Saturday, January 24, 2009


A dumpling is a flattened piece of dough wrapped around a mixture of goodness, sometimes with meat and sometimes just veggies. Sometimes, in my house, with chocolate.
I think this house is a dumpling in a way... pieces of wood and metal and plaster and whatever else is involved, wrapped around a mixture of goodness. Laughing parents, children running around and shrieking with joy, husbands and fathers talking and chillaxing and wives and mothers bantering with each other, kneading the dough and exchanging the latest gossip about secret recipes and outrageous sales, and of course Obama and his administration. I hear some jokes about aging, stories of a recent close family members' battle with cancer, wisdom laced with humor and solemnity of how beauty doesn't fade with years, nostalgic remarks about how their daughters are growing into women before their eyes... Compliments are thrown this way and that, yet they're all filled with such sincerity and love toward one another - this one about how one's most recent deal from the mall compliments her so well, that one directed toward her husband, "Look at your wife! Isn't she gorgeous?" Discussions, both frivolous and serious, about cruises and camping trips, and about what relationships look like in heaven, meld together with Canon in D played by my sister downstairs into a beautiful symphony of fellowship. 

Just four years ago, two of these people were not Christian, another two lived a couple hundred miles away, and another two were in a battle against a life threatening illness. Now, there's a newly adopted child in a family that was facing so much turmoil, and parents who had resisted their daughter's pleas to look to God are now talking joyfully about the New Jerusalem... Still more miracles have turned their faces now to the sun, and that makes sense when you think about it. The Son is their source to begin with.

Hearing all the chatter and the sounds of the kitchen, I wonder, what is my life going to look like 10, 20, 30 years from now? Hahah, maybe it's better that I let go of all the wonderings that I have and just live. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

James 3. And, Concerning Epicness and Leaky Faucets (Or Water Balloons).

This is a post about my thoughts on 1.21.09 - and a disclaimer, this post does in fact reflect me at my fullest and not so fullest, complete with excerpts of streams-of-past-consciousness/journal-scribbling* and all. As people who read my blog may already know, whoever y'all are (hey drop a hi if you haven't yet, I'd like to stalk you know who you are), this is indeed a blog that holds my thoughts and ramblings, be them reflections or revelations or straight up randomness. So, um, sorry if it's not what you're looking for... That's ok, because it's the world wide web and it can do anything. Except for the things it can't do. 

A two part story - one about something so wild and untameable that the one who is able to bridle it is given the title 'Perfect'... the other about something crystalline, glistening with an unfathomable pureness, because well, it is (quite unfathomable).

How can fresh and salt water come from the same spring? Only if there are 2 sources to the spring. OMG there's a demon* living in my body and it's me - I am God's enemy!** But God has made me his friend! Not only that but his daughter! Not only that but his bride!!! That's kind of unbelievable, except it's true.

This passage especially tore at my heart that day... I am often so uncareful with my words to others, particularly my family, and at that moment, my sister. How can blessings and cursings come from the same mouth? How can both a word that lifts up and a word that tears down come from the same mouth? Only if there are 2 sources... and how can someone serve two masters? He can only love the one and despise the other...

And as to wisdom... Wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one that doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

I read this after Cattoma urged me to. She said "Hey! This next section is about wisdom - what we talked about yesterday!*" And so I did, not at all realizing how much God would reveal to me in the process... As a quick back-story, one of the prayer requests that I had up to that point (and still have) is for wisdom. Wisdom, basically, in knowing how to live according to God's will... so I went to this passage expecting to just find what I'd found there the other times I'd read it. Little did I know, of course as I usually don't know, how much God had in store...

Even before I opened my Bible, God started speaking to me (and why would He be limited to a book anyway? :P) The whole day, I'd been feeling something akin to a water balloon that was going to pop. And as a sidenote, that has nothing to do with bodily functions - it's just the analogy I thought of at that time :|

So I went to my room and randomly flipped to Jan 18 on a Daily Prayers for China calendar... it landed on "The City of Chengdu". And my thought was this - God, how could you have used me so? How could I ever have deserved to work alongside you in that way? I'll do all the menial work, I'll sweep and clean the ground, because that's the closest thing to which I feel worthy... Yet God said to me, 'Child, even that is still working alongside me. I am there with you all the while... clearing the paths, readying the fields...' There is no task too great or too small in God's story.

Then the next thought that came to me was how much I love my parent, and how nothing I can ever do will repay them! What can I do then? I want to honor them and make them happy! How much more then would I ever be able to repay God? And how much more, more, more! do I want to please him?

I asked God how, why? Why of all creatures did you choose us humans? Why of all humans did you choose me? The hardest people, the murderers, you formed them in their mothers' wombs. The innocent child, the most loving and most hating... God you were the one who hardened Pharaoh's heart... Why then? Why did you choose me? You could have so easily hardened my heart too... and all for your glory!

The water balloon that was my heart that day - I realized how it was filled so much with tears of remorse... for the wastefulness that I saw as my life (at least parts of it. that sounds so depressing huh :P ), the terrible stewardship of what God's given to me. I looked sometimes at my actions and saw a big red stamp screaming "EPIC FAIL". Well, I don't know if it's really fail, but it's definitely epic. As fairytale and epic and adventurous my dreams (literally those REM dreams) may be, they cannot ever compare to the epicness of God's glory and of the story that He writes...

All God did in response to all my questions and tight throatedness (much like that of a frog, as I'd imagine it) was hold me in His arms... and that's all and more than I ever needed and need and will need... He allowed me a little glimpse of His everlasting love for me... haha and that's probably as much as I could have handled at that time too. Any more and I probably would have burst. Instead I just leaked a lot (again, nothing about bodily functions) Yea, I was pretty emotional... (God can use anything for His glory! Even PMS. :| ) and somewhere from the depths of my puddles came this thought - Jesus was an emotional man. 

My only clearly understandable response was this - I can't understand how glorious God is, no matter how much I ramble about it. That's awesome! That He's too awesome for comprehension. And that's awesome! That He allows us to have little glimpses of Him! Thank you God, only your hands would let me leak so beautifully. Not that I'm beautifully leaking, but that these tears are in awe of you... My smallest and my largest... they can only be beautiful when they're for you. 

Mamama, thanks for 'telling me something quick' :) This was another instance in life when a wisp of a butterfly's wings lead to an awe-ful hurricane.

And here's a song that popped up on my WMP earlier - it describes God's love so wonderfully...
What If?
Jadon Lavik
What if I climbed that mountain? What if I swam to that shore? What if every battle were victorious? Then would you love me more? Would you love me more?

What if I were everyone's first choice? What if I went farther than before? What if I stood high above the rest? Then would you love me more? Would you love me more?

You say I belong to you apart from the things I do. You say I belong to you, I'm in awe of why you do, why you do, why you do.. I'm in awe of you.

What if I ignored the hand that fed me? What if I forgot to confess? What if I stumbled down that mountain? Then would you love me less? Lord, would you love me less?

What if I were everyone's last choice? What if I'm mixed in with the rest? What if I fail what I passed before? Then would you love me less? Lord, would you, would you love me less? Oh no oh no oh no...

You say I belong to you apart from the things I do. You say I belong to you, I'm in awe of why you do, you do you do you do...

What have I done to deserve your Son sent to die for me? What can I give? I wanna live! Give me eyes to see! The world that keeps changing there's one thing that I know is true. Your love is staying, there's nothing else I hold on to. 

You say I belong to you apart from the things I do. You say I belong to you, I'm in awe of why you do, why you do.

You say I belong to you apart from the things I do. You say I belong to you, I'm in awe of why you do... I'm in awe of you, I'm in awe of you...

The way you love me... The way you do... The way you do, the way you love... You love me, you love me! The way you do, the way you do, the way you love me! The way you love...

* edited for the general population 
** from MNO - God was our greatest enemy until He made us His friends

Great Quotes

My brother:
- "I like girls!"
- "I'll marry 露露姐姐!"

My sister:
- (To me) "You look hunky!"
- "Nooooo that's a compliment!"
- "One time, I stabbed myself with a candy cane and my tongue started bleeding"
- "I did not stab myself! I just said I stabbed myself."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Security Blankets [a long and rambly ramble]

Almost all kids have one at some point in their lives. For some it's an actual blanket, for others maybe a stuffed animal - some have an article of clothing, a favorite toy, a lucky coin or number, an accessory or even a routine. For me it was a little wooden baseball bat strung on a red cord, and it fit nicely in my 3 year old mouth. I don't know where it is anymore, but I do remember wearing that around my neck a little too much. And oh the irony, since I, um, dislike/can'tfollow/whathaveyou baseball.

Most people let that go and move onto bigger and better things in life, like family, friends, education, career, status... But every once in a while, they join the countless others who indulge in a small, suppressed reminisce back to the safety of their blankets long ago...

And for what? For the security of knowing, knowing that even though you may not know, you are safe and sound, because nothing can remove you from the bosom of Security Blanket, of Teddy Bear. And so so often, most especially now, they look back through that pane of glass called memory and wonder - where has it all gone?

No matter how old we are, we yearn for security - whether in the form of a piece of fabric, or a parent's arms, or a carefully planned account of savings. Yet in times like now and in all times unlike now, security can vanish. So quickly, the fruit of a life's work can whither away, a flower in full bloom can be swept away by the wind. Security, whether physical or emotional, can easily crumble.

It's so sad how castles filled with precious treasures of hope and happiness and longing are often built with frail shavings of wood upon seas of sand. Come the storm and waves, a strong wind or a gentle breeze, even a butterfly's softest movement, and it will fall, burying with it its precious, irreplaceable and irreparable treasures... And it's so heartbreaking to see it happen. You see the waves coming. You can see even the individual molecules of air move, one by one, rumbling slowly toward the impending destruction that seems so unavoidable. And when it hits, it all comes crashing down, piece by broken piece until sand and wood and hope and happiness are all indistinguishable in the aftermath of despair.

The only source of true security is the Cornerstone, the Solid Rock on which to stand. It stretches beyond the reaches of economic hardship, beyond the depths of a despairing heart, past anything that shakes our lives in this world and beyond it. The impossible stains that are washed away never have a chance of coming back, no matter how terrible or afraid or weak we are. The vast, grey  span of Unknown in our future will never have a chance of outdarkening, smudging, even casting the slightest shadow on the glorious, radiant, and decidedly sure future that Dad has in store for us. The most emotionally, physically, mentally painful moments or journeys or even lifetimes that we may face... they will never outdo, even shift the balance at all, of the incredible and humanly impossible healing that Jehovah-Rophe, our Comforter, Strengthener, Sanctifier can and loves to bestow upon us. Because nothing, neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What security I've been blessed so graciously with, I can't ever pay back... I've barely seen a shadow of despair in my own life, only a subtle ripple of its presence, and only reflections of unfathomable (for me) grief in the lives of others. I've been blessed to be wrapped in the arms of safety and shelteredness, and for how much longer I don't know. But oh that if this spoils me, allows me to nurture any more this ugly thing called pride... It's foolish though to hope for trouble. Rather, I hope for a melting of my heart even more...

It's alright to look back to your security blanket! There is no shame in admitting that sometimes we can't do it all. There is no shame in admitting we want security, and that what we do on our own cannot suffice... in fact, it's the truth, and there is no shame in the truth. I hope that all can have this security that can be found nowhere else.

As a sidenote, I wonder, what would an infomercial for God be like?
[originally posted 1/16-2:14]

Friday, January 16, 2009

On Growing Up (pt2)

露露姐姐! I can button my pants now! I'm all growned up!
Yep, that's right everyone. You're all grown up once you can button your own pants.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pet Peeve

- something that is insignificant, is experienced by all, and only annoys the stuffings out of certain people. 

Why in the world are they called pet peeves? I thought pets were something you liked. Hi everybody, this is my pet peeve - my peeve that is my pet? My pet that is a peeve? My peevish pet. Or maybe it's pettish peeve. Bah, whatever. I'm feeling peevish right now. And this is my venting post. Sorry :/

- Hair on clothing. And furniture. And the ground. And walls. And bathrooms. HAAAAIRRRRRR!!!! Everybody should be bald. There are plenty of other ways to keep your head warm, and PETA will probably come after me now.
- Lead that isn't quite held firmly by the little lead holders in mechanical pencils, so that when you write they make this little swishy sound and twist around in its socket. Usually because it's not long enough to be held by the holder thing. AAHHHHH!
- Lead that breaks every time you touch it ever so gently to the paper.
- Lead that comes out waaay too much on a single click. Bad design, bad design!!!! 
- Pens that write in clumps. Yea, what? Why are you writing in clumps? 
- Misspellings. Especially of "you're", "your", "they're", "there", "their", etc...
- Songs like this and this. Dude, leave him and his girlfriend alone! Get your own boyfriend if you're so desperate you sorry child. I really don't understand why these songs are so popular... Taylor goes swiftly from tears on her guitar to lemme snatch you away from her. *shakes head
- Bandwagoners. Kind of like current fans of Snuggie and Twilight (Why is there a soundtrack for this movie? It had the worst movie music I've ever heaaard AHHH). Actually Twilight should be in a bullet point itself.
- Brain farts. Like this post. 

Also, an interesting point to note:


Hmm... fishy

And in honor of cool and not so cool hats:

And last but not least,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus - He has washed away all my stains, and replaced my soiled, hopeless life with his own, perfect and gracious.

Haha - it's funny, the things revealed during even mundane tasks like laundry...

Oh, the impossibility of removing deeply set stains... no matter how much you soap, bleach, scrub, or point radioactive waves at it, it will not go away! Not that I tried all the above... I was actually frustrated to the point of tears (granted, I think I'm pretty emotional today to begin with) and the only viable options I saw were to
1. throw it away and get a new one!
2. cut out the stained area and replace it with something else
because honestly, these had been there for a reaaally long time and they were NOT going to be washed out today.

Anyway, as I was scrubbing [angrily and really confusedly, b/c why the hey am I getting so upset over stained clothing???] in the washroom, it suddenly Dawned on me in a voice loud and clear, yet so soft and gentle, even though I had not listened in so long,

"What can wash away your stains?"

And the response - "Nothing! Nothing, but the blood of Jesus."

The impossibility of removing deeply set stains... stains that had been there since birth and well before, that had been ignored and added upon, glanced over and soaked in hot water - stains that will never come out, no matter how hard I soap, bleach, scrub, or radioactivate... an impossibility that is only overcome by Him who gives me strength...

And so, the tears came falling, no longer tears of frustration, but tears of gratitude beyond what words could describe...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths. Prov 3:5-6

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cold Feet

That phrase has many meanings... sometimes they are to be taken literally. There is a reason I love socks and slippers so much, and that reason is Minnesocold.

A chain of whopping subzero highs all week until Friday. At least it's sunny while we're at it.

Plans for today:
- Make some lunch!
- Clean
- Personal Statement draft 2
- Internship Applicationing
- Fillings part 1
- Calculus Tutoring

Why do I have so many split ends? I just cut my hair too... Merr :/

Oh, and in response to my own post down thar, one glove does have some uses!!! Unfortunately, those only seem to work for rubber gloves and not knitted ones.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Proposal of Purpose

I lost one glove today. Left glove is faithfully warming my left hand, while right glove is sitting somewhere, lonely and cold, in the light rail 55 Hiawatha going toward Bloomington and Mall of America. Well, I suppose it's not completely lonely, as it's sitting with my cell phone holder. Sadness.

It made me think though - what use is one glove? What use is a glove without a hand to warm? What use is a thing without its purpose? And what use is a person without his or her purpose? Nothing really.

Good thing we have a purpose.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A late post

Last night my family had a bible study - I really really didn't want to do it, and in the end I was pretty much dreading it and feeling like blehhh about it all... but our sharing time was so precious to me - talking about what we've learned/felt about 2008, and what we hope for 2009... everytime I talk about my summer/2008/what I've learned, I start tearing up. Hahahaa --- and yea, so I did again.. but realizing how much God's provided for me this summer, how He's got me in His hands so much and how I really am so small is always humbling and awe-ful and stunning. Stunning - it's wonderful, so awesome that you can't do anything but kind of stand/sit/whatever there and gape. That's a beautiful word...

2008 was stunning then, in many many ways. In many ways, I don't understand what happened, but in many ways I do too. For 2009, I hope to be stunned in many more ways, to be be humbled and broken and open before God, and to fully live for Him. Like a jellyfish.

That said, there are many things that I'd love to see too - Like Linlin, I have a picture in my mind, a beautiful moving image of what 2009 may look like in terms of my social, academic, spiritual, personal lives - one filled with time well spent, energy well spent, toward others and toward myself and toward God in both those ways. It's beautiful! And I often sit there thinking, hey, it's so easy to just do it! These actions that I see happening are not really that complicated. They're not that hard, they're totally manageable. So why can't I do it? Or rather, why don't I do it?

If I were to take apart every minute of my life - I would realize that they're not very well spent. Countless seconds and minutes and hours are wasted, doing things that I think matter but in the long run really do not. Those wasted moments of my life are fueled by a wasted energy, by a wasted purpose and a wasted mindset - that's the root of it all. The heart of the mind, or the mind of the heart - the soul? Like the snowflake that flies this way and that, propelled by the wind with no purpose and no goal - aimless and wandering, landing wherever the wind takes it and dying when it lands. Not quite worthless, but not doing that much either. Except maybe look pretty. And cause drivers a lot of pain. Bleh indeed... But I do want to be guided by the wind, moving 'with the wind, in and out and back and forth, in an incredible dance of being.'