Friday, February 22, 2008

a moment in time

The cold air stung my cheeks as I headed out the front door and down the driveway to the street. I was tired and just finished cleaning the kitchen. As I ran, I thought about the weeks' events and asked God to prepare my heart for the coming weekend and week looming ahead of me. I prayed that He would be in control of my thoughts and actions in all that I did. I reached Sunday Park still deep in thought and gasped, gripped with awe. I knew God had created the morning for me on my run. The park was empty and appeared lonely and cold as ice melted and dripped from the trees and playground equipment. I was warm inside and I felt a rush of blood hit my face as I continued down the path to the end of the peninsula.

It was breath taking, I stopped worrying about what had happened, and what was to come immediately and tried to take it all in. I wanted to keep running along the waters of the reservoir forever. I ran two loops totaling 7 miles and I wanted to keep going. The pristine ice drops clinging to the branches hung to either side of me, frozen in time. I wish that I could have stopped time to run though God's creation the rest of my life. All the confusion I had been feeling flew from my mind as I sank into the appreciation and glory of nature. I silently smiled and thanked God for reminding me that He brought me here. I felt like God was looking at me in the palm of His hand smiling as I took in the beauty around me. I looked up into His face and all I could do was feel pure joy running through my body, I never wanted the moment to end. It was as if God was telling me He had great plans for me where ever I went and He delighted in answering my prayers. When I pointed back to Him He grinned knowingly, knowing that He could use me because I was fully His. I was at peace for the hour I ran this morning feeling nothing but overwhelming ecstasy for God and His glorious creation.

Monday, February 18, 2008

mountain top?

While waiting for a sign of some sort or a peace to come over one in effort to obey God’s will I feel like the answer is clearly in front of me, but I don’t want to fully accept it. I still feel like I need more confirmation! After talking with Sarah, I feel a little more confident in making my own decisions - obviously I want my decisions to be based on what God wants me to do, but perhaps if I am seeking God's counsel in the making of the decision... it is God's will when I come to a decision?

I applied at Remuda Ranch to the opening of Registered Dietitian, it's in Wickenburg, AZ and I specified that I would prefer Virginia, but hey, Arizona is much closer to home... right? Where is my home? My home is with Christ, oddly I feel at home almost where ever I go. Why? I suppose that's a spiritual gift, relationship building and mentoring. I wish there were more of a leap of faith here so that I would know "I was stepping out in faith." When people speak on the topic, I feel so out of place, because I just do. If I truly believe God wants me to do something, I just do it. I don't wait for a second guess to slip through my mind until it is already too late. I relate it to standing on the top of a 30-ft cliff over the ocean in Hawai'i. Everyone is scared to go, I look over the edge, see no ripples from rocks and take the plunge. Everyone else follows me after they see that I'm all right (true story actually) and they have a lot of fun doing so. That seems to be the story of my life. I just jump in and take the plunge after a brief glance to make sure there are no ripples from rocks.

I like warm weather. Arizona really wouldn't be so bad, and the rent is a lot cheaper than in California. It'd probably be cheaper than Virginia since nobody lives out there. I would have to use air conditioning though which would be weird because I've never needed that in my life. Well, I'm really tired. God will work everything out. I am trying to leave doors open as always so that He may be my guide and refuge. Lord You have my heart and I will search for Yours. I want to glorify You in all I do and say. Please help those heavy on my heart, You know who I'm talking about. Thanks buddy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I am tired. I have been at the hospital for 33.5 hours the past 3 days not including a mandatory 30 minute break each day. I filled in for a sick catering associate for the past two days. I got mad at myself when my pride got in the way of serving others. It really is a sad job. Most of the people don't say thank you and the nurses are quite churlish. I guess I wasn't too surprised because that's the way the world works. They look down on people who deliver food and think their time is more important or their patient is more important. I just did things in the order that they were given to me and I got everything done, but it felt like nobody was satisfied. I felt like I tried so hard and did everything as efficiently as I could, I tried to communicate with everyone and cater to everyone... and by the end of the day, I was wiped out.

Today the ca was back so I was back to preparation of luncheons and other projects. I am still working on food costing and it takes forever. I am hoping I can finish it by this weekend and then get all the other paperwork out of the way. I was on the hot food line for lunch and was asked to bring up a bowl of soup to a patient. I did. When I got to the room I knew the patient by name because I had served her meals the day before so I said hello and handed the soup to her daughter. Immediately her daughter glared at me and demanded to know where the crackers were in a loud voice (aka a yell). I was confused and said, "what crackers?" (all I was told was to "can you bring this soup up to this room for me, I have to go to a meeting.") She said, "the crackers I asked for three times already" ... as if I knew what she was talking about. I said, "I'm sorry, I don't know, what kind of crackers would you like." She rolled her eyes at me as if I was an idiot and said, "saltines, I asked for them already." I apologized for not knowing and told her I was just delivering the soup for someone else and I would get her crackers. She angrily put the soup down on the table in front of her sick mother and peered at the soup as if it was poisoned and asked in a shouting voice if it was old. I told her I watched the girl get it out of the pot right before she handed it to me and assured her it was from today (I didn't really understand why there was a question because it was perfectly good soup and was still hot). I retreated from the room telling the lady I would be back with her crackers.

I walked out of the room and was mobbed by three nurses asking if I had brought crackers, if I asked about food preferences, and if I had done something else. I stared at them for a second and tried to explain that the other girl was back and I had no idea what they were talking about because I was serving in the kitchen on the lunch line and I was getting crackers. As I was walking to the kitchen on the floor, I just couldn't hold back my wimpy tears and one of the nurses saw and apologized for everyone shouting at me and came with me to get the crackers (as if it was really that difficult, I don't know why they didn't just get her some crackers in the first place, they were about 20 ft from the patient's room). I told her I was just tired and I had gotten yelled at and I had no idea what was going on - it was all so overwhelming, I was just trying to help someone out. I couldn't believe I let it get to me, I had done nothing wrong but was blamed for everything. I felt so misunderstood.

I tried to sympathize with the lady and told myself she was probably sad that her mother was ill and was taking her anger out on me. I prayed for the lady and her mother and went down to the kitchen and back to the lunch line. Twenty minutes later I saw someone walk in so I smiled and asked, "how can I help you?" as I always do before I realized it was the lady who yelled at me. I was kind of shocked for some odd reason, and I couldn't figure out why. I served the angry lady again.

I am reminded daily of how finite I am. I feel so weak and tired. I try to help everyone around me. I need God to help me. Only He can change these people's hearts. I feel selfish for thinking other people are selfish, for getting tired of being yelled at and blamed for things I could not help. I decided I would try my best not to yell at people or be angry and remember to say "thank you" if I ever am a patient at a hospital. Praying and focusing on God always helps. I felt a lot better after I put the food on the line away and got back into the kitchen. I started to sing and thanked God for another learning opportunity and prayed for the people in the hospital - the patients, their families, and the workers.

On another note: I am such a Californian. I had another one of those "wow, I'm definitely from California" moments yesterday. I got off a little after 7pm and walk out to my car. I dumped my backpack and bag in the back and got inside and saw all the drops on my windshield. I didn't know when it had stopped raining so I figured it was probably recent... so I thought, I'll turn on my windshield wipers and clear off my window. I did. The rain drops didn't move. That was the moment. The drops were frozen onto my window and I couldn't see out of my car because of all the frozen globs of ice on my window. Awesome.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

honor thy mother and father p-deuce

I wrote about honoring thy mother and father last year and how it was a blessing to have what some might call a "bad" or dysfunctional relationship with my parents because it caused me to put all my trust, hope, and faith in God at an early age. I was thinking about that again while speaking with my older sister the other day on the phone. I have been praying a lot for my parents, my dad just celebrated his 75th birthday on the other side of the country.

I always joke that it's okay that I'm not courting, dating, engaged, or married at this point in my life because "my dad said I couldn't date until I was 32." Basically my father wants my sister and I to be self sufficient before we get married, not that he expects us to marry duds that will need their wife to support them, but he wants us to be able to take care of ourselves regardless of what they are like. He has said multiple times that we are to marry a Chinese doctor, lawyer, or engineer. I have no problem with marrying a doctor, lawyer, engineer or someone who is Chinese or both. I just don't want to be confined or base my choice on something external. I want to marry someone who 1) is grounded in their faith, will be a Christian spiritual leader in my life, and has the humility to admit when they are wrong, 2) I am compatible with, will be best friends with (basically they should enjoy some of the same things I do - sports, outdoor activities, music, kids, etc) and can make me laugh. There are some other minor requirements that I have, but they don't cover race or career specifically.

Now that I'm more mature (I like to think I've gotten more mature over the years even though I still look 16), I understand the thought process behind my father's wishes. He wants his two daughters to marry someone who they are compatible with, will be committed, and be able to provide for their family. He only knows the Chinese culture and it is taught to us (I cannot say for other cultures since I only know my own) at a very young age that family is important and regardless of what happens, you are always there for your family. Honestly, I've often wondered about my future husband whom God has prepared long ago for me and was concerned as to whether or not my father will approve. I would like to think that whom ever I choose my father would be comfortable with "giving me away" to them because they are steady and able to convince (and prove) my father through their actions over time that they are trust worthy and they are faithful. I do worry that he will not approve of someone simply because they don't carry the same breeding background, but I trust that God will honor my decision and my father will see that it's not only Chinese people that we can trust (should that be the case).

I understand that he was subject to a lot of discrimination when he was growing up and his experience has led him to believe only family and the Chinese culture has honor. However, the world doesn't work in absolutes. It's not true that all Chinese people are loyal, nor is it true that all loyal people are Chinese. No matter how many times I've tried to explain this, it's fallen on deaf ears. I just pray that God moves within my heart and his. I want to honor my father to the best of my ability, but not compromise who I am, who God made me to be, or who God created me to be with. Its as though I am straddling the world's principles and God's principles. I guess one could argue that I am trying to live God's principles by attempting to honor my father, but I feel so wrong even thinking about people based on race or career path. Weird, I feel like I'm growing up.

ps. I decided I like putting a picture with each entry (I added pictures to the last two posts too). I need to take more pictures so I will have a plethora of pictures to choose from. All of the pictures are and will be ones I've taken.

Monday, February 4, 2008


People seem to have so many worries. Worries are just another name for fear. Many of these are legitimate because of the fallen world we live in. I have my fair share that I attempt to rid myself of by trusting God with them. I slept in my car at the hospital last night, it was great. I was comfortable, warm, and when I woke up I was already at work. I think I'm going to do it again on Tuesday.

I was running today, this time down Farmville Lake Road. The pavement ends after 0.9 miles and there are dogs at the end who bark continuously when you run out in that direction. I think I awoke the entire dog community in outer Farmville. I felt afraid at first and quickly looked at the houses near by to see if there would be any witnesses to my demise should the dogs attack. To my dismay, there were none to be seen. I gathered my wits and prayed as only the courageous do when they are faced with a challenge. I yelled out "Go home!" and pointed back to the house the dogs had come from. They did not move. Large, unleashed dogs are a very legitimate fear. I yelled again and began my advance toward the dogs (prior to this, I had not moved). My heart was pounding and I was talking to God in my head though I can't remember what I was saying. I tend to have a lot of conversations with the Big Guy all day that I can't recall. To others it may seem as though I have an imaginary friend. I digress, back to the dogs. The 5th or 6th time I yelled and the closer I got, they shrank back and trotted down the path in the direction I pointed. I was surprised and began slowly picking up speed while the dogs stared back at me with watching eyes, making sure I did not infringe upon their territory.

This experience was interesting. My mind jumped to conclusions as soon as I saw the two large dogs. When I looked around for people, I was looking for things to climb or jump up on at the same time. I was afraid in my heart. However, I found my strength in God and each time I called out "go home!" to the dogs, I became more courageous. I felt empowered with each shout. It's the same with talking about Jesus. Each time I tell someone at the hospital something about God and how great He is, the less afraid I become. My fear of man is illegitimate here in Virginia, much like it is in California. No one is going to string me up or beat me down because I believe in Jesus Christ and want to tell them about it. Two of my friends were appreciative of my concern (I basically told them-on separate occasions I felt bad for them because they were only living for the here and now and that they were on the road to hell, but Jesus died for them and God loved them)... however they both said "religion is not for me" and proceeded to tell me that they were doing all right though one was ranting later about how the world was all about money and everyone was trying to get money. I felt like I needed to tie something about man's sinfulness but words escaped me and I ended up saying that there are some who truly live for God and live selfless lives but it is impossible to do it alone, we need God's help. he didn't understand what I was saying and laughed at me and said I had a lot of ideals and that the "world isn't like that sweetie."

In conclusion of today's events, I would say that my fear of man is not legitimate. Fear of God is. My fear of the Lord is great and He is worthy of praise. He can do all things. There are some things that I would say are legitimate to fear, though over time you get over it because God is sovereign. People fear the unknown, I know that God knows the unknown - therefore I do not fear it once I come to my senses. People fear others and life, this world is full of the sins of man, but ultimately God is in control and all things work for the glory of God for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

On another note, I went to the Super Bowl party at the Richard's. I am anti-social. I didn't meet anyone new and I sat in front of the television watching the game the entire time that I wasn't up getting cheesy poofs, cheese snacks, and cookies. The outcome was just what I wanted so I was pleased (I love sports and everything about them). Afterward, luckily I had my headlamp with me and got in my car, ready to drive to Farmville. I was stopped by two men on the road shortly after pulling out. I was scared at first but God eased my heart and I was able to assist two fully grown men with jumping a mini van. I was surprised neither of them knew how to properly jump a car, nor had jumper cables available. I had been praying for God to give me opportunities to serve others in a way that was not something I already did because of my training from my parents (cleaning up, dishes, putting things away, organizing, etc before you leave a party/place/etc). It was nice to see prayers be answered to quickly. The two men were very grateful as I laughed and told them we had just been talking about serving others and God must have placed me here to be available to help them tonight while bidding them farewell.

God is good. God is faithful. Pray without ceasing, pray with faith that He will answer.