Monday, January 28, 2008

Love Your Neighbor

(as yourself)

Hooray! The loud ditzy partygirl slob blondies have moved out. In their place are two German girls on their semester abroad. Welcome Janine & Isabel. These last few days I've been showing them around the city and helping them get acclimated, so that hopefully their first few months here will be more bearable than mine.

Well I hate being here.
My heart is protesting every second of it.
But God seems to be keeping me here...
He could make it seem more welcoming.

But He's not.
Why not.

Even if I'm miserable, will I still make room for others' needs...? Will they be as pressing a priority as my own?

Man... qualifying the great commandment with "as yourself" really ups it several notches. Damn near impossible.

Keep my hands open, God, to give... And receive.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Drive

3am. Cleveland was halfway. Dropped in at RBC's unannounced to interrupt circadian rhythms as I do at any college campus I visit (especially the many sweet times at U of I...), and she was happy-surprised... at first... She showed me around, introduced me to people who I probably will never see again, such as her very animated Indonesian friend Karina. I wanted to ask her just to stop, that I didn't need or want to be doing or seeing anything, I just wanted to be WITH her, and take a break from the valley with her. So good it was... to have face time with my dear after a difficult and volatile day.

We wrote to Mr. Heup :)

Later she cried and when I asked her to pray for me and with me, she asked why I had to come and bring her two comfortably separate lives to a crashing merge. I've shattered her insulated world, she said. Such a delicate collision of many "I can't be home. Can I come sleep over?" nights in my Naperville sunroom and one "I don't think I can go on, RBC" night in her Cleveland dorm room. But it was good to struggle there against ourselves... Unwillingly though it was at first to pray for such bitter things as family... school... To offer the things we had been withholding.

Ari napped and we sat and ate Morinaga gummies and a lot of eggs. I don't like yolks. RBC tweaked my facebook and put in Napoleon (I abhor that movie) as one of my favorites... Great. Why are fb subtleties so amusing... predicted horrible, horrible weather and severe storms for our trip. No earlier or later window could have granted us better weather. Snow, sleet, freezing rain, black ice...

And somehow we had, except for a 40-min Indiana stretch where we drove by many trucks that had slid off the road, instead... Dry roads, clear skies that offered breathtaking views of the country sky. I wish I had been awake for more of the glorious interstate stretches, but I napped when I wasn't driving.

Do I not hold each one?
Did I not count each one?

I, the LORD of hosts...
I hold your life too.

Sometimes His sovereignty strikes more terror than it stirs comfort.

When the sun rose around 7am the beautiful geens and blues of Pennsylvania's mountains came into view from the grey. Ari & I chat, like in old days, of the many boys in her life, and the sweet but oh so complex one in mine who could never tire of the night sky. I'm so glad all the tenseness and weirdness of last semester (and oh god... winter camp... horrendous) is finally over. Can't wait for things to be different between us -- normal -- and I honestly don't think I'm deceiving myself in thinking we can be, and are, just... friends. Hah most people are friends first, I guess we just had to be different and be confused first. I've never seen you so happy and at peace about a boy, she says, and yes, she would know. And I've never been so ready to give one over to God. He's Yours! Thank You for all that You've tuaght me through him as of late, and for our renewed friendship.

Around 9am we were driving through the breaethtaking Delaware Water Gap, which I would have appreciated more if my thoughts had not been vascillating between the splendor of creation, wanting to share the view with people at home, despair at the thought of arriving back in NY soon, worry about being de-registered...

Mom called just about half an hour ago. I had left her voice messages throughout the drive she'd been so worried about driving through the night, the weather, the wind-y mountain roads...

She wished me a happy half-birthday.

In the frenzy of it all, I had completely forgotten.

I blinked back the sting in my eyes and did not say a word.

"Hello? Mei mie? Hello?"

And my voice broke.

Thank You for bringing me here safely... Now can I go home please?

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Daddy can You see me giving up? I don't think I can do this anymore. Change my heart again, can You? You can. Will You?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Do I Have To.

I should be packing, but I don't want to. Packing means leaving, and I don't want to.

I can't go back. I can't fight my heart anymore. Where are my classes. Will I get them back. If I don't I'm throwing in the towel and coming home. Too frustrated for question marks.

I've found a thousand different things to do instead of packing & related tasks like laundering. A thousand different divertissements and a dozen justifications for each.

I showered twice today for the first time all year (although there have only been 23 days this year... but I probably didn't do that all of 2007 either). I did a pilates DVD... twice. I xangaed twice. I facebooked excessively. I read... everything. I thought about packing and verbalized how bad I am at doing it. I talked to... everyone. I took my mother to dinner. I censored a few blog posts here and made them public. Of course this involved sifting through my entire blog. I really don't know why I bother posting abridged versions of these posts on Xanga. Who do I really write for anyway. I napped, and if you know my sleeping habits these days, this one was definitely just an excuse not to pack.

This is the only paragraph of my post that does not start with "I." Me is my favorite subject, although I will never understand it correctly until I make God my foremost pursuit.

I don't want to go back. Oh please don't make me. Home-cooked meals and my overflowing closet were so nice. Safety and familiarity are so nice.

I guess I'll get packing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dining Out

I was going to title this "Eating Out," but that apparently has some weird connotations -- no thanks to CTopher.

I took my mother to Blu Coral tonight. It was nicely ambient, clean and yuppie and modern. Yay for! In recent weeks we've also eaten at Cebu and Fusion Fire by the same courtesy. We go out to eat a lot now, I guess because the effort required to hunt and kill (jk... we don't eat rabbit) and sow and reap and buy and defrost and wash and chop and cook what we've eaten for the last 18 years isn't always worth it when guh is not home and dad might or might not be home.

Leo told me once about a college friend who would take his girlfriend out to eat every night. In a year, she gained 80 pounds and then he dumped her. I hope it wasn't because she'd gained weight.

Tonight at the table next to us was a grown, suited man with his well-mannered little daughter in elasticky pink sweatpants and a matching pink sweatshirt, like something my mom would have dressed me in when I was younger and still tries to convince me to wear. The girl could not have been more than 8 years old, but her dining etiquette was very refined although she was white and ate her sushi with a fork. Her legs were not even close to reaching the floor, she crossed them in ladylikeness and covered her lap with the red napkin. He listened to her chatter about little girl worries and finished the food that she couldn't.

"I'm sorry I couldn't give that to you," my mother said to me, glancing sideways at the father as he got up around the table to help the waitress wipe off his girl and to tell her not to worry about spilling her mocktail, and I realized I had been paying exceedingly close attention to the next table. Not that they would have noticed my creeperness, so immersed were they in one another's delightful company and the delicious, d'lovely, d'expensive sushi.

I set my chopsticks down and met her sorry gaze and wanted to tell her it was all fine and not her fault and that I also wished that I had such a father and that she had such a husband, but the words didn't come so I quickly broke the gaze. Then I picked up my chopsticks and slathered with wasabi the dragon fire maki that I had been neglecting.

After winning a bet that entitled me to dinner at Trotters, and after a birthday prix fixe at Alinea, I thought about becoming a food critic. But I guess I'm more like Emile than Anton Ego. I like food too much to be a foodie. Lately, especially as I've decided that binge eating is more fun than hitting the gym, my habits are looking more and more like gluttony and my composition is increasingly oleaginous. I guess in this world, 1/3 the population of which is under-fed and 1/3 of which is starving making for 2/3 for whom feeling full is an elusive concept, eating probably shouldn't be a hobby. But I'm still very much in need of holification so for now my earthly comforts will be in food, which my heavenly Father seems to always keep within my reach though this little indulgent birdy does not sow or reap and does not do much breadwinning.

A few will find safety in their earthly families, and the fortunate of those will recognize that it is a blessing from God.

Father God, I thank You for a human father who keeps me longing for more.

New Years Bread & Wine

A few weeks ago at winter camp we welcomed '08 with Josh and Jenny Koh "differently than how we would traditionally do it at CCMC."  They were referring not just to the Hawaiian Buns and Welch's grape juice... They invited all who were thirsty and who believed in Living Water.

As we come to the LORD's table, 

know that you can come because it is God who invites you.

As Jesus was there on that night in flesh and blood offering his people to come to him and eat and drink, so he is here with us tonight at this table, offering you to come, to eat and drink of him.

... Do this in remembrance of Me.

If you believe in the LORD Jesus Christ,
he invites you to his table.

The gifts of God for the people of God.

Thanks be to God. After the extended worship/prayer after we also "descended" on the table. Hawaiian bread and grape drank in dixie cups! Yay!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

If I Had, I Would Not Need

It's Steph's birthday.

Today mother got mad at me for inviting dad to dinner with us at Cebu.

It was reflection night at youth group, but they couldn't find letters for me and Jerry Lin, so we just sat and chatted in the nursery. He & Yawen are moving forward in their relationship. Interesting. He got upset that his dad didn't remember her name -- "that girl... from California..." I wonder would my dad even care and understand?

I remember sitting on a porchswing with Bobby and Tim at the Chou's during the 4th of July barbecue. Bobby was asking about dating, and I recall explaining how it was the last thing on my mind, and that I would be staying single for a very very long time... despite the many options I usually have in the form of suitors. Knock on wood. Did he like me at the time? Surely he must have heard, he agreed that dating was not really relevant for him at that time. (So why did he still DTR and why all this mess... Oh well too late for those questions). All I know is that Christ equips His men to woo even the most guarded of His women.

I talk to Mr. Chou from time to time. Thank God he's stepped in as a godfather. Him and the Mrs too. I know that as recently as a year ago, I would just have been bitter about how I can never share my life with my dad, how he wouldn't even care. I had resigned to the way things were. But now, though the prospects are dim sometimes, I at least desire that reconciliation. When I am talking to Mr. Chou, there's this dull ache in my heart as I wish it could be my dad that I were having the conversation with.

But I dunno how much room a dad like that would leave for me to desire Dad. Surely He knows that I would have been too easily contented. Maybe someday.

I got blood drawn today for THS and LH tests.

I picked up my dress from the cleaners. What an awkward day that was. She gave me a pretty hefty discount compared to last time when she altered my prom dress. I guess pricing is completely at her discretion, but this alteration was considerably more difficult and time consuming than my $28 prom dress. I wonder if I have her favor. I wonder what she knows.

I love evening gowns. There are not nearly enough occasions for them. Excited for Courtney's wedding in April. Man it's so weird, I don't think I could ever get married before I'm done with school. Their family is... extravagant. Happy. Content. And... I guess that makes sense why they hardly find God to be necessary.

I wish they would recognize the Giver.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Virtue and Its Impostors

"Three things confuse a Christian;
Yeah, four confound any man.

"Unbelief masquerading as wisdom,
Enthusiasm presenting itself as faith,
Fear pretending to be patience,
& permissiveness claiming to be love."

-- Thabiti Anyabwile

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Have you ever so desired closeness and nearness with somebody that it distracted you from the very One who satisfies and overwhelms with His helloI'malreadyhereness?

Have you wanted? Have you wanted to belong to and to claim a body who you should be pushing to be free of the world, slave to Christ & lover to God?

Have you wanted to be his, his comfort, his affirmation, his other, his help, his... idol? Wanted to be found in him, to know his approval and delight? Struggled against your want to include him and to let him know that he is preferred, desired, esteemed, liked and missed? Did you idolize?

Have you had to forfeit even the right to friendship as you wrestled with these desires, have you wanted in spite of the offering for him to know your affection and for you to understand his?

In your want, did you compromise? More, did you cause another to stumble? Were you impatient?

(Yes to all of the above)

waiting in expectancy
surrendered to Your sovereignty
we're longing for true intimacy, Lord
& for the things of Your heart

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.