Monday, April 28, 2008


Light the fire once again.  Throughout my life I have realized I am a "doer."  When I say I am going to do something - I do it.  I have found many people do not share my enthusiasm or zest for life.  People second guess, get scared, or change their minds so often I don't understand.  I was looking at my friend Matt's pictures of his travels through Mexico, Nicaragua, Belize, Guatemala, and Costa Rica (the waterfall is one of his from Costa Rica).  My heart was filled with longing.  I miss the volcanos surrounding Antigua's cobblestone streets.  I have always wanted to see the world and oh, it was so lovely.  I need to backpack across Europe and I need to find someone who's "hardcore" enough to do it.  I don't want the frills, I want to live with the people, I want to live out of one backpack for a month or more and see everything.  The only thing that holds me back right now is money, I need to get a job for at least a few years that will repay my debt to my parents and start scraping and saving for traveling in the future.

You only live once.  I want to experience all of God's creation.  I'm hoping that I'll get married some day and I'm hoping my future husband will have a passion for God's world and traveling like I do.  I'm thinking of looking for jobs in Europe or other countries.  Spain would be sweet and I could become fluent in Spanish that way.  Oh, even a year or two abroad would be glorious.  I doubt it would quench my thirst for traveling, but I don't know if anything can.  God please, if it's Your will, let it happen, and provide me with the means and the fellowship.  All in Your timing of course, I don't plan on going right this moment, but I will if You want me to!

- run for life friends.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

so what?

The day after I returned from crowded and bustling New York City, I went on a retreat with some women from KingsWay to Smith Mountain Lake State Park (Virginia). I love the purply-pink trees that added so much color to the mainly green and brown back drop. The rolling hills didn't do it for me and I was having a hard time with my stomach while I was there. Once I hit the water's edge, even though I still felt sick (I think it was from drinking the tap water), I laid it out straight up. I conversed with God through my guitar - basically crying out to Him.

I am tired: physically my body hurts from pollens and allergies attacking my system. My eyes hurt, my stomach hurts; I want to breathe without problems and swallow without pain. Emotionally I am drained. Torn between two states, two sides of a nation, two lives, and two choices that could potentially be beneficial to myself and bless others around me. I miss home, my sister, my family, my friends, the Pacific, and everything familiar that I grew up with. Mentally I am exhausted from all the long nights of projects, homework, assignments, seminars, papers, other dietetic internship details, and from thinking about the pros & cons of California & Virginia. Spiritually I am weary, I pray the same prayers every hour and every day for myself [for God to be the center of my life, for Him to guide me, etc]; though my prayers for others and the world change as necessary.

I am in an in between stage. The curtain is closing on one set, but the crew doesn't know what to change the back drop to. I sat there by the water on a bench. My calluses were wearing off due to time constraints from so many internship things to do, but I played. My throat hurt, but I sang. It may have been one of the most heart felt sets I've played in a long time. Every song I sang I meant.

When it was time to go - I hadn't done much, the world would say I accomplished very little from sitting by the water singing. God was present. I stood up. I have no job, negative money, and no concrete plans for the immediate future. I felt like God was telling me - 'So what? Why are you worrying about worldly things? Follow me.' I realized that God would provide a job for me that I could glorify Him through. He had a great plan and it would all fall into place in His timing. It's easy to say, but difficult to believe.

Oddly, I believe it. I don't have a plan other than following God where ever He leads me. Even more bizarre is that I feel at peace with knowing nothing. Despite every ailment and fatigue I feel physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually mentioned or unmentioned, I know that God is in control of my life and that gives me hope. It seems impossible to those who don't know how great God is. With God, everything is possible.

The world laughs at people like me. I laugh too - for a different reason. I know that God's plan is best for me. I know He will provide. I know He's got my back. I know that if He wants me to stay, He will provide me with the financial means. If He wants me to go home, He will let me know. The peace that over flows my heart is precious. I want to experience it for eternity and bask in it forever. It is well with my soul.

- run for life friends.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

right down to the wire

I just got back from New York today. This time I went to both Shea and Yankee Stadium. It was nice to get away from the pollens even though it's still difficult to breathe well.

I feel like I'm cutting it close and I'm not a last minute person! Perhaps God's timing is this way so I can fully trust Him. I still don't have a job and I graduate next week. I don't know if I'm moving three thousand miles home or staying here [though I think God is calling me here]. I feel like this would be easier if I was closer to home, but God doesn't tell us life is going to be easy. He tells us to trust Him, so that's what I am going to do. My California license must be renewed by my birthday this year - May 28. My car registration in California must be renewed by May as well. If I'm staying here, I'd rather not pay for California renewal if I have to register in Virginia and get a Virginia license [and end up paying double fees]. I feel a little nervous, but I am still holding on - clinging to God's whisper.

- run for life friends.

Monday, April 14, 2008

going the distance

It's funny how we make so many plans throughout our lives. I planned to run across the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday, Roosevelt Island today (which I did and ran about 5 to 6 miles), and Central Park Tuesday and Wednesday. I was thinking I'd go about 4 to 6 miles on Saturday unless I felt like going further. I have to say, I didn't feel like going further but I figured I'd run back across the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn instead of the Williamsburg Bridge, not realizing that it would be a total of nearly 12 miles. I'm glad I am capable of running that much in one shot (almost 2 hours) without water, snacks, or breaks (I ran/weaved through crowds the whole time except waiting for stop lights here and there). The sun was setting beyond the skyline by the time I was running through downtown Brooklyn.

God knows what's best for us, He has glorious plans we can't even imagine. I make little plans here and there and go with God's timing. I need to be prepared, to continue to train myself so I am ready to go the distance - any distance for Him. I still have allergies - or post nasal drip (probably from Richmond still) and feel sick (scratchy throat, runny nose, hard to swallow, sometimes hard to breathe) but I am becoming more aware-it's becoming more real-that I will be living in Virginia. I don't know how long or why, but I am praying that God eases my heart. I feel torn between family and friends back home and God's will. I wish the two conincided...sinful me being selfish. I need Your help to be content with my lot. I want to sing, "it is well with my soul" and mean it. 

- run for life friends.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

the street

Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States
Top 25 Safest / Top 25 Most Dangerous Cities

Home sweet home. I consider myself street smart. I know how to roll with it. I'm Asian so I'm a minority, but I am the "model minority" so I can rock the majority. I don't fear man in that way. I fear God, I know that whatever happens, God will be with me and that He is my guide and strength. I try not to "brag" about where I'm from. When people "brag" about Richmond, Virginia... I just don't see it. I don't feel unsafe, I don't see as much crime or as many homeless people as in Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Homeless people don't even scare me, why would they? They've fallen on hard times, they're still people! The population in Richmond, VA is less than half the size of Oakland, CA.

I guess I just get frustrated when people try to act hard, like they know what it's like to live in the city. Friends dropping out of school, in car accidents for drunk driving, that happens every where. If you don't know people who sell cocaine, weed, or other drugs, why talk about it as if you do? Are you proud that sin is rampant throughout a particular area? I am glad I was born in Oakland, I am glad I grew up in San Leandro on the edge and did not see as much as I could have deep in East Oakland. I am not proud that there are so many lost people who don't know God and hurt others with their sinful deeds. My girls in my youth group at home saw when a girl was shot 5 times in the back in front of my high school, they saw the boy shoot himself in the head less than a mile from my house. My dad was mad that home owner's insurance doesn't cover bullet holes from drive by shootings since there are 3 in the house. Walking across the elementary school playground at night isn't safe if you're a girl by yourself, you could get raped and killed - the same thing with sleeping over at a friend's house, that's why I was never allowed to. Leaving a bar at night about a mile from my house could result in you getting shot in the back of the head. That's NOT cool, it's not exciting. Why gloat?

God please help all the people who are affected by all the crime in every city regardless of how much there is or how many murders there are. God please help those who are afraid. Please show them that they can be cautious, but still go where they need to go or want to go without fear because You are with them. God You are sovereign over all. I thank You for protecting me and please God, help me to be more like You. Thank You for showing me this in my life, that I do not have to say anything Lord, that You know what it is like. Thank You for showing me I need to be more humble in this area, I need Your help. Please help me to hold my tongue when I come across people who are sheltered or don't truly understand. Thank You for making me the way I am so that I can relate to urban people and give glory to You through it all. God please keep my friends safe, please keep everyone safe who is innocent and doesn't yet know You. Please Lord, reveal Yourself to them.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

second thoughts

Big step, I wouldn't say a "leap of faith," but still big.  I finally got around to opening a bank account.  I walked down to Central Virginia Bank in Market Square and went through all the background checks.  Luckily, I have not been convicted of any felonies (I was worried!  yeah, right.)  Since I don't pay bills, it took more questions to say that I was a "Virginia" resident since I have a California driver license.  I never actually said I was a Virginia resident.  I think I will always claim California.

It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, to open a bank account, especially when you consider that the closest Washington Mutals are in Pennsylvania or New Jersey.  Today was the first time I've been inside a bank since I was in California.  My heart was pounding, I couldn't tell if it was nerves... the whole idea of actually becoming a Virginia resident freaking me out or the Virginia allergies and pollen from all the trees and plants surrounding me.  Once the lady who was helping me handed me all the papers to sign... fear gripped me and I had to force my hand to sign all the papers as I read down the sheet... seeing the VA instead of CA underneath my name was bizarre.

Oh Lord I'm a little bit afraid... oh Lord make that very much afraid!  How long will I be here in this state that gives me headaches, sandpapery throat, sinus problems, post-nasal drip... aka allergies from random things my body has never been exposed to while living in beautiful, sunny California.  I hope that I can acclimate, or at least not feel so terrible during allergy season.  I'm scared.  God give me strength.  I should not fear anything but You Lord, please help to ease my fears, calm my heart, and grant me peace.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I saw a sign today while walking to the start of the Ukrop's 10k that said "Rejoyce in the Lord."  Even though I knew it was a play on the word "joy," it bothered me because it was misspelled.  My pride just getting in the way again.  I randomly thought: if our pride was an actual physical being, I wouldn't be able to fit in Lazarus anymore if I had to lug that around.  I am SO thankful for His grace and mercy!

I have been VERY busy!  I just got home and it's nearly 11PM... and I went to bed at 2AM and left at 6:30AM!  This is a semi-laundry list of my recent activities:
This past week was (praise God for His kindness) my FINAL week in Farmville!!  I was so excited to finally be done.  Friday was full so I am glad that I did hours this weekend (otherwise I would have been in Farmville Friday too).  Friday's schedule went something like this: wake up, run, shower, stop at church to get a book, Johnston Willis for a "second interview," to Richmond to volunteer for the Ukrop's 10k Health Expo RDA booth, then I wanted a free shirt... so I volunteered a little bit for the actual race organization... ha ha.  I was cutting it all very close on time!  It was student night for the KingsWay Co-op [see picture above] and of course I went since my 'family' [the family I live with] is involved in it.  It was hi-larry-us.  The kids were very silly, but I enjoyed it.  I got a major workout rotating between toting 4 different girls on my back for about 30-45 minutes.  [When I say 'tote'... I mean literally running around the foyer with children up to 65-70 pounds on my back.  I was gross afterwards-I mean glistening since girls don't sweat; but it was fun!]  We didn't get back until almost 11PM, but I had to make cookies for the Resolved Girl's Cookie Competition (since I knew I would be too busy Saturday)... so I was up until 2AM - made snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies with Ghirardelli 60% real dark chocolate (made in San Leandro, CA baby!)... I made a huge chocolate chip one to celebrate Josiah's early birthday (and it was fun - and delicious).  Kelly liked the chocolate chip ones better, but I brought the snickerdoodles because I thought they were more "aesthetically pleasing."  We ran out of sugar, but I made due and our CG was represented well, we took 1st and 3rd (Hannah got 1st and I got 3rd).  Good enough for me, it turned out 11 girls made cookies!  I didn't know there were that many, so I figured 3rd was pretty good.

>Today I left at 6:30AM, went to Gail's to carpool to the Ukrop's 10k with her and Rebecca.  It was good times from '50 cent' to actual fellowship.  I just thought of it as a training run, I paced Gail around 9:40-9:50 until the 5 mile marker.  Over all I finished with a 56:38, considering I covered the last 1.2 miles in 8:20 which translates into 6:57/mile, I wasn't too disappointed.  I wonder how fast I could run one since I'm so much better at "surging" rather than sprinting (and weaving through thousands of people is really annoying).  We may see one day.  I need to re-start my speed workouts again...  [Picture is because I saw the Virginia Commonwealth University aka VCU for the first time and... why wouldn't you want to climb in letters?]

Afterwards, we got a little mixed up on getting back to [highway] 95, took showers at Gail's and Rebecca and I headed over to the Williams' casa for a post-run brunch with a bunch of the KingsWay participants and their families.  We were a little belated on our arrival and ended up having 'nap time' from 3-4PM.  David on the large couch, Rebecca on the smaller one... and me on the floor.  [Side note: I totally fell asleep on the Hiler's kitchen table on Tuesday after ladies CG because I didn't want to sleep on the floor with all the Reepicheep hair on it.  I did fall asleep on the floor in the front room of the Johnson's house on Easter.]  Then I headed over to Food Lion, picked up some pink lemonade and orangeade and went to the Dixon's to assist Kathryn with any final preparation for the dinner for some ladies before Resolved.  I had a lot of fun, the food was delicious, and there was ice cream for dessert!  I didn't even eat any snacks or anyone's cookies at Resolved because I was so satiated from dinner.  :)  [That doesn't happen often, usually I'm all about the snacks!]  

The message was so pertinent to all of our lives, I was so grateful that God had put it on Steve's heart to share with us.  To pursue others and have others pursue you to assist in lovingly correcting each other and re-focusing on what Christ has done in our lives (to spur one another on).  I was re-convicted of my selfishness and pride, we joked during our group that it was like an AA meeting - or as I said, an "SA meeting - Sinner's Anonymous" [I love our group by the way, we're serious and truly care about each other, but we like to laugh and joke around too - we're the 'loud' group... I think whatever group I'm in is 'the loud' group (don't know if that's good or bad, but I do love to laugh)].  I tend to forget that God calls us to correct others for their benefit rather than our own.  It was nice to be reminded I am not the only one who falls short and we have one another to encourage each other.  I am ever aware of my sinful nature.  We are all equal at the foot of the cross, it is so good to remember, it is one of those things that you can never grow weary of and we will always need to be reminded of throughout each moment of our day and for the rest of our lives.

Just today I was asked about 10 times - so are you staying in Virginia?  It was kind of funny, but I am so grateful for all the encouraging words and heartfelt prayers.  Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say REJOICE!

forever in His debt
-run for life friends

 ps.  Just found out today that Ukrop's is NOT a play on the word "crop" like I assumed originally - it's the last name of the man who started the business (it's a health food store in Richmond, similar to TJ's at home, but way more expensive.)