Friday, October 19, 2012

i confess it made me uneasy - makes me uneasy still - to think that this little book was out of my possession even for two days.  the thought of another person reading my words is most discomforting.  i cannot help but think how another person would interpret certain things i have written, for when i write for myself only, and know perfectly well the truth of what i write, i am perhaps less careful of my expression, and writing at speed, may sometimes express myself in a way that could be misinterpreted by another who would not have my insight into what i really mean.  thinking over some of the things i have written, i can see that they might appear to a stranger in a light rather different from what i intended, and i wonder whether i should tear these pages and destroy them.  only i do not want to, for these are the pages that i most want to keep, to read later, when i am old and gone from here, and think back to the happiness of [life].
~the thirteenth tale, diane setterfield

it's a strange and eerily comforting moment all twisted together when i read something that so mirrors what i feel sometimes.  did she just telepathize herself into my brain noodles??  weird.

Monday, October 15, 2012

no guts, no glory: i will follow you

i'm watching you.

a serious topic and a serious-er topic:

you know how sometimes the grasses and hedges get so far out of control that you need to send in the professionals along with reinforcement to do the work?  so i went to get my eyebrows done again today.

the lady was so sweet - letting me in as she was pulling the metal gate over the glass doors to close for the day.  i think she took pity on me seeing the condition of my face..  fail moment of the day: as she set about working, she peers at my face and says mmmyeahh i'm gonna have to do your forehead too.  guess that's a mild side effect of having mountain people blood in me =/

i've been going through a bible study series with some ladies at church and it's so good.  i'm kinda all over the place with thoughts all jumbled up, but i thought i'd share a couple from this week that goes along with my no guts, no glory deal.

the last few months in sunday school, we'd been watching videos that go through the journey of finding god in the desert.  it could just be production tactics - timely pauses and dramatic orchestration, ray vanderlaan's voice of depth and intensity, but every time i watch it, a boulder weighs heavily on my lungs so hard that held-back tears roll down my nasolacrimal ducts turning me into a mess of snot.

because the truth is, oftentimes i feel like i'm stuck in the biggest desert of my life right now.  how come none of my dreams are coming true?!?  but i'm reminded through the OT that just as he led the israelites through the desert, he leads, protects and provides for me too.  and like the sudden floods that unexpectedly overtake our paths, he responds to my calls when i turn into mopeballz.  and though it seems like barren land sometimes, i am well fed as i follow his voice.  now back to my lady study.  one particular verse made all that clear:
i remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown.  jeremiah 2:2
what is a person in love willing to do? ANYTHING!  wholly devoted and eager to follow into the unknown.  no money? no problem!  no job?  no problem!  no home?  no problemO!!  as long as i got you!  i dunno that i've known .love. but i may just as easily give up any sign of reluctance in the name of like.  

so then if i am christ's bride and i love him, how much more willing should i be to follow wherever he leads - no matter how unsown the territory.  in love i enter knowing he is the ancient of days, the same truths he promised to the israelites will stand for me today too.  nice!
i will make rivers flow into barren heights and springs within the valleys.  i will turn the desert into pools of water and parched grounds into springs.  isaiah 41:18
and hey, who knows.  maybe practicing following god into wilderness will help overcome my fear of following earthly men.  but alas, another story for another day ;)

Friday, October 12, 2012

5 good things

permission granted for you to give me a charlie horse when i'm being a baby and complaining my face off.  so now that i have more than abundantly ranted you all into oblivion, i think i will take a few moments to reflect on the nicer things in life.  people are always grumbling that roses have thorns.  i'm just glad thorns have roses.  philosophical quotations that precede a novel or chapter are really cool.  they're even cooler when i actually understand what they're trying to get at ;)

1.  a dear friend whom i met when i first moved into this big house just told me about her engagement!  when her first engagement many years ago ended fatally, she didn't think she'd be going through this again.  there is hope after all!!

2.  one week, one bag of Thick & Crispy tortilla chips and i've finally reached the bottom of the bag where all the shards of broken chips and excess salt lie.  this is what i originally opened up the bag for.. it's SO good.  even if i can feel my lips shriveling up from all the salt.

3.  my old coworker just sent me an invitation to her baby shower.. this makes me unbelievably happy because her and her husband decided to adopt after many years of trying to have their own.  doesn't that make you wanna melt?  i melt.

4.  every week i get to meet with a bible study group that mainly consists of moms.  i'm learning so much through the study it's so great.  but mostly, i just want to be best friends with all these moms.

5.  i love where i'm living and i love that i can still have my lady friends over in the morning when all the pokemon have left the house.  living here is a blessing for as long as it lasts =]

**i thought of another one!!  i always feel really happy when i find homes for these stuffed friends i call my babies.  ^___^  one is on it's way out and the second is waiting to meet her new human friend in a few weeks :D

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

the saga continues: introducing victreebel

a new one moved into my house not too long ago.  i call her victreebel.  victreebel brushes her teeth in the shower and leaves toothpaste wherever there is level surface area.. towel rack, faucet, mirror, etc.  i'm not really sure logistically though, how some of the blue goo got onto the toilet seat so i'll just leave it at that.  she must take care of all her oral health business at once cuz i've noticed her used up floss swimming inside the toilet.  maybe someone can confirm this for me: is floss flushable?  victreebel also likes to leave hair on the shower wall.  i dunno.. some people prolly just like to leave their DNA out for shares.  these i can handle.  but today, victreebel smeared some boogers on the shower wall next to her strands of DNA.  i'm a little grossed out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

no guts, no glory: the issue of trust

when snorlax confronted me about my conditions for staying in this house, i mentally punched her in the face. repeatedly.  partially because i was mad at her but admittedly, also because i was just mad and frustrated with life and god and this creaky old house and that anger needed to be directed somewhere.  i spent the next week fuming over the injustice of it all and struggling with the discouragement of finding any other suitable place to live.  

all this time, i was thinking how lame to be a christian right about now because all i want to do is fall in a puddle of despair but i can't because i know that god is my redeemer and he will direct my course from here on out.  why is it such a battle to get myself to truly come to peace with a fact that i believe with all my heart?!  i do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!!  mark 9  the problem is i can believe in christ, accept the truth that he is the son of god and receive eternal salvation - but fail to stand firm and maintain the belief and choose to find him trustworthy day to day.  that day to day part is the retarded part that seemingly never gets easier.  will i ever have a place to live?  will i ever find a *friend*?  will i ever have a schedule that doesn't force me to be a hermit?  will i never have to deal with car problems again?  will i ever get to have a real kitchen?  will i always have to be so seemingly isolated from everything?  blahblahblahhh  stuff like that.

there's a significant part of me that sincerely thinks all my troubles in the world would be solved if i were otherwise attached.  but as that isn't the case, i needed to look at my other options.  i considered moving to an apartment only to find that pet deposit for a bunny costs more than my liver and kidneys combined.  i searched different pockets of sacramento for housing but found that sac gets really ghetto really fast.  i looked into room shares and finding a housemate but realized i'm not the kind of quiet tenant people want.  with my parent's blessing i looked into buying but found that my price range limits me to areas that require HOA and flood insurance.  most rental or mortgage leads only resulted in sad faces and calculations that would leave me eating instant noodle more often than even i care to stand.

reluctantly, i'm thinking maybe it's better to stay put.  so far i've been timing my last bathroom trip to 10:55pm on the nose.  i brush my teeth and make my way across the creaky floor and into bed before midnight.  i cringe every time i'm obligated to step on the especially squeeky floorboard directly before my bed, trying my best to compensate the weight of my body with acrobatic moves to reduce the noise.  weird, but sure is better than not knowing where i'm gonna live for the next several months, years, lightyears.

i still believe the story of my life is in god's possession but trusting him day to day, moment by moment as dear ray vanderlaan would say, is much harder.  but you trust the shepherd for just enough and you trust that he is indeed, trustworthy.  
god is not a man, that he should change his mind.  does he speak and then not act?  does he promise and not fulfill?  numbers 23
maybe it sounds like i'm not able to live freely in my own home.  that's a pretty true and honest assumption.. but for now that's how it is and it'll be okay.  i'm thankful that living freely in christ, while harder to grasp and come to terms with, is more satisfying and more.. freeing than anything else in my life right now.  it's not to say i'm giving up because i'm still on the prowl for my perfect home.  but until then, i'll follow weirdo rules and be content with many blessings beyond snorlax's control.  and check this out, i no longer feel like punching snorlax when i see her :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

party pooper

one of the dietitians i work with is a sweet 3rd generation chinese lady who frequently likes to chat with me about my (non-existent) asian-ness.  after 5 years of gauging my interest, she's finally found that i know absolutely nothing about chinese traditions.  shame shame.  but she knows i like to read so she bought me a book called good luck life, hoping i'd become more familiar with the practices of my kind.  super sweet!

this afternoon, having the day off and transportationally immobile cuz of my dino's broken left arm, i picked up the book and delve into my heritage.  you ask, what have i learned?  major crapballs of weirdo, that's what.  hahaaa  i sure hope none of you are into this stuff cuz you'll find much of my comments very offensive.

being into pregnant moms and babies and all, i'll share about this portion of the book.

don't eat bananas or your baby will have big ears.  ear size is genetic and if they're unusually large of misshapen  he's got a genetic disorder.
don't eat pineapples or your baby will have rough skin.   again, genetics are in play here.
don't eat ginger or your baby will have extra fingers.  you should be more concerned whether you married your cousin.
don't visit the zoo or your baby will look like a monkey.  if so, your husband prolly looks like a monkey too..
don't sew anything while pregnant or your baby will have a harelip.  aka cleft palate.  lay off the booze and take your prenatal vitamins.

these are just a few of the don'ts she instructs.. 

following childbirth, moms and babies are instructed to stay home for 30 days - without leaving the house, taking a shower, washing her hair, eating fresh fruit, or drinking cold beverages.  this is done to restore the yin and yang balance in your body to gain your full energy and strength after birth.  mebbe i'm just too much of an independent modern woman with my own opinions but i'm gonna liken this to torture.  can you imagine squeezing out blood and guts through your private parts and not be able to clean yourself for a month?!?  common sense says when i don't shower, i feel gross and lose my appetite.  especially after delivery, comprehensive nutrition is so crucial in building your body stores and supplying your nutrient needs to feed your baby.  that includes a variety of foods, fresh fruit included.  also, studies show that postpartum weightloss is most effective within the first 3 months of delivery.  your hormones are all working together to help you accomplish this - so sitting at home for a month really does nothing for you.  plus, i'm pretty sure having a stinky head does not do much in rekindling the romance with your husband..

i never really understood the purpose of the red egg/ginger party for the baby's one month anniversary other than that it's another chinese tradition to gaudily splash red stuff everywhere.  here's the real story.  way back then, infant mortality was common before a child reaches one month of age.  in order to avoid going through this heartbreak, families were cautious about announcing the baby's birth to the public until they'd passed this milestone.  traditionally, baby's were given a "fake" name during this time so that evil baby eating gods would be tricked from taking their baby.  at one month, babies are given their first bath, first hair cut, and first new outfit (gross cuz babies typically barf on themselves every once in awhile).  then, traditions say the grandma will take a peeled red egg and rub it all over the nekkid baby long life and good luck.  the mom is supposed to eat ginger and blow ginger breath on her baby's head so it'll be nice and buddha-round.

couple things.  the most common cause of infant mortality in the first month of life is genetic disorder or diarrheal disease.  the first cause, though rare, is usually discovered before delivery.  the second, is easily treated with a little sugar and salt water - or if you wanna be advanced and stuff, you can use pedialyte.  i'd be stupid to say people shouldn't be aware of risks, but generally if you're watchful and careful you should be okay.  as for the round head deal, i remember when chara was first born, she had a really cute cone head.  the plates in an infant's head are not completely fused at birth because God decided this would make the birthing process more feasible.  eventually, the plates will come together the way they're supposed to regardless of how you try to manipulate it.  you should also know that that flat spot on the back of your head is not because your mom was smart and made sure you slept on your back to avoid SIDS.  there's a scientific reason for it but i can't remember.. will get back to you on this =]

i guess the moral of the story is, i'm proud of my ethnicity and all that kind of stuff.  but some traditions are so rooted in superstition and old practices that are no longer relevant to the world we live in now.  keeping the tradition may be important to some people but i feel like if they stem from a belief that contradicts what i believe about god's sovereignty and creation of things, i'd be okay leaving tradition behind.