Thursday, December 30, 2010


Human beings can't make one another really happy for long.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

ranch 99: a review ..sort of

i just came back from ranch 99. rumors are true. it's pretty great. although.. walking in, i immediately sensed something was missing. at first i couldn't figure it out so i went through my mental checklist of chinese grocery store must-haves:

lots of asian people, check.
shopping cart jam around the hanging roast ducks, check.
token white person, check.
crates of durian by checkout lines, check.
old guys sitting on wooden stools drinking tea, check.
token black person, check.
loud cantonese woman, check.
the pungent smell of live sea creatures, ch... wait, that's it!!

although i'm not about to discredit this new place as an authentic asian grocery store by its lack of fishiness.. it's certainly a surprise to not be face-whipped by the smell.

what makes people love ranch 99 so much?

for some people, comfort foods are chicken noodle soup, casseroles, fried chicken, etc. para mi, it's fried gluten, fermented bean curds and bitter melon. YOMM. ranch 99 takes me way back. when i went today, i rolled through every aisle pulling down things my mom used to buy and cook for us.

* hee neen de: almond tea. forget hot cocoa! this was always a hUge treat that my mom would pull out during the winter.

* mee tee: fried gluten. i don't know how else to describe this other than.. wrinkly, soggy, oily, and spongy deliciousness. i never understood why they only come in half-size cans. our family would fight over this stuff on saturday mornings and it's always the first to go.

* dao lee: fermented bean curd. this tastes best smeared over everything. the closest thing i can think of that it looks like is plaque. yeah.. sounds hecka nasty. hahhaaa

* guay ya: pickled cucumbers. again, forget pickles! these are exponentially better.

* bah so: dried pork. i remember asian ladies selling buckets of these from the trunk of their cars after church when we lived in new york. this is pretty much a staple in our pantry at home. i eat them like chips.

* spicy preserved bamboo shoots: this is my version of kimchee.

* butter coconut cookies: every time my family'd brave the 5 hour drive into new york city to visit my grandparents, we'd have at least one pack of these cookies in the back of the caravan.

* sesame sachima cookies: i don't know why they're called cookies.. they're more like sticky blocks of yummy. one summer in new york, our house had an ant infestation where they took over anything sweet in our pantry. i remember finding these covered black with ants. no worries though, i still eat them = ]

* ba zaaang: i haven't tried these yet but i hope there's lots and lots of peanuts and squishy pieces of fat and maybe an egg yolk!

* cha sa bao: this just reminded me of the attacking cha sa bao from white elephant last christmas...

* koh guay: bitter melon. does anyone else lOve this stuff?? i felt very proud finding myself picking out bitter melons with old asian grandmas at the store :D

well, that's a rundown of some of my favorite things. taiwanese lesson included.


Monday, December 6, 2010


This morning i was presented with a very big dilemma. It was my day off meaning i'd have the entire day to focus and finish all my assignments as I wrap up the first quarter of my last year of grad school. So after taking a shower, feeding bob and charpie and unsuccessfully trying to manage my mess of hair, I sat down at my desk to map out my day.

If you haven't noticed, I am very easily distracted. Thus, I try to get out of the house whenever duty calls me to study. The problem is, the prospect of leaving home for an extended period of time brings up a host of moral and logistical crises. I'll list a few for you:

Starbucks: free wifi and gift cards adequate to feed me the whole day. Its vice is that it's not within walking distance (ok this might not be entirely true) and timed parking.

Coffeeworks: support local business at the expense of paying for my own coffee. Also, I feel bad for bringing in my own food and staying long past the cost of a small coffee.

Panera bread: way crowded during lunchtime on top of a limited number of outlets. Ive found that staring people down in hopes of grabbing the next available table with plug access is very distracting.

Sacramento library: I once paid 9 dollars for parking in the parking garage. I had no idea. I also will not be returning there for this very reason. Oh yes.. and because I'm actively evading having to pay for my library card fine. From 3 years ago.

After I'd packed my backpack and went to the bathroom one last time, I decided, after much contemplation, that I'd change back unto my flannel pajama pants, make my own coffee and stay home.

Have you ever encountered a situation where you had several options presented to you.. and after much thought and hair-pulling, you decide to fall back on comfort and familiarity - even if it means sacrificing the possibility of moving onwards in life? It's a tough call.

And knowing that it's my natural tendency to stay clear of risks doesn't help much.
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Friday, December 3, 2010


Amidst finals, scheduling mess, deadlines and multiple laundry loads.. there's a growing smidgen of anticipation over something new.

Cue in the Christmas music cuz I feel like dancin' :D

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

after a long day

I wonder what a sugarplum fairy looks like..
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's complicated.

I'm not sure how, but maybe its time to keep a low profile for awhile.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

deer to my heart

My first pair of flannel pajama pants ever! Kind of like my first pair of rainboots, its funny that in all my 25 years of life I've never had my own pair of flannel pajama pants. This makes me very happy, if you haven't noticed.

And because things like this generally elicit further deep thinkings on my part, here are some thoughts associated with the acquisition of my new sleep pants.

Some things in life are worth the wait. If you always get what you want when you want it, there's really no anticipation, surprise or heart-pounding excitement when it finds its way into your hands. Of course waiting isn't always very fun. Admittedly, on more than one occasion something has caught my eye and channeled its way into my heart causing me to desire that particular thing for myself. (Oops, that can be dangerous.) But because of boundaries and knowing what's [not] okay to pursue, I give up.. though still slightly let down.

But why wait? Why hold out for things that could so easily be reined into my possession.. regardless whether its good or bad? It's frustrating and tiresome and turns me into a can of cheesewhiz. But maybe, if I fully set myself to understand the scope of god's power, then I'd be less inclined to wait mopingly.

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you say and complain, my way is hidden from the lord, my cause is disregarded by my god? Have you not heard? The lord is the everlasting god, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. But those who wait on the lord will gain new strength.

Of course, let's not forget to address the issue of passivity here. Waiting on god doesn't mean growing wrinkley and chunky.. haha this one I gotta work on. Proverbs 21 says the horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the lord. I guess that's pretty self explanatory. Be prepared, be expectant, know the limitations of your strength, and then give the rest up to god.

In the case with my flannel pajamas pants, I waited. And then, one day I saw them on mega sale because it was missing a matching shirt. So I bought it. Happiness ensued.

Perhaps this may apply to other life circumstances?

on a different note, i am so easily distracted!! how in the world will i ever finish my project.. >_< in the time i should have been working on it, i went to buy shampoo, faxed some stuff at kinko's, made myself another chai tea latte, wrote to the city of sac to contest yet another parking ticket (pictures included!), and wrote this blog post. now i want to wash my hair with my new shampoo and finish reading a really good book i started last week.

siiiigh. my excuse is having to work today. i'm off for the next 2 days so here's hoping productivity will reach an all time high.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

jiminy cricket, i've got work to do!

I know I'm not being fair.
But I dunno what else to do.
These things that seem so simple always throw me out of the loop.

My brain needs to focus.
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leafy trolls and communication issues

Very recently one of my neighbors upstairs put the care of her houseplant in my hands. She's supposed to be gone for a month and expects her plant to be alive when she returns. I didn't tell her my bunny sometimes goes without water for days at a time...

Anyways, my neighbor left her plant in the bathroom next to the door, which makes it pretty easy to remind myself its need for watering. The only problem is every time I head into the bathroom at night, the thing looks like a crouching troll in the dark. It's a funny feeling when I forget that its a plant and not some creepiness waiting for me to close the door.

Haha ..why am I telling you this? I guess there are things on my mind that I can't quite put into words just yet. It's funny because word on the street says women have the advantage when it comes to verbal skills. I'm very much the opposite. Oftentimes I kick myself thinking, "of all the things you could've said, that's what came out of your mouth?!"

I'm also told that women have this special power for being nurturing. That her words can bring healing and encouragement found nowhere else. Hmm mebbe I should work on this or something.

Alright. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of my thoughts.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

in haiti right now

Haiti president appeals for calm in cholera riots
Associated Press

Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010

Haiti's president appealed for calm amid fears that riots aimed at U.N. peacekeepers over a cholera epidemic could spread to the capital Wednesday, saying the violence has hurt efforts to fight the disease.

In a national address after health officials announced that the death toll from cholera had risen above 1,000, President Rene Preval said barricades were keeping people from getting needed care and admonished protesters that looting would not help stem the epidemic.

The U.N. canceled flights carrying 3 metric tons of soap along with other medical supplies and personnel to Cap-Haitien because of violence in Haiti's north, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said. Flights were also canceled to Port-de-Paix.

Oxfam suspended water chlorination projects and the World Health Organization halted training of medical staff, the U.N. humanitarian office added in its news release. A U.N. World Food Program warehouse was looted and burned.

The capital, Port-au-Prince, was calm Tuesday but there were worries that protests could erupt in the city, which was devastated by last January's earthquake.

The Haitian government sent top officials to the north Tuesday in hopes of quelling the unrest. Haiti's police chief, the health minister and other Cabinet officials headed to Cap-Haitien, the country's second largest city, where protesters erected barricades of flaming tires and other debris and clashed with U.N. troops.

At least two demonstrators had died, one of them shot by a member of the multinational peacekeeping force that has been trying to keep order since 2004.

During a second day of rioting, local reporters said a police station was burned in Cap-Haitien and rocks were thrown at peacekeeping bases.

U.N. peacekeepers found themselves in the difficult job of quelling unrest aimed at them. The violence has combined some Haitians' long-standing resentment of the 12,000-member U.N. military mission with the internationally shared suspicion that a U.N. base could have been a source of the infection.

U.N. officials deny responsibility. The mission charged Tuesday that the protests were politically motivated to affect or disrupt national elections scheduled for Nov. 28.

The cholera outbreak that began last month has brought increased misery to the entire country, still struggling with the aftermath of the earthquake. But anger has been particularly acute in the north, where the infection is newer, health care sparse and people have died at more than twice the rate of the central region where the epidemic was first noticed.

The health ministry said Tuesday that the official death toll hit 1,034 as of Sunday. Figures are released following two days of review.

Aid workers say the government's numbers may understate the epidemic. While the health ministry says more than 16,700 people have been hospitalized nationwide, Doctors Without Borders says its clinics alone have treated at least 16,500.

Health experts have called for an independent investigation into whether Nepalese peacekeepers introduced the South Asian strain of cholera to Haiti, where no case of cholera had ever been documented before late October.

Cholera is transmitted by feces and can be all but prevented if people have access to safe drinking water and regularly wash their hands.

But sanitary conditions don't exist in much of Haiti, and the disease has spread across the countryside and to nearly all the country's major population centers, including Port-au-Prince. There are concerns it could eventually sicken hundreds of thousands of people.

these kids of articles are so hard to read. ..praying for a country that is so radically different from this little bubble i live in.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

i'd rather

::mini scream::

i feel so behind in all my school work, project preparation, clinical observations, applications, everything.... biahhh unfortunately the relationship between me and my primary care physician boils down to me choosing a .nice. sounding doctor name online and having it printed on my insurance card. needless to say, i've never met her before. something tells me i don't think i'll find much luck asking her to write me a note for a few weeks of stress leave.

and then i find pictures like this one on etsy and i wonder why in the world i'm still in school and determined to go for even more. can't i just stay home and drink chai tea lattes and make unbelievably cool stuff?!?! (this thing sells for $49.. insane)

..not to mention how hard it is to stay away from my recently acquired november edition of martha stewart living.

siiiigh.. and now back to recognizing and treating delayed or failed lactogenesis II

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Dearest expensive acne treatment cream,

I have a wedding to attend in less than 48 hours. I know its my own fault I ate more than a few doughnuts this past week and indulged my french fries craving earlier. But this little pimple of mine cannot shine. And hiding it under a bushel of bangs does not work.

And so I'm pleading with you. Please make it go away. And maybe I will be more conscious to steer clear of all the delicious fried foods this world has to offer.

Thank you in advance.

Yours truly,
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

that's the way the cookie crumbles

whoaaaa double rainb.. fortune!!
what does it meeeeann??

following a long conversation that raised more questions than it did answering, i walked into my kitchen, found my leftover fortune cookie from saturday night's take out and thought.. hey, why not give the cookie a say. i kind of wish i didn't.

wait. back track. i'm not superstitious or kooky like that. and i don't intend to make god into some magic ball sage who speaks through small pieces of paper. i don't take decisions in my life lightly.. but then.. sometimes it helps to not take things so seriously. especially now. when it's taking everything and my warm blankets not to run outside and scream for 20 minutes.

okay. cookie. i found two fortunes in mine. translated, the first one says all things are difficult before they become easy. and the second, the flies don't enter a closed mouth.

i suppose just about anything can be applied to your current situation if you want it to, right? but i'm not gonna lie. these little printed maxims may hold some truth.

meh. somehow between graduating and moving out on my own, i've turned into a complete emo schmemo.

Monday, November 1, 2010


The first words of Genesis 1 boldly claim that we are not lost and wandering in a cosmic circle of time and chance told by an idiot. There is a compelling story that emerges from the beginning, and we have a place within it. Similarly, the writer of Hebrews describes Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith, where ultimate significance is aptly defined as being written into the story of God. God's Word places us in the timeline of a coherent history, delivering us from deception, telling us who we are, and where we came from, what is wrong with us, how we are made whole, and where we are going. We are placed within a story of which we know and celebrate the outcome, even as we wait for it through time and trial. In Christ, history's outcome—its ultimate end—is revealed. Dark days may follow, but the ending is known. It is a story neither deficient nor untrustworthy.

C.S. Lewis fittingly describes heaven at the end of his Chronicles of Narnia as a place where good things continually increase and life is an everlasting story in which "every chapter is better than the one before." His compelling reflection has often reminded me of Christ's beloved disciple in the closing chapters of his testimony to the significance of Jesus Christ. Notes John, "If all of the acts of Christ were recorded, the world would not have enough room for all the books that would be written" (John 21:24-26). Like children, eyes widen at the thought. What a story to be a part of, a life to find touching our own.

I had always felt life first a story: and if there is a story there is a story-teller. -GKC

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I would rather..

even though I have assignments to turn in and a slew of other things to finish by the end of the quarter.. I'm compelled to do none of it. I'd rather drink green tea, listen to music and fold pretty squares of paper. all the while dreaming about what life would be like as Martha Stewart's intern.

also thinking about what my next blog post should be about. as of recent, I've been substituting semi-thought out pieces that reflect what I'm really thinking with interjections of random silliness. partly because some thoughts I feel might just be better living within the pages of my journal.. and partly because I don't feel like exerting brain power to put my thoughts into words. believe it or not, that is quite a task for me.

I've been having a dilemma over what to share over public access.. would this poor blog be the right platform to talk about things like how I really feel about life and friends and dating? what my biggest dreams in life are? ..and other such topics.. or should I just stick to describing the increasing bitterness of my green tea as I near the end of the cup. ..reminder not to leave the tea bag in there next time.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

i shouldnt've worn a sweater today

15 minutes of break.. aka breathing in delicious car exhaust, baking in the sun (isn't it mid-october?!), and watching squirrels race around the parking lot. today's a good day :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

kiwi mango smoothie

that is the most disgusting smoothie i've ever made.

but i drank it anyways because i didn't want to waste it.


2 fresh kiwis
3.6 oz mango sorbet

first, green and orange mixed together creates the color we commonly call "puce". otherwise known as barf. i drank it with a straw so i wouldn't have to look at it.

second, even though bath & body works might be able to pull off a kiwi mango lotion, taste is a whole different story.

so there you have it, the story of my smoothie. thank you for tuning in.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010



that is what i feel like right now. interestingly, that's kind of how i feel after class every week. there is so much to do. very exciting stuff. and stuff that i can't wait to start. but when i think about it, i feel like i'm gonna bust out of my pants. days go by way too fast around here.

this could also very well be directly related to the grande iced coffee i downed throughout the course of my class time. myy ffingerss arrre shaaakinnggg. next time i'll try to remember to ask for decaf.

pretty sky. sometimes it's good to remember why i choose to make my life so crazy...

Praise Him under open skies
Everything breathing praising God
In the company of all who love the King
I will dance, I will sing
It could be heavenly
Turn the music loud, life my voice and shout

From where I am
From where I've been
He's been there with me
He's built a monument
His very people
So let his people
Sing, sing, sing

Sunday, October 10, 2010

sandwiches and stairs

i just got chewed out by the hospital house supervisor. plllbbfffftttt what a way to end the last 20 minutes of an otherwise great day at work huh? siiigh. and get this!! the turbulent exchange was over a lack of sandwiches in the units overnight!!! mehh. i love my job and nothing makes me more happy than seeing patients eat well. but if you yell at me over sandwiches, i will be thinking in my head how awesome it would be to cure you into a processed piece of ham and vacuum-pak you between 2 slices of wonder bread. wait'll i tell my boss...
wow, someone needs anger management..

on a side note though, i did come to a personal discovery after all was said and done. ever take those personality tests or come across an interview question that asks whether you deal with stressful situations calmly? i used to always check yes by default. one, because that makes me look better (and my test results more satisfactory) and two, because i'm not commonly put in stressful situations enough to be able to judge my response thoroughly.

well, now i know.

i don't do well under stress. i'm not good at maintaining a cool, calm, collective composure. and i don't like to argue about sandwiches.

sumsing to work on i guess :/

tangentially, i also discovered that one particular stairwell in my hospital looks and smells like the stairway of my second preschool. for a couple months during my childhood my family moved to north carolina so my dad could be close to his sisters. while there, i was enrolled in a preschool where my class room was upstairs. every other day after the teacher made sure everyone had their own lunchbox (i was rocking a tin, blue carebear one with matching thermos) we'd climb the stairs up to a world where everything was new and exciting and completely in english. hahaa

now every time i take that particular stairwell up, the smell reminds me of drinking tropical island capri sun, learning how to balance a spoon on my nose, and stealing other people's tricycles because my dad accidentally ran over mine :D

it's funny to think back at 4 year old me. i had no idea what kind of person i would become 21 years later.. the things i'd laugh at, cry over, see... this could all get very psychoanalytical but i'm too tired to think so... i'm gonna go see if i can still balance a spoon on my nose...

i wanted to take a picture of the stairwell but my hospital doesn't really condone cellphone pics for hipaa reasons.. so here's a picture of my doorknob. i know. riveting.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

not going anywhere

today i did the unthinkable. i threw out all my boxes.

before i continue, let me give you little history behind my boxes. i believe in keeping all original packaging. i attribute this habit to my asian upbringing. keep everything in case you want to return the item.. 5 years later. more than boxes, this includes manuels, styrofoam moldings, bubble wrap, cd-roms from electronics i've since discarded, etc. my parents were always very good at taking care of their possessions. this topic brings to mind the day my brother got in trouble for cutting off a flap of my dad's dvd box. hahaa poor kid.

i do want to assert that this does not make me a pack rat. silly as it seems, i keep these things because they will come in handy someday. there is a logical reason why i keep everything. one of the biggest reasons considers my nomadic tendency. ever since the freshman year, i've occupied 6 different addresses. sometimes by choice and sometimes by necessity, i've constantly been on the move. and when it comes time to uproot again, boxes of every shape and size become very useful.

thus, over the last 3 years, i've kept all my boxes in mint condition. carefully breaking them down, folding them up, and strategically placing them all over my 265 sq. ft. studio. you'd never know it if you came to my place.

so why the toss fest? i dunno what got over me. but i feel like starting over.. thin out my belongings.. change the layout of my room..

the biggest sentiment i felt was the thought that maybe without all these boxes i'd saved for moving, perhaps it may be a sign that i'm not going anywhere anytime soon.. it scares me to think that this (sacramento) is my home. what if there are more opportunities for me elsewhere? what if i want to live closer to my sister? what if i don't get into the school of my choice? hay mas preguntas que me pueden comprender.. i'm not saying i want to move right now, but it's almost like the loss of my boxes takes away the potential of picking up again.

i realize this may all be a hyperanalysis of a very simple task. and i also realize i can always get boxes for moving at work.

trust in the lord with all your heart
lean not on your own understanding

in all your ways acknowledge him
and he will make your path straight

just for good measure, i did save a few choice boxes :D


my dad rates baby chara:

Rating for baby Chara:

not cute
slightly cute
somewhat cute
very cute
super cute
super duper cute
x super totally fantabulously cute and the cutest ever

are dads even allowed to use the word fantabulous?!? lol..

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

class is in session.

my professor was talking about survey question formatting during class tonight when all of a sudden i pictured baby chara making her winky face whenever she's sprawled out on her changing table. omg so cute you don't even know. subsequently, for at least 3 minutes i had to try really hard to take deep deep breaths to suppress myself from laughing out loud. (and for at least 3 minutes i completely missed the section on how to code survey responses)

after i finally got my laughing muscles to calm down, it occurred to me that i'm not just laughing because chara is cute. i laugh because i love her and i love remembering how my sister takes care of her, and how much i love my sister.. and my brotherinlaw.. and on and on and on.. pretty soon, i was sitting back against my desk reveling beneath the fluorescent lights at all the things that cause my heart to love.

he will quiet you with his love. zephaniah 3

his is a love that saves and brings great joy and delight to those who receive it. and he never ceases to remind me of this through the things around me.

following this divine moment, i spent the rest of the night fixating on the obvious chalk dust mark left behind on my professors pregnant belly ;)

Friday, October 1, 2010

little town, it's a quiet village

my favorite movie ^_^

i've probably watched hundreds of movies since i first saw beauty and the beast 19 years ago (whoa dang that's a long time ago..) but very few of them ever leave an impression much like this old classic. at 6, the wee little me used to (..and maybe still does) dream to be like belle. of course king lemuel and peter both give a couple good pointers on womanliness but i'd be willing to give this movie some credit too = ]

plain and unassuming, she loves her books, her dad, and a heart that desires to do more than what this .provincial life. expects. you see throughout the movie that it is her very nature to sacrifice, to love, be joyful, peaceful and patient, kind, good and faithful, and gentle. hmm.. that sounds oddly familiar.

then somewhere along the way, she ends up locked up with a beast who has a fistful of issues he needs to work out. she gives up quite a few times of course.. she's only human after all. but through the test of living with the big fluffy monster, her character that was already so warm, caring and compassionate, is made even more loving and beautiful. plus, she gets to marry a prince in the end.

oh man.. knowing that the woman i aspire to be is a fictitious cartoon character should be a warning sign that i need to hang out with real people more. seriously considering moving out and finding roommates...

Oh! Isn't this amazing? It's my favorite part because you'll see. Here's where she meets prince charming. But she won't discover that it's him till chapter three.

if i had a big tv and blu-ray i'd probably get the movie coming out this tuesday.. hehe

Thursday, September 23, 2010


i originally logged on to post a note that goes something like this:

can somebody just tell me what to do?! i'm so tired of not knowing how to handle anything!! seriously, just give me the word and i'll do it. anything. so long as it doesn't stem from my own judgment.

mm. silly huh? the sad part is i still wish someone would just give me the script cards to read off of. save me the pressure of living through my own consequences, i guess.

fortunately (or unfortunately) i know better and that's not the way to go. a friend reminds me that perseverance builds character. and character is what i want. soo... rather than copping out and wanting to pick up and start over elsewhere, i pray that the holy spirit surges through me with wisdom and courage.

although if anyone of you has any advice to give, you can either write it out on big poster board for me or just leave a message in the comment box.


When you scan the biblical story you can’t help concluding that following God brings a life of surprises. Whatever plans God’s people made and however they tried to figure out God’s plans, they were constantly greeted with surprises. They faced turns in the story that they never would have anticipated. God’s plan again and again included things that would not have been included in the story if his people had been doing the planning.

One of the reasons for this is that we human beings tend to focus on outcomes. We simply want things to go well and turn out right. God surely does care about the end of all things, but he is graciously at work in the process as well.

The surprises along the way are God’s surprises. He is never caught off guard or unprepared. He calls us to follow him beyond the boundaries of our wisdom, strength and character. The waiting we have to do and the surprises that we face are meant by him to be tools of grace. They are designed to release us from our self-reliance and the hold our dreams for our lives have on us.

In those moments of surprise, it is important to remember that you may be confused, but God isn’t. In this moment when you are not sure what is going on, you haven’t been abandoned. No, the opposite is true: you are being rescued. But living this way is hard for us.

As pseudo-sovereigns, we hate waiting, disappointment, obstacles, and failure. We struggle to accept the fact that these things exist in a world that is under the wisest and most benevolent rule possible. C. S. Lewis comments that a hardy belief in the truths of Christianity actually makes your experience of pain more painful. It is bad enough to have to endure pain, but as a believer you must say that it was not an accident and that it was sent by a God who declares himself to be good!

To us, often God's order looks like disorder, and his wisdom looks like foolishness. God's lovingkindness often seems to be anything but loving, and definitely not kind. All of this has to do with one humbling thing that we all have to admit: as sinners, we want our own way. We want life to work according to our plan. We don’t want to have to face the unexpected or deal with disappointment. We want life to be smooth and predictable. And we want all of this because we are more concerned about our comfort and ease than we are about the processes of grace that are at work in us.

It is hard to rest in the rulership of the King when our hearts and minds are so preoccupied with the success of our own little kingdoms.

Life surprises us with the reality of who is king and how different his will and way are from ours. We have lived day after day, month after month and year after year in the world of our needs, our wants, and our dreams. We have nurtured the illusion that if God really does love us, he will give the things that we have determined are good to us.

We have convinced ourselves that if we obey, God will keep his part of the bargain and send “the good life” our way. We thought that if we parented well, then all of our children would turn out the way we hoped. We thought that if we worked faithfully then we would harvest the seeds of our investments in our later years. We thought that if we kept our bodies under subjection then the Lord would bless us with good health. We thought that if we followed the Lord in personal devotion and public worship and ministry, then our lives would be spiritually rich.

Remember, you are not alone, God's people have always struggled with the shock of his rule. The kingdom of darkness is being destroyed by the kingdom of light, and none of us can escape being affected by the carnage.

Deep beneath every struggle of doubt and confusion is a collision of kingdoms. The theology of God’s unshakable sovereignty is easier to verbalize than it is to live. The truth that a God of relentless grace is after the total transformation of our hearts, is easier to conceptualize than it is to rest in at street level.

Require yourself to be brutally honest in this moment. What is it that you really want out of life? What is it that you want from God’s hand? What is the true dream for which you have been working? What are the joys that captivate your eyes and control your heart? What is your, "If I only had , then I would be happy?"

How much have your dreams been personal, earthbound, physical, and here-and-now? Have you been motivated by your kingdom more than God's Kingdom? How is your present discouragement, disappointment, confusion or grief a window on what has actually captured your heart? Have you really wanted God to be your wise and loving Father who brings into your life what he considers best, or have you wanted him to be a divine waiter, the all-powerful deliverer of your dreams?

Could it be that you have prayed for grace, but that you don’t really like the grace that you have been given? Divine grace doesn’t always make your life simple or your pathway clear. God’s grace doesn’t always provide you with release or relief. God’s grace often brings you hardship, confusion, and surprises. These things are sent to you, not by a God who is messing with you because he’s more powerful than you, but from the hand of a God a glorious grace, who is exercising his power for the purpose of your transformation.

So, the next time God surprises you, don’t doubt his goodness, faithfulness, and love. No, lift your hands to the heavens and celebrate. You are being rescued. You are being loved. You are being delivered. You are being transformed. And be thankful that since nothing can separate you from his love, there are more gracious surprises to come!

lord, help me to embrace your surprises.

Monday, September 20, 2010

okay, now press play.

"In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.

3 You hurled me into the deep,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
swept over me.

4 I said, 'I have been banished
from your sight;
yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.'

5 The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.

6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you brought my life up from the pit,
O LORD my God.

7 "When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.

i dunno why i doubt so much when i know that my father is always faithful. i'm filled with joy knowing that this life he's put in my possession is still under his sovereign control. all these little things are nothing compared to this ever growing map of my life, earth and eternal, that he is painting for me as i write. my prayer today is that i never lose sight of this.. joy comes in the morning!

Friday, September 10, 2010

side bangs.

I cut my bangs yesterday because they were way past my maximum length standard.  you see once they start getting as long as my sideburns, matters must be taken into my own hands.

so crouched above my garbage can with a pair of scissors, presumably acquired from a trip to the dollar store, I proceeded to snip away at this mess of hair.  unfortunately neither do I know what I'm doing nor can I even see what's going on. (glasses get in the way of hair cutting and it was too early in the morning for my contacts to be in)

if you can imagine, the outcome was not desirable.

the reason why I tell you all this is because here I am at work.. and my sidebangs keep getting in the way.  whether I'm trying to look at the computer screen or talking to a patient I'm constantly trying to sweep my bangs into place behind my ear.  except that they misbehave and fall back.

worst yet, there's about 13 strands of hair that always go astray and fall right in front of my nose.  extremely inconvenient.  its like having someone stick feathers in your nose.  makes me look like I'm picking my nose or something when all I'm doing is scratching my nose like crazy cuz the hairs keep flying up my nostrils.


I always have the worst of luck with my hair.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

i'm so I.

interesting article.. I feel like I just read the story is my life. before going to dccc, I was attending a church that had such a thing as coffee time. hated it. basically I always coincidentally had to go pee at exactly the same time we were instructed to mingle.

my introvertivity is still something that I struggle with a lot. seeing so many other people who have no problem being comfortable in big groups often makes me feel like a poop. and it takes a lot of convincing myself that my worth is in christ, who created me and not so much my ability to stand out in a big crowd.

and the word is true.. just as each of us has a body and each member does not all have the same function. so in Christ, we who are many form one body and each member belongs to another. Romans 12

Sokay to be me. but hopefully I can still serve god's people (also Rom 12) to the best of my abilities.. and to be willing to be used by god by his grace and through his strength.

and now I'll go back into my closet for a few more hours. = ]

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

sometimes I feel like I have no one to talk to...

hmm.. so much for such a cheery blog name huh?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

my family is getting bigger and bigger!

sO happy!

there's about a million things i could say but basically... just sO happy.
my sister and andrew are awesome.

hi baby chara grace! love you so much!!!

(:decent: pics with my sister will wait as all the good ones are on my camera and i can't seem to find it at this moment)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

at least dinner was good..

while i was cutting up the chicken for my paneer curry, i found myself slicing out all the chicken fat before sending it into the hot evoo. for a second, i remembered the days when i used to stand on the opposite end of the kitchen counter watching my mom cook. i used to ask her why she'd cut out all the fat on her chicken when clearly, that was the bEst part that made everything taste so delicioso.

that was before i spent 4 years in college and a year in grad school learning that limiting excess fat intake is actually a good thing. my mom knew that.. with her extraterrestrial mom-sense - knowing the things that are good for me even when i was still fighting over the chicken butt with my siblings.

as i slid my diced and de-fatted chicken into the pan, the phone conversation i had with my parents over the weekend still stuck in my mind. there are very few things that make me mad. and one of them includes talk of a boy and a girl and like.. stuff. apparently this is when my 牛脾氣 comes out = p boo.

but maybe they're right. just like slicing out the chicken fat, mom knows best?

listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the lord's purpose that prevails.
proverbs 19:20


Saturday, July 10, 2010

summer movies

wow. i'm thinking i kinda want to go see twilight now >_< i mean.. what's better than true love, chivalry, and a manly man?? hahaa just kidding.. sort of. i don't condone the obsession that's grown from this saga, but like they say, it's obvious why its become so overwhelmingly popular: mr. pale-face is a protector, always there, has only her best interests in mind..

i know someone greater who does that in real life.

next up, TOY STORY 3!!!! wow. sO good. the best part in the movie was when andy introduces the gang to bonnie in the end. basically the tear duct dams malfunctioned when he pulls out woody. no movie spoilers here ..but such a perfect ending to the toy story trilogy. ^_^

who wants to watch the karate kid next tuesday??

Friday, July 2, 2010

ta daaa!

ever want to do something so bad.. like everything within you and everything around you was set up to do just that? so much so that you're like busting out of your pants because you're so excited?

..but then, at the same time, everything about it freaks you out? so much so that you think maybe you'd be better off just staying home and reading a good book. i mean, who else is gonna feed the bunny??

and so when we pray, we pray for courage that comes from above, boldness that comes from the one who conquered the grave, and humility because his mercy covers all sin.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

loving my day off.

it's like one of those freaking out-of-my-mind happy days... hahaa

..or maybe i've just drunk way too much coffee ^_^

i got a hair perm last week. kind of wish i spent my $90 on something more useful.. like a car wash.. but in any case, i'm a girl and this is what we do. although i dID find out that i spend significantly less on hair than my male friend.

check this out: $12 every 3 weeks = $208 a year!!! whoahohoooo

haha sorry. didn't mean to throw you under the bus jack >_<

anyways, i asked the lady at the salon to give me fobby asian hair. what came out is neither fobby, nor asian, nor curly. it kinda looks like i just woke up from hibernation. plus, this mess of hair is very prone to absorbing bits of random junk that happens to fall in its path. the worst part is, even if i wanted to donate my hair now, i'm not sure that anyone would accept the crispy-friedness that has resulted from the peptide-bond breakage treatment. on the plus side.. i just might be able to grow dreads now. how cool would that be!??!? ^_<

just thought i'd share.

this weather makes me want to rock out to colbie callait.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

how much more?

there is none like you
no one else can touch my heart like you do...

the other night i got to witness the craziness that is the final game of the NBA finals. oh my dearies. the combination of mixed drinks and beers, 2-screen projectors and multiple plasmas surrounding the restaurant, and die-hard laker/celtics fans made for quite an event. with every dunk or missed shot, the entire crowd would either burst into cheers or boos.

most amazing was that last few seconds of the game and the eruption of celebration that ensued. wooow people were chanting, screaming, clapping... i didn't watch much of the game but i definitely felt the excitement and a slight compulsion to cheer also >_< (oreo.. coud've also been my insanely delicious sushi roll)

but sitting behind all the commotion, i could only think how different this place would look if the 9 out of 10 people who say that their faith is very important in their life, showed that much excitement for our King as they do for a basketball game. okay.. not just a basketball game.. but you get what i'm saying ^_<

we sing "no one else can touch my heart like you do"... more than kobe, more than KG... this morning me and brenda were talking about how much we lovelovelove water slides and roller coasters. i'm really hoping to get a few discounted tickets to go rollercoastering this weekend jUst to hear brenda scream.... either that or tix to raging waters (!!!!) anyways, that same thought continued to swell in my mind -- how much higher would i raise my voice, my hands for the one who created me? the one who's captured my heart like no one / nothing else.

= ]

things i love today:

- frozen yogurt with graham cracker crumbs, strawberries and cheesecake pieces
- kari jobe on repeat
- great coworkers
- a chance to rap with someone on the clock
- my pregnant sister

what excites you??

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

..need to be out the door in 15

[insert pretty picture]

but the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
james 3:17

what a great prayer to pray as a woman! (or guy, i guess..) i love that it's first pure. because when you are truly pure in heart and mind, everything else should come naturally. it's kind of like the commandment to love. once you figure out love, the rest is gravy.

the commandments, do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet, and whatever commandments there may be, are summed up in this one rule: love your neighbor as yourself.
romans 13:9

..the only problem is, to love and to be pure.. these are probably the hardest of them all.

father, i pray that you impress these truths on our hearts today. help us to understand the love that first comes from you so that we may go and love those around us, not by our own strength, but by the overflowing compassion that comes from you. help us to no longer live for ourselves but for you and the people you've placed around us. ^_^

off to work!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

i want

even more than anything else going on in my life.. god i pray for a heart that is always as close to you as you are to me.

Do you ever have a sense of what's going to happen before it happens? Do you ever have a word of counsel or encouragement come to mind that carries an authority beyond your natural ability? If so, do you think that maybe God had a hand in it?

The truth is that God does communicate with His people. Typically, and most trustworthily, through Scripture. But also through the wise counsel of godly mentors. And sometimes in mysterious ways that Scripture describes as prophetic.

I'm not freaked out by that term. It's commonly discussed throughout the Old Testament, but also in New Testament. To me, it simply means that you've spent enough time "fellowshipping" with the Lord through reading Scripture and practicing prayer that you've become more tuned into discerning His "still, small voice." And over time, your perception of His voice becomes more precise.

I'm grateful that we've been invited to enjoy intimate relationship with the Lord. And part of that relationship includes supernatural communication, something that's at times prophetic, something that's admittedly beyond our understanding.

~Ted Slater, Boundless Line

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

of rabbits and gold.

on monday, among conversation topics that ranged from date roulette and road trip destinations, the topic of whether we believe in miracles came up. not just any miracles.. but miracles in which teeth turn into gold and children are healed from eating manna found in bibles. yeah. right?! and to think that i cost my parents thousands to get all my teeth to line up when god coulda just poked around in there for free. (just kidding)

my initial answer was this: it doesn't matter whether or not you believe in miracles. the deeper and more fundamental question asks whether you believe our god is all powerful and possesses strength beyond our comprehension. if that is true, then the question of miracles comes secondary. it's kinda like asking someone if they believe bunnies are the cutest animals in the world. unless the person actually believes in the existence of said creature, then there is no point in arguing its cuteness to begin with.

this morning as i was reading, i came across a passage that really jived with some of the things i've been thinking about recently. because my mind is slightly ADD, i sat there thinking about the verse, my life, the isrealites, the way my hands smelled like cat food, and of miracles and gold flakes appearing on bibles.. all at the same time. amidst all that, i had a minor mental wrestling match over the way the bible can be interpreted. ie. how should my mind and heart be set when i read the word? do i read it as a personal love letter from god to me that everyone touts? do i read it as a message to the rest of the world? can it be that i might be too selfish in the way i approach the word? oreo... too much thinking. but then that's when i connected a few dots and concluded that this book is no mistake.

think of the millions of hearts that have searched through these same words that i now have sitting in my lap. the lives that were changed by the same passages i read this morning. those same words speaking to ME as i sit in the middle of this small tiled room. hOly cowsers, right?!? that's pretty freaking amazing. and i think this might have something to do with why the bible is called the living word. this is a miracle.

do i believe in the possibility of gold flakes appearing across the pages of my bible? oreo... do i believe that god can touch lives in ways miraculous, supernatural and unexplainable? to heal the sick, protect in times of danger, give hope to the hopeless.. yes. there's a danger in putting god in a box, but when you believe that he is god of this universe, miracles shouldn't be too hard a concept to grasp.

also, when read the word.. metaphorical blocks of gold will fall out of the pages. >_<

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

introducing, my friend.

today i feature guest blogger, brenda!!
..well, mostly because she is in china and does not have access to her blogger account >_< if you do not yet know brenda, she is pretty amazing, wants to revolutionize the way we expend our natural resources, and can dance better than yo momma. please leave any comments for her here = ]

Greetings from Guangzhou, China. In my first few days in China, I've both been surprised and unsurprised at what I've seen so far. Surprised that people seem pretty content where they are...or at least seem to be content on the outside, despite their working conditions. Surprised that there are so many luxury vehicles on the road. Surprised, yet unexpected, that the environment is so dirty here: roads, walls, buildings, the air, the vehicles, most people not wearing helmets, people always jay-walking across busy 10-lane street (mom and I even did this today with our guides..not my choice).

Well, I guess there's a lot more to say about what I'm surprised about or didn't expect about China, from my two days in Guangzhou. One thing for sure is that everything is bigger. More people. HUGE malls for one niche market (like jewelry). Huge streets. Tons of E-bikes (makes me excited as a transportation major to see them first-hand). But one of the things that comes with “big” is the devaluing of the individual, just like a single item in a Wal-Mart store. People aren't as polite. They don't say “excuse me” or “sorry” if they bump into you while walking. Of course, that's the case with strangers anyway. The bosses at the factory here that we're visiting are nice, humble people. In fact, one of them is even a believer! PTL!

Today while at the factory office, looking through some inventory, the younger boss said to the older one, who is a believer, “So this cross is the symbol of you Chr1st1ans.” The older quickly replied, “Actually, this cr0ss represents how JCee died. He died for our s1ns. Just like yours and mine. S1ns separate humans from the Big man, so JCee died to bridge the gap.” Basically shared the g0spel in front of the whole office (~5 people including my mom). Amazing! ….(and honestly, I was ashamed of myself....for many reasons)

Speaking of which, this is my first time experiencing being on the China-side of the internet. It feels a little like playing taboo and speaking in passive voice...haha. I felt a litte paranoid these two days about having read my email from the Acacia list or blogs that I subscribe to (blogspot only works via google reader) that have lots of content they might not condone. (I'm actually kinda prnoid of whether this blog will even go through. o_O) Hopefully, I can make it to SH without having to pull a James Bond. (ok..I admit it, I'm paran01d...but that's because I've never been here before!)

...Well, anyway, back to my impressions. China, or at least Guangzhou, is full of old among new and new among old, both environmentally and mentally. I even got to experience a swe4t-sh0p. The conditions, to us, would seem below standard...(Disclaimer: I'm not generalizing all factories here) ..dirty walls, ripped carpet, dirty windows, cigarette filled air, dangerously sharp objects on the floor, yet they still need the internet to function properly. At least most of the workers are over 18, that means they had a high school education. (G0v Funding is only available UP TO highschool.) Mentally, people are knowledgeable about technology, but are behind in first-world etiquette. Lowered individual value, along with lack of education, results in an apathetic satisfaction with how things are.. work hard, get some money, eat, live, maybe move up or get more education. But what am I saying...if they're not where they're at, how can the rest of the world afford low labor costs only found here? At the same time, education shouldn't be limited or discouraged in a totally academic sense. I mean if everyone in the world had great education, maybe we'd have enough ingenuity to make robots that did all the labor or have the underprivileged, economically disadvantaged, or industry apprentices do it.

Despite the conditions, perhaps bearable for them since they are used to the hot-humid weather, it seems the camaraderie among the workers is strong. A few take classes after work, such as for accounting or other extended learning opportunities. At 5:30pm, outside the 10 story building, it looks like school has just gotten out since most of the workers are in their late teens/early twenties, with a majority wearing like blue button-ups and blue slacks..girls walking in groups chattering away, each wearing a different bright colored accessory, glittery shoes, or the latest hairstyle..a few motorcycles slowly rumble past the walking (maybe one with a helmet on)... I asked the younger boss how old most of them were. “18 to 30”, he said. “What happens after you're 30?” I asked. “You become a boss,” he said with a grin. The younger boss is 32.

While my observations are certainly not representative of all of Ch1na, I'm glad I have the opportunity to come here and see everything I've heard about this place first-hand. It's certainly eye-opening, yet wonderful. Again, I'm amazed by the human race...and of course it's Creat0r. Cultures are so different, expectations different, yet I can see that we all desire improvement.