiting myself, but there is a tiny boy who has only one sole person for a brief and critical time in his life to fashion his view of God and humanity. He may not have suckled milk from my breasts, but he suckles the quality, value and worth of love, humanity, and a view of himself from us, who have been chosen to be his parents.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

End of a cloak

Warning: Especially to men who are uncomfortable with female worries and bodily functions and to women who feel equally shifty in their seats when discussing the fore-mentioned topic, stop your reading after first sentence.

This weekend, I felt a little queasy and exhausted, so I went to bed early on Sunday night and as always, my alarm clock which sounds awfully similar to a toddler calling out "Mommy!" from the other room wakes me at 6 am. I go to the bathroom and find a gush of blood flowed out. I would normally assume that it was the time of the month of the crimson waves, but I just had my period two weeks prior to that Monday. I asked a few my nurse friends who told me to take a pregnancy test, and with symptoms like nausea, extreme fatigue, cramps, and bleeding? I thought maybe this would be a good idea. I was a little worried, but because I'm...well, me, I solider on like I normally do and go on with my day. I stopped by Target to purchase what seemed like my 67th pregnancy test in the last ten years I've been married, dropped off Jude in the Lifetime daycare and took a pregnancy test in a stall of the women's locker room. Never done that before...thank the lawd o' miighty. Negative. So I went about running my 3 miles and taking a strength class, alas, my bleeding only increased in volume but I was only a little more alarmed than the first findings that morning.

I was a bit disappointed to see that I wasn't pregnant, even though I tell people I'm over that whole "gotta get pregnant to have a baby" stage and how I joke about how annoying it would be if I had lost my physique and my Gucci shoes to pregnancy (I hear some women's feet grow and never to return again to its original size?) For an hour or so before I knew I wasn't pregnant, I thought about how it would be a girl, I just had this feeling and H has had dreams about having a little girl as of late. She would cure Jude of all of this tidy and anal retentive ways, maybe not cure, but surely he would realize he can't have his way all the time. Siblings cure kids of so many things, especially the fact that life isn't a movie starting, YOU and everyone else is the supporting cast. I feared that my endometriosis had worsened and having a child would be impossible now, if I had the slightest chance before. This is all fine, and I had accepted the fact that I may never be able to have biological kids, but Jude is working on his third year of life and it would be forever before the next adoption comes through. Pregnancy was the "easiest" and the most "convenient" option for us....for now.

Well, it's Thursday night and I'm still bleeding. I finally talked to my gynecologist and after a battery of questions and ruling things out, it seems, I am just stressed. Immediately after my conversation with him, I think of the bleeding woman who touched the end of Jesus' cloak to be healed and her FAITH saved her. I realized that in my perfectionism, my high standards for my days I have lost faith in Christ who is my rock. I'm worried about Jude, I'm constantly worried that I'm ruining him one way or another, I try to keep some what of a schedule for the both of us so we're not in PJ's all week long, but it stresses me out a little bit. I stress me out a little bit. I'm worried about Hans, his new job, what it's doing to him and our financial stability. I'm worried about my parents and their never ending legal battles...but I had swallowed all of this, because I'm a stuffer. But being a stuffer doesn't make me a good girl or virtuous, it just means I'm not forthright about how I don't Trust God. I need to touch his cloak, just the end of it, and trust that he will heal everything in my life, beyond my immediate physical ailments.

Friday, April 5, 2013

What's dead in me

On Easter Sunday, Pastor Dave had asked a question that had made me choke up because what I had let die in myself is dishonoring God's creation. I had let darkness win over one by one, what was good on earth, personified in each living person die little by little. We do that don't we? Not grand dooming kinds of deaths that we see in some dramatic movie, but ones that we don't even know are happening. Maybe a slighting comment, feelings hurt, but you've learned to stuff it and swallow it. At least I have.

In Christ there is Revival, and you won't even have to be that creepy 30 something person sneaking into a youth group revival service this summer, or pretend to be a counselor and participate in a planned revival service. Where there is life in Christ, there is revival or renewing of things that died inside of you which should live, which are meant to live. What is dead, does not stay dead in Christ, so what inside of me is dead today, that I want to relive in me once more?

When I thinking about this question, it makes me rewind my tapes all the way to childhood or even when I was a young girl, or when I'm with my family. Then I prayed that these things would live again in me:

-my belief in friendships and people, that they have good intentions and not out to hurt me
- innocence and purity, the kind that children have...a little bit unaware and uncomplicated
- dreaming and being a free spirit, to use words like dreamy, magical, heavenly and write poems
- my love and trust in family: recently, I began seeing them differently, like I was wrong about banking on them too much
- belief that I am lovable and lovely
- everything that I have suppressed because of words I hear from others, to "calm down" "be reasonable." To no longer be merely nice and tempered so I can fit into what seems "normal"

It seems impossible for whatever was dead in us to be alive again. I often believe that death has overcome us when in fact Gospel is the Good News that proclaims emancipation from death and everything that chains us to our bad habits and reoccurring sins. This belief indicates to me that I don't actually believe or remember the gospel at all, and God has given us Easter in the Spring time to remind us over and over that whatever was dead, frozen and buried will arise again. Spring always comes and winter melts into new leaves, new roots, and new life that cracks open from the harden ground and harden shells to bring forth new life. Spring always comes, no matter how long and how harsh the winter has been that year.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

From the Ashes...

It's been a few days since Easter, but this year I see this "holiday" new eyes and ears. The days leading up to Easter had been a little arduous and cumbersome, dark and tired, I felt just as the climate of passion week and good Friday. Death. I felt stuck in some moment and couldn't get out of it for the last year or so, maybe even longer. I tried so hard to be, I tried so hard to not be, I tried and I tried, but there was not a budge and after a while, I lost hope in everything. I truly believed at one moment that I couldn't change and the almighty God couldn't change me either. I wanted to be that girl that loved Jesus and knew she was loved, "beloved" what's tattooed onto the inside of my wrist as a reminder. I wanted to live out that love, to be able to lavish onto others without expectations of return and feelings hurt. I felt in the last few days, insecure and worthless, devalued because of what no one said or did, but the standards of love I had for others was set too high and everyone fails in the end. That failure reflects upon me, feeling unloved and uncared for. Oh  what I wouldn't do to stop feeling this way, what lengths I will go, and what I would sacrifice of myself to "feel" loved.

On Easter Sunday, I felt tired and sleepy from getting up too early with J and arriving at church at 7:45 am, a little earlier than the normal time I would be there for praise team. I didn't want to be there, I haven't had my coffee, I hate my outfit and it's cold on an Easter Sunday. I forced my church smile, or maybe it's just my public smile, and I soldiered on like usual...practicing a skit I didn't want to be in any more. I was cast as that mean pretty girl, the role I get asked to fulfill more than I'd like to admit, but I was never that girl, I hate that role. I feel a serge of insecurity spike up and disappointment of being misunderstood again dawns on my heart, I feel nervous because I'm perpetuating that perception upon the whole church on stage! I go through the motions for worshiping God through this skit and then setting up as usual my part of the band equipment. God, I thought I would be joyful knowing you? Different from the rest of the world because I am loved by the King. I don't feel this way and I don't believe it, when will I begin to?

After the music began, my heart began to stir and He reminds me of the heart he fashioned in my heart. Quick to turn toward music, dancing and singing, I am touched again by the two people acting as Jesus and girl. He delights in her and shows her his creation, and she is enthralled. I'm reminded again that I am that girl and He is that Jesus to me, twirling, dancing, eating fruit, and picking flowers, I am lost in his wonder. There is true revival and renewal on Easter and I have never known an Easter like this one, where I finally understand that Jesus had risen from the dead, not for himself, but for us, that we will rise with him, not only on that final day, but today! I am changed because of him. I live because he lives in me.

What is dead does not remain dead in me, but I can live again. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

You Make Me New

Since January, I've been part of a girls only group called Roll Away the Stone and I was a little skeptical, a little bit nervous and afraid because this group required so much time, travel, mental capacity, blogging, thinking, crying, talking and praying that I didn't know if I wanted to get involved. On second thought, I might have joined the group without knowing that it required so much unveiling and uncovering of all my junk, or else why would have done so? Some of you are thinking, "what? this is so up your alley Susie, all that thinking, uncovering and writing? Like a glove!" Maybe so...I do reveal a whole heck of a lot on this blog and I have been way too honest at times when I've been less than perfect, melted into a pool of dark waters in some dingy hotel (not literally - ew, can you see me in a dingy no-tell-motel?).

The group that God has assembled could not be more perfect, some how and in some way, we have come to share our deep wounds and dark pasts without the fear of being judged. We didn't feel this way from day one of our meeting, but after taking the leap of faith and carefully pinning out dirty laundry on the clothes line we call "The Blog," we began seeing the same kinds of stains and spots. We began learning that we ourselves have been putting up defenses, gracious faces and with a stiff upper lip, trudging on to survive. We learned that we didn't have to here in the circle of trust because all of us just wanted to close wounds, heal broken hearts and relearn the absolute Truth instead of the lies that creep in during the hours, the days, the weeks, and years, eventually believing and living out lies that keep us like caged birds.

There were some questions that I never even thought of and didn't realize it had affected me the way it does and makes me the way I am. It's been difficult to admit some of my sins, but it's been far more difficult to admit the sins that had been committed against me. For some odd reason, it's easier to reveal my weaknesses and utter the words, "I'm sorry" than to say, "This was done to me and I don't know how to forgive or to heal." How do you make anyone or everyone apologize for their mistakes, intentional or not? When I said that 2013 would be a banner year, I celebrated and fell into fear because I knew that there's no way of becoming something new without dying in my old self...and dying is painful.

A Job Well Done

It's been exactly one week since Hans left his job of 11 years. ELEVEN years! (that's longer than we've been married!)  I don't know anyone that stays that long at a company right out of college! The company did give him his first shot and Hans' direct boss, Paul mentored him like he was his own son. Over the years, we shared many Norte Dame Vs. Purdue banters, tailgates, House warmings, dinners, drinks and even the celebration of little Jude joining the "UD Family." United Display Craft definitely has become family to us, and Sandy, the owner of the company is our Father. Although his body has been failing him for the last few years, his spirit still lives on so strong, Hans had to sign off to him when he left that Friday. UD will definitely be bookmarked in our lives as a place where we grew up, and the people that raised us were so gracious over the years.

Although there is a lot to be said about UD as a company, I want to highlight how Hans has impacted UD...can I? Can I just brag about how proud I am of my husband? When the management team received word that Hans was to leave in two weeks, the sales department went into a uproar of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Sack clothes were put on and ashes put on their heads because Hans is that good! He was the guy that delivers, delivers good and fast, so they had to find a way to keep him on payroll. They went to the big boss man almost every day before he left proclaiming the warning of dark and weary days if Hans were to be let go. On Friday, a design department co-worker planned a luncheon for Hans and over 50 people showed up to bit him goodbye, when typically, people who leave go out to a simple farewell lunch with a few people from their department. Little Mexican ladies from the factory brought Jude Mexican treats and homemade salsa for me. A simple offering but spoke volumes when those small gifts were handed to him in tears.

I think anyone can make a first good impression, and I for one can give a good, but short lived performance when I have to, but Hans has proved to be a man of character over the 11 years he's worked there. I think it's a testament to how he conducted himself and how he genuinely grew to love and care for his co-irkers workers. Not only that, he must have done excellent work because it is a work place after all and you can't be loved and respected just for being a nice guy. He tried his best to finish all of his projects before he left because he wanted to finish strong at the company he humbly refers to as "the company that gave me my first shot!" The design director gave him a Rick Warren book called "Tap Dancing to work," and I think it was the perfect gift that describes their relationship. Paul, would want Hans to find his challenge, but to love it at the same time, because even though Paul works hard as all hell at his job, I think he loves it too. I don't know if I have ever been prouder of my husband in the almost-11-years of marriage.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Beloved

 
Birds of the air thrown and scattered through the air, hanging in the sky for color and adoration.
Flower petals so tiny and thin, tender pieces squeezed between finger tips and it breaks down into a smear.
Apples crisp and so sweet, nectar formed in the dreams of the God almighty, red and so delicious, who could have conceived but the creator, the artist, the passionate One who sits on Mercy seat.

All this created for his beloved, my body, my soul, my life, his greatest masterpiece.
Adorned with skin, sparkling eyes and voice that sings like a lark, what can separate me from his love?
What can match what is dowsed on me, thick, sticky and sweet from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. All consuming passion that pieced his hand and heart, He who created the deep seas and the sky scraping mountains to bless me and let me into his Life-giving character.

I twirl and twirl, carefree and found, grounded and secure, until I take my eyes off of the Son and I stumble into the shadows. In the shivering cold, I feel warmth....a hand reaches out for mine, no moment lost lest I find myself back to God, I look back at Him who reaches out for me. The tug of charm and sweet lips holds too tight and too distracting to ignore, I am swept up in love, a lesser love, but it satisfies me for the moment and I forget Him, who is my beloved. Ashamed, I want to pull away in haste, but charm and sweet lips flee before I can. I try to hold tight to what I confuse for love, rejecting me into tears. The road back to my beloved seems too far and arduous. How will he take me back now? An adulteress.

Come perfection, I will built a body and an image that will make me climb onto the highest tower of haughtiness, I will not need the love of another, just my own. The Gucci feet, rock hard body, and flowing hair, all an armor to protect me against rejection. I can no longer be thrown away because I cannot be had.. It's money that will take me there, it's status that will lift me up to heights you cannot reach. I will shut you out, and never let you in, until someone finds a chink in my armor, and I am reduced to seeking a substitute fill once more.

I walk through the valley of shadows, death, rain, and clouds, it's cold here. I don't know where I am and how I came down this path. My beloved saves me, he pulls me in and banishes all that vies for my attention, my search to be loved, to be held close forever and ever. It is you Jesus, who had been pierced for my weakness and vulnerable state, consequence taken for my wayward heart so easily lured. My name is etched forever in your hands, an imprint of my body and heart that mars and scars your innocent hands. Forever you will hold me, those eyes who has seen my wretched heart and loved me still.

"You were reaching through the storm, walking on the water, even when I could not see. In the middle of it all, when I thought you were a thousand miles away, Not for a moment did you forsake me. After all, you are constant, after all, you are all only good, after all, you are sovereign. Not for a moment, will you forsake me.
You were singing in the dark, whispering your promise, even when I could not hear, I was held in your arms, carried for a thousand miles to shore. Not for a moment did you forsake me".

Friday, March 15, 2013

Boys that make me cry

There was once a time, when lots of boys could make me cry for reasons a lot less than spilled milk.  The first time a boy made me cry was in first grade, his name is George Heimrich. I think I talked about him in other entries, the boy with the big brown eyes and brown hair, and he had a sweet mom that made me Christmas cookies and valentine cakes. He once made me cry because he wasn't as nice to me as he had been, this would've or could've been the first and last lesson I have learned in heartbreak. Then from that day forward, no boy would ever break my heart, but the problem with the heart is, it wants what it wants, even when nothing makes sense, not your motive, situation or even the object of your hearts desire.

It was a long time coming before my true heart break and the boy that made me cry for years until I finally grew out of my pubescent years. It was so overarching a season, I'm not quite sure if I had healed from the break up or if I had actually grown out of it by the numbers of years that passed and that I became a whole another human being. He had been the bane of my existence for the longest period of time but I almost have a fondness for him, like a dysfunctional attachment a captor has for her kidnapper. Over time, it becomes the new norm, so that your psyche does not break.

I really thought that the days of crying over boys were long behind me...but more than ever, the boys that have entered my life recently and the boys that have been the pillar of my every day life for years have been the greatest source of sorrow and loss these days. I realize the boys of the dating and friendships past had only been a tip of the iceberg of what kind of testing the men in my life would put me through into my mid thirties. I thought I was done with winning and keeping their affections, wanting more than they can ever possibly give me in filling my love tank, but still expecting it because I don't want it from anyone else but my chosen ones. I love you, you damn boys that make me cry, and this is precisely the reason why you're able to elicit crying from me.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Free bird Cured

There was a long time where I thought I would live over seas, not for missions or anything of substance, but just to be away from here. I knew in the back of my mind, in the new place of settlement, that exotic faraway place would melt into an ordinary scene of day old Croissants, diminished flavor in spices and eventually every language and culture would have made me cringe just like the ugly Americans. I had wanderlust in my heart, and not the pretty, glitter peppered posters, with a far away sun in the background of a field of flowers. The kind you would typically find in Free People catalogs with bohemian girls in gauzy dresses, but the kind of wanderlust that made me feel lost and misunderstood, the kind that made me lose purpose, lose heart. I felt like a caged bird and everyone I knew, the community I belonged to, the responsibilities I had, each represented a bar that contained me.

I'm not sure what did it....maybe it's the kind of phenomenon that "Red" talks about in Shawshank Redemption. "These prison walls are funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them. That's institutionalized." I don't want to think that I was institutionalize or call the people I'm beginning to depend on, trust on and love on, institutions to keep me out of trouble, or worse yet, fly to my true home. But on the other hand, I think I was made to stay put at one place for a long time...I feel like my twenties was the longest decade yet because there wasn't much change in scenery or people. After awhile, the cage is dissolving and I'm beginning to appreciate this place as home, then as a bird, makes me want to nest in it.

The other day, I had an out of body, out mind experience of actually texting and emailing a few girls that live near by to have more play dates in the future. What's got into me? I don't reach out and corral people together to form lasting communities and friendships, but it's beginning to dawn on me that this is my home and I'm not going any where. It isn't to say that I'm making the most of it, and calling these prison walls my home because I have another 50 to serve in the big house, but I'm genuinely missing my people when I don't see them on a regular basis. Perhaps it's also dawning on me that this is what God meant when He commanded us to love, and that I've been in love with the idea of Romance instead of Love. Love is the kind that happens everyday, unnoticed and un-glamorous, and on most days, un-fun, but the big return of love over romance is that it is deeply seeded and grows into the biggest and the tallest oak tree for generations to find. On the other hand, romance, although makes a whole entire garden a place of rest and inspiration for awe, which is valid in itself, but will whither in time. There is a season and a place for the all the romantic, grand gestures of love, but today, I will plant trees.

Image: www.amyrosegibson.com 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Year of Discipline Reprised

Today, I reread my blog on My Year of Discipline 2013, and this is just the thing I was afraid of! Failure. I don't think my failure has been glaring to anyone, I certainly hope not, but I have had more than one or two cheat days touching on all of the disciplines I had pursued this year. What's more embarrassing is that it's only March. Two days into March at that, so... if I plug that into an algorithm, I kept with this up for exactly one month, or maybe even less...In the past, I may have found myself in a puddle somewhere in one of our closets, most likely my walk in closet since there's most room in there, and allowing J to find his mom lying down in tears in the tiny baby closet isn't the kind of "humor" I'd like to encourage. Since the year has started, I have lied in my closet and cried on the phone with my friends, brother and pastor, in that order and all in one sitting, but that has nothing to do with this. Alternately, I may have scrapped the whole plan because if I can't be perfect at it, it needs to be deleted. Alt d

I'm 35 years old this year and I feel as though I'm a little bit wiser in how to grow...I think. I stopped expecting perfection from myself somewhere along the way. When there is very little wiggle room to even start sprouting roots, stems, leaves and eventually fruit when you shut yourself in an airtight plan. I think I'm beginning to realize that I'm not a cyborg, like some people tell me I am, but I'm actually human. That seems like such an obvious observation, but somehow I expected robotic perfection in everything I do. "I want to be perfect!" I actually use to say that all the time in my twenties and just up until last year. What also helps is that, having a child cures you of anything perfect; cleanliness of your home, your carpet, your clothes, how I keep our schedule, keep productive, grammar and above all else, the upkeep of my nails. If I ever get to painting my nails, there's just no time to dry them before J asks to be pick up and feed him a bowl of cereal. I know right? What does he think I am? A robot?

Regardless, when I was in my twenties, I couldn't wait to be thirty because when you're thirty, you are at your peak in physical beauty and prowess, you're intelligent, wise, funny, independent, honest and taller. When I finally turned thirty, I found none of these in my stack of birthday gifts, and especially not the taller part...How disappointing. I concluded that it had to be achieved slowly and work toward all of those things while you are you right at this moment, and eventually you will find yourself there, whatever your age. I'm not saying that I've arrived and 35 is the year that was promised to me, but I'm glad to say that I've cut myself, and others, a little slack. Now to rope it in and still have discipline...before I eat this whole chocolate bar...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Encourage Beauty: Love of My parents


Today, my parents celebrate their 36th anniversary, yeah, do the math, I'm a honeymoon baby. over the course of my 35 years of watching their marriage interaction, I wasn't jumping into my own nuptials with eager feet. We had a happy childhood, previledge in seasons, famine in others, but mostly just happy. I rarely recount the days when you had nothing and moving around the world with all of your possession in a suitcase because I had my parents. My parents were in love when they got married, she was the beauty of the office and my dad was the goof with a charm the pants off of you. He was a quick thinker and he knew that my mom was a gem when he pursued a girl 10 years younger than he was. When they tell me of their dating days, its not like the typical stories of immigrant Korean parents, who entered into their marriage by class, education, or arrangement, but they had fun together. He took her to baseball games, they went to the zoo, he bought her candy I'm sure of it because he has the worst sweet tooth. He puts a piece of chocolate in my milk for crying out loud.

My dad is a free spirit and he likes a bit of adventure, so he took us on a long trip over my 18 years of life, moving every four years. Gaining new friends, losing them, then finding a new home and losing that too. Overall, my father is a weeping poet, with a tender heart for people and easily wooed and easily angered. He made us laugh, took us on trips, and bought my brother every toy there is to purchase in a small boutique store. In turn, the place his passionate love for beauty and love arise, wrath, sensitivity and ruin comes to him on the same coin. My mom is the strong one. She is lovely in frame and face, she grew up precious and charmed, it shows in her serene spirit. If she were frail, I don't know if she would have survived my father's tourential storms, while protecting us too. 

No one in this day in age survives this long in a marriage so committed and forgiving. I don't think we saw half the battles won and lost hidden from our innocent eyes, but I know that they couldn't have fought in front of us exclusively, but they had silences, long conversations, forgiveness, frailty and rising in strength when we weren't looking. They have been a foundation of stability when my brother and I had no wear to land our feet. I'm blessed to watch a marriage bloom into it's mature seasons, ever evolving, covering with love, the failure of the other, the messy, stumbling, and getting back up. How could we ever know to mend broken relationships without throwing them away, if we hadn't watch them patch things up? If they only appeared perfect, covering up and pretending?

I love you Mom and Dad! Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Encourage Beauty

March is apparently Encourage Beauty month, which is perfect timing because this is the time our "Roll away the stone" girls take on 40 days of love. This would fit in perfectly and would kill many birds with one beauty. Here is the link of the details and downloadables if you want to participate. Courtesy of In Honor of Design.

"People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone."- Audrey Hepburn


Heaven On Earth

After two years, I still think about what happened with KCC and how my place in their fold had been cut off after just three years. I was ready to fully commit to the kids, the parents and making sure we have the best day games since the year before. I was ready to grow old there and make my life a part of theirs because we were in fact family. There is nothing corrupted in my love for the kids and there was nothing more pure in my intentions than my place there. It was all for them and nothing for me, although I do feel like I gained a whole lot more than they did at times. I wondered why God had given me such great pleasure on earth, only to take it away without notice or reason.

I tried to rationalize it in order to accept my fate, telling myself that God only gave them to me for the duration of the time I was waiting for my adoption. It was to keep me occupied and soften the bleakness of the long wait that all adoptive parents would experience in their process. It was all perfect, I began my adoption story in part, because of them and I ended my adoption story just as my time at KCC has been muddled by miscommunication and hurt feelings. Now to think of it, there was no reason why I should have ever lost KCC, everything was on a personal level. But still, it didn't all settle in neatly because why would He take a way such an innocent thing as camp, but still allow me to have an on going deep relationship with the kids, counselors and some parents. It didn't make any sense to me why He would take a way just one week with them out of the year, but give me a the whole year to maintain my relationship with them. Yeah, sounds convoluted to me too, and I'm not even sure I'm making any sense any more.

As I was reading my Book, THE book, the journey of Desire by John Eldredge, he was describing a ranch in Oregon that he thought was heaven on earth. At the end of the tour, he thought to himself "I can live without God out here," and this is precisely why he prevented him from possessing that ranch. Even something so innocent and pure, needs to be offered up to Him who knows our deepest desires and understands them. He gives us pleasure beyond what we ever deserve because when he was fully human, he knew hunger, grief, joy, desire, and passion. He isn't deadened to human frailty because he's God almighty, but he knows and he wants us to experience pleasure on earth, that's why he created them. Often times Christians live a life veering into asceticism because we are afraid what our passions would do to us. If we start to desire, who will know when to stop the human hunger for pleasure? One glass of wine to enjoy turns into a bottle, a morsel of chocolate into eating a whole pie in one sitting, then what's more, an intimate conversation that leads to wanting intimacy all the time. Human desire that will not just enjoy what is good, but human desire can easy devour anything to fill our void.

I always though that if God knew what I really wanted in life, he would either take it away from me or wouldn't give it to me in the first place. That happiness, contentment, security, and a deep sense of community would never come to me on earth because God was someone responsible for not spoiling me as a good Father. And, because I can take it.  But that's not true, every thing that is beautiful, tasty, everything that smells good, everything that is passionate, dynamic and profound is created for us to enjoy. He made his creation full of it and even an over whelming wastefulness, in how he made things beautiful and all things wonderful. Maybe KCC was the beautiful thing I had to consecrate to God, because I was loving it too much, the danger of Camp was that I had not want for anything in the world but them. I forget the world when I'm with them. Trusting God to them because I can only love too much and finding maybe in the end that I would possess them and covet them in ways that would corrupt them. That maybe why our group of counselors that were so close haven't all been together in a long time, I loved them too much.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Desire

There's always a pattern or an echo to what God is trying to tell me in a season of life. It comes from my heart, a happenstance, a song, or sermon, but it's repeated to me so that I won't miss it. Then I know God is trying to tell me something important. Recently, I had a friend give me a book called The Journey of Desire: searching for the life we've only dreamed of, by John Eldredge. There are only a few books that I can say with all honesty, have changed my life and freed me from whatever foolish perspective holding me captive. This is one. Growing up, my mom would always say, "you have no desire" but in Korean, the word "yok-shim" has more of a connotations than just desire or greed, it encompasses all sorts of desire; greedy ones, the kind you have when you're protecting what's already yours, the ones you dream of, etc. My mom meant that I don't really WANT things in life...I don't dare ask for or dream for myself.

This seems like the path a good faithful Christian girl should take, always content, but more like subdued from her desires and passions. I think most of us live like this, where we want to deaden our desires, less we are inflamed by the passion of it. Wanting makes us vulnerable to disappointment, frustration, sin and well, desire un-fulfilled, but killing our hunger only makes us weak in every way. We don't sin big, so we fool ourselves into thinking that we're doing alright, but the same desire for sex, drugs and rock and roll is the desire we would have for God, it's just misplaced. When we supress and concerned only with sin management, we feel nothing, we have diminished passion and desires. With diminished passions and desire, we can't know of great sorrow or great joy, we just become nice and innocuous (excerpt from Screwtape Letters, paraphrased). At least when we sin big, we come to see our fallen state and come to God in the end. However, when we live the "big brother" life in the prodigal son story, we miss the point and miss the embrace of our Father.

Last night I was reading a health magazine that my gym sends us as a perk, and the content was eerily similar. Although it didn't quite say that our desires for other things are desires misplaced from  God, the article mentioned a"almost-depression" we get into, not sad but not happy either. We can't experience anything at all because are afraid to set ourselves up for failure, for disappointment. Not expecting much out of life, friends, families, your lover, your self and telling yourself, "I didn't really want it anyways," all in efforts to protect ourselves from the great fall. For years now, I think I've lived like this, in a blah state of almost-depressed, living life colorless, emotionless and without too great of a fall from absolute bliss. I was afraid to feel, I was afraid to say things I absolutely believed and I'm not talking about absolute truths, but opinions, preferences, outlook because I was tired of the backlash I was getting from nay-sayers and people telling me, "it's too much!"

There is a way of having our desires healed, because it's there for worship of God. We also want to do things, having a desire to write, to dance, to sing, golf, play football because all of these things are the manifestation of God's creativity. I want to live out my desire, in the talents he gave me and in worship of Him who gives me the reason to live. Amen.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Getting off Heroin

The last three years I've been taking a drug called Cymbalta and I'm sure most people have seen varied versions of the commercial, the indications ranging from depression, anxiety, and back pains. My Sleep doctor is the one that prescribed Cymbalta to me and sure enough, I did get my nights back in restful sleep, but I can no longer, cry, laugh or feel anything beyond what a Stepford wife would feel, pretty much nothing. This made me feel numb to everything and everyone around me, I am less effective in ministry, my devotional life and desiring God had lessened to nil. So, this year, along with everything I'm cutting out, like sugar (sad face), booze, dairy and gluten, I wanted to phase off of Cymbalta.  Like most pharmaceutical companies and doctors, they rattle off a laundry list of side affects but never the withdrawal symptoms. I began researching ways to ween off my drug, I had stumbled upon a forum for desperate people trying to get off this crazy train.

The forum sounded like a narcotics recovery site, where people are sharing stories of their withdrawal symptoms and encouraging one another to keep pressing on. The withdrawal symptoms that were mentioned sounded like this: nausea, diarrhea, chills, runny nose, sweating, insomnia, aches and pains in the muscles and joints/ flu symptoms, extreme restlessness, yawning, abdominal cramps. Many patients also experience psychological symptoms including anxiety and depression, with severe cravings for the drug, and a certain "brain buzz." It's a feeling that is difficult to describe but when I saw those two words, I felt validated and understood. It does feel like a buzz, an electric pulse going through your brain and inside of your mouth. Incidentally, I looked up withdrawal symptoms for Heroin addicts because someone had mentioned that many of the symptoms coincide with Cymbalta addicts. It was true, it was almost exactly the same!

Currently, I am on 60 mg every three days, trying to go through three whole days until the evening of the third day to take my dose. I look forward and yearn for that moment for days and the next morning, I feel light, clear, back on my A game, and yet again, empty. I know the withdrawal symptoms are worth fighting through because on the off days, I'm able to feel sympathetic again, live life again and even though I'm beginning to cry at the drop of a hat, I feel like toxins are coming out my tears. It feels good to feel human again.

Monday, February 11, 2013

99 problems...

My pattern with girls is that they pursue me really hard in the beginning and many times Hans will say, "This girl is gonna cause you trouble..." okay no, he actually says, "She's crazy." He's always right when it comes to his disernment about people. I know he doesn't express it in the most wisest or gracious way, but they're always right (like how Mia can tell about people). I ignore him every time and I dive deep into a intimate and close relationship with them, but as soon as they're let into my life for a bit, they will start pushing me away, testing me, talking bad about me and even spreading crazy untrue rumors about me. The common complains I get from the girls are eerily similar.... "I don't feel like you need me, you have other friends," "I  don't feel special because I feel like you treat other people like this," "I don't feel as close to you when I see you with other people,"  "Are we okay? (when there's NOTHING wrong with our relationship)." They eventually lash out at me because they're so frustrated, maybe at my confusion or my dismissal of how they feel, but I'm genuinely perplexed.

Do I make people feel like I've fallen out of love with them or I'm using them for a period of time? Like they're a piece of fruity gum that often loses flavor faster than those minty ones? Am I that guy that makes every girl feel like they're the special ones and they were the only ones that got him to open up to them? Eventually, these girls find out that he's been nice to other girls and treating them just the same and some grow sad, some grow angry, and then there are the truly crazy ones that want to ruin you. I've wondered about these questions and even asked my close friends these questions because I'm the obvious common denominator here and I'm beginning to question, maybe they weren't crazy before I met them, maybe I'm driving them crazy. Then we agree that they have a pattern too! Where they really don't have any other friends or they sabatoge the relationships they DO have.

Even though I've identified this pattern in my friendships with girls, I'm still duped into these kinds of friendships all the time. I'm a sucker for them, a certain kind of broken girls or maybe I'm just stupid. They don't love me, they just like the idea of me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

blah blah blah

I've never really ever sat down to blog with nothing particular in mind, and as you can see, I don't even know what to call this entry. For the last 8 or 9 months, I've been so busy running around and running after my little wild thing that I rarely have the physical energy (yes, even to sit up and move my little fingers around) and the mental energy left to say what I want. On occasion I watch a movie or an episode of Hart of Dixie and find it particularly profound and I make a mental note to blog later, but when that later comes, I completely forget what I was thinking at the time. I just know I had a thought.

I always thought that mommy brain happens because you push a whole entire person through your small hush hush part and it kills all of your brain cells in the process, but that's not it at all. You juggle everything you did prior to this little one and the million things your little wild thing requests and requires through out the day, and you feel a little jumbled in your brain. So you no longer use word like...oh I don't know...a fancy big word you use to know and now you use words like jumbled, juggle, and use phrases like, "like..you know..." However, I would like to believe that I still have a will and a sense of humor even though I am a victim of mommy brain (a severe one might I add) and that one day I would like to be able to say that I am a survivor of mommy brain. Even though I can no longer read books without reading the same line twice per average (so that means sometimes more) and blogging isn't as deep, poetic or even intelligible, I can at least write something down to plow through this having-young-kids-stage of my life.

Can I ask readers, that you would just look the other way if I continuously make grammatical errors and my sentences don't make much sense. We can get through this together.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

2013: A year of Discipline

This might come a little too late, with February coming around the corner and all, but I am finally ready to say it out loud. I want to live a life of discipline. There I said it and although I was afraid of saying it out loud because I didn't want anyone trying to keep me in line or anything horrible like that, so I kept it to myself. I think I was a little bit afraid also because I am such a perfectionist with some things and with goals I set, I need to accomplish them perfectly.

So here's the thing, I'm attempting several disciplines this year for discipline sake, so that when it comes to resisting spiritual and carnal temptations, I am discipline enough to resist and overcome.

1. Meal Plan: I signed up with a well known bikini pro to custom plan my meals. She has me eating 5 meals a day, all including some kind of protein and a whole bunch of vegetables. There are no carbs, sugar, gluten, fruit, or cheat days. It's a painful commitment to the end and the end comes in July when my brother gets married.

2. Nixing the booze: So if all that wasn't enough to cut out of my consumption, I cut out alcohol for the whole entire year. That means, even at my birthday and my brother's wedding, I am going to resist the all-consuming temptation to down a few glasses. I really wanted this year to be a year of spiritual growth and I want to be fully awake and aware of all the changes that will occur spiritually, physically and mentally. Not that if I wasn't abstaining from alcohol, I would be looking at my life through a drunken haze most of my days, but its the posture of focus and attention I want to evoke.

3. Word: Reading and meditating daily hasn't been any where near what I want or need, but I want to read the Bible and pray as much as I can this year. I have this eery suspicion that I'm gonna need it. (biting my nails)

4. Reflection and Remembering: I'm part of a 15 month group that reflects on various parts of my past and how I think about the world. Then a part of that 15 month is a 40 days of Love, which I am a little afraid to know what it entails, but that's where the discipline comes in (along with all this blogging and thinking I made to do :p)

Rolling away the Stone: Part Womanhood

I think I am the product of my ancestor, Confucius; Women are secondary to men and we only serve as the support for them. My parents are pretty contemporary in their thinking and they are different from most first generation Korean parents. However, they love tradition and keeping what is culturally traditional gives my father a sense of pride, a connection to his roots and a foundation at his feet. This bleeds into his child rearing and he had double standards for his daughter and son. When I was coming home at 10 pm my senior year in high school, my brother, who was 2 years younger than me exited the home just to begin his night. I was never allowed to sleep over any one's house but my brothers spent a lot of time sleeping, eating, living and playing at the neighbors on most weekends.

On the flip side, my father loves his wife and when he discovered his first child was a daughter, he was elated. He wanted me to be educated, independent and use my gifts to be happy and not depend on others and especially not a husband. Unlike many Korean parents who are known to push the field of medicine, law or accounting, he pushed me to pursue art because he genuinely thought I was gifted. He thought me precious and innocent, called me his Audrey Hepburn growing up, I was the apple of his eye.

Just like this, I had so many different dueling messages as a child, it was difficult to balance what they were telling me (which seemed like mixed messages at the time, but makes more sense now) and the message I was getting from the girls and boys at school (and we all know what kinds of messages we got from school).

What they taught me:

Dad: That was precious and loved, I could do anything through education and experience. I am talented, funny and beautiful. My father gave me a lot of confidence in who I am...

Mom: I wish my mom was more vocal with who I was. She would say "aren't you the princess of our family?" once in a while, but she didn't tell me what I looked like specifically. What strengths I had and what I can grow up to be as a woman. She loved me through actions and she definitely treated me like her princess.

Brother:  My brother taught me a lot about how I should be treated even though he's two years younger than me. He and I grew up best friends and by the time we were both in college, we would stay up till 5 am talking about "life." He made me laugh and he always told me things like "I was thinking about this the other day, and I think I have the best sister..." He had no reason to flatter me and all of his wonderful and lovely thoughts about me made me have a lot of confidence.

Boys: I was oblivious when boys liked me...I would always hear things and I was often the object for grand gestures, but it never really registered to me that I had this power over them until I was already married. I was completely naive and didn't much care for boys, but the boys I really did care about broke my heart. There were only a handful (maybe just two) but they really dismantaled the delicate structure of how I viewed myself along with all the worth and value my family invested into me.

Hans: I don't require much, but Hans definitely has gone as far as the eye can see with spoiling his wife. It's been ten years and he still calls me "kitty" and still thinks I'm the prettiest girl in school :) He has taught me that nothing is that bad when I'm with him or when I'm outside my head...that I'm too hard on myself. That I am truly a white swan and not the black swan I claim to be.....and although I've rebelled, I've squandered some years, some relationships and money, I am a fool at times and fooled many a times, I am still innocent.

Jude: He is teaching me another part of being a woman...that side that is tender, but harder still, the part about being patient and long suffering. He is teaching me what it is to love someone without condition, without earning, merit or even reason....just because he's my child and that's all the reason I need.