She designed a life she loved.

I read this quote just the other day, and at a quick glance, thought, that sounds nice and motivational. It’s a mantra for that “go-getter” woman. This “she” person made it happen. It made me imagine a woman who doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, a woman who takes the ‘bull by the horn’, as the saying goes. She is strong and she is happy.

There is not a single human being that doesn’t want to love his or her life. Unless you have some mental health issues, it is an inherent trait we all possess to desire to live a wholesome and fulfilling, happy life.

But, if you stop and think about this quote, it implies that this woman knows what she wants her life to look like and made the efforts to get herself there. I venture to say that, while everyone wants to love his/her life, many, or maybe even most, don’t know the specifics of their dreams. Many don’t stop to think about taking the steps in that direction, much less plan to take those steps. It’s not about just doing things that make you happy, but it’s about thinking, planning, and then building. What am I good at? Who do I want to surround myself with? To get to where I want to be, do I need to go back to school or keep saving money? These are some initial questions you can ask yourself.

Designing your life requires intentionality. Because something worth doing is worth doing well. Your life is worth it.


Be a good steward

After several months of going back and forth with my husband’s company to decide on whether or not they will be relocating, they recently decided that they will, indeed, relocate, as a strategic move for the company. I had been waiting and hoping for this decision because I really wanted to be closer to family and friends. And now that we are moving forward with plans to sell the house and look for our new home, I have been (even more) unmotivated to clean or organize the house. I rationalize by telling myself that I will keep our next home cleaner. I will spend more time thinking of where to put things and be more organized. I don’t really need to waste my time and energy on this house anymore.

Then during this morning, when I was tidying the family room and was trying to get the kids to help pick up some of their toys, one of them said, “I don’t like cleaning. It’s boring.” To which I replied, “I know it’s not fun sometimes to clean, but you have to be responsible for your things. Being responsible means that, if something is yours, you have to take care of it.”

After these words came out of my mouth, this statement made me think.

This home may be sold in a few weeks or so, but it is still mine and I am responsible for it. And if I am responsible for it, then I need to take care of it (even if it doesn’t have my heart). And I wondered, do I do this to people and relationships? If I know that the relationship is not going to be a long-lasting one, if my heart is not invested, do I “check out” of the relationship? Do I not take care of that relationship or that person? The answer was not easy to swallow.

You might think, that’s kinda normal. Or, everyone does that to a degree. But, I wasn’t happy with my conclusion. I believe that God gives us relationships, makes us cross paths with new people, and bring old ones back for a purpose, but if I am not doing my best to care for that relationship, I am not being a good steward. I don’t want to be that person. I want to do as much as I can until that relationship ends for some reason (because, NEWSFLASH: many relationships do end), because I don’t want to do something half-heartedly. I don’t want to look back and regret that I should’ve done more. That I could’ve given more. I don’t want to add to my box of regrets.

I was reminded that you shouldn’t wait until you have that next home that you plan on living in for a long time, or start a relationship that you think is going to last a long time, or have more time, to be a good steward and take care of your belongings (time, people, things). You are responsible for what you have now. How are you going to take care of it?


Misconception of a Christ-centered woman

There seems to be many false notions out there about what constitutes a Christ-centered woman. All of these beliefs have started out as valid ideas and have good intentions, but just as if you start off your journey with even one degree off the trajectory and go for a hundred miles, you will end up in a completely wrong destination. That’s why I want to explore some of these common misconceptions or myths, so that we can get back on the right track. We’ll talk about several other myths another time. For now, here’s one:

Myth: Christ-centeredness is determined by disciplines and duties.

We all know that woman. The one we identify as the super, uber Christian woman. She may your friend, a family member, coworker, or classmate. She leads Bible studies. She wakes up at the crack of dawn to pray and meditate. She memorizes scripture verses on a regular basis. She serves at a soup kitchen. And somewhere in the middle of all of those practices, we have lost sight of the object of our Christian faith. Rather than seeking God first, we have inadvertently started measuring our “Christian-ness” by those behaviors.

Don’t get me wrong. Those disciplines are not only good but vital to our spiritual health. But they are byproducts of our relationship with Jesus, not the ultimate goal. We can’t measure someone’s godliness by these behaviors because there could be wrong reasons or ulterior motives for a person practicing those disciplines. A person could want to come across as very knowledgable or holy. Ultimately, it becomes more about themselves.

John 5:39 states, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (NLT)

This is talking about the religious leaders back in the day who knew about the Bible, but they failed to apply its words to their lives. They understood the teachings and the rules, but they failed to see the Savior whom the Scriptures were referring to. They were so preoccupied by the religion, that they simply missed the point.

Let’s be very intentional and careful that we are reaching toward Jesus.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).


I don’t know when it began. I imagine it must’ve started shortly after I became a mom. I loved being a mom, nurturing and providing for a life that was completely and utterly dependent on me. It was hard, but it was rewarding. I felt blessed to have a child to call my own. But slowly, without me knowing it, the days and the weeks and the months began to blend together, and I didn’t really see the end. Everyday, or pretty much everyday began to look and feel the same. The duties of mom were tireless and endless. I started to look forward to the days when my child would be older (and less dependent), and my life would look different.

Then, another child came along. My second son was born almost 8 weeks premature, and he stayed in the NICU for almost as long. I was grateful that he had “caught up” to his age and healthy, and I dove into mothering, again tired, but determined. And then, after two and a half years, another child, this time a daughter, was born to us. I loved being a mom to a little precious girl. She was more beautiful than I could have imagined. My heart was full. But, something was amiss.

I think this was almost 4 years, or perhaps longer, in the making. I am a blessed and busy wife and mother of three. But somewhere, in the midst of all this hectic life of feeding, diaper changing and middle of the night wakings, life became dormant. Or rather, I became dormant. It was hard to see beyond the diaper changes, even as I, all too frequently, looked beyond those days.

But tonight, as I dared to finally fold and put away the clean laundry that’s been sitting in the laundry basket for weeks with some music playing in the background, I felt something stir within me. For the first time in a very, very long time, I felt awakened to the realization that I might have been sleeping my days away (not literally, because moms of newborns rarely get much sleep). Life was passing me by. And maybe, it’s because I believed that life sets a certain course of trajectory, and you follow it, such as being a wife, then being a mom, but I might have accepted this all too plainly and without any intentionality. I want this to stop. I need this to stop. I want to dream and dare and achieve, and ultimately make a difference. And maybe in my tired delirium I just got too worked up by a song, and life will try to suck me back into the drudgery of a stay-at-home-mom. But I don’t want this feeling and thought of awakening to end tonight when I close my eyes. I will try, no I will be different tomorrow.

So stay tuned.

Another new baby, another new thought

It has been a long hiatus, but there’s something about having a new baby that makes your mind ponder and you find yourself thinking new thoughts with new perspective on life and family. I recently gave birth to a baby girl, this being our third (and last) biological child, if you catch my drift. Having two boys have been fun, tiresome, challenging and wonderful, but I get the feeling that these emotions will be exacerbated with having a daughter. Perhaps it was because this pregnancy has been the most difficult one, but the fruit of my labor (some pun intended) is this most amazing and beautiful life that eats, sleeps and poops non-stop. I love this tiny life so much, and thank God even at 4 o’clock in the morning, in my sleep-deprived, half-awake state. And because I love her, and my boys and my husband so deeply, it’s so easy to find myself drawing inward to provide, protect and pursue my family and give them my best. But, I think this can be a dangerous thing. Day in and day out, I am immersed with diaper changing, pumping, all the while trying to recover from a c-section, and I forget that time is passing by and the world is moving on. As I watch my children grow, I want them to see their mom, not just as a provider and nurturer but as a person who seeks to continue to grow. So how do I become the mom I so desperately want them to see as a growing and thriving individual who they desire to emulate? First, I think it starts with my new realized notion on love. Love is not a feeling in your gut that makes you involuntarily smile, or warms your heart, or even that which enables you to wake up in the middle of the night to feed and change your little darling’s diapers without too much grumpiness. But, I believe love is that drive that makes you want to be a better person. You want to make the world a better place for your loves, to be that one more positive influence and role model in the world, despite the fact that it would be far more comfortable to just coast on with life. This will mean that I need to get over myself, draw outward, learn and be a blessing unto people out there, not just under my roof, which I realize will not come naturally or easy. But I want to do this. I have to do this. I WILL do this. I may never be a Super Woman, but I will do more today than yesterday and hope to make the world a better place tomorrow than it is today. Because I love you. And because you made this world a better place for me today than it was yesterday.

One Crazy Year

Wow, it’s been so long since I made my last post. It’s been one crazy, busy, unbelievable year! Let’s recap. Starting from last August, we moved into an apartment to do an apartment ministry. Then, in September, Jason had his septoplasty and shortly thereafter, Caden was born. After about five months later, we found out that I was pregnant with our second child. We needed more room, so this past August, we stopped doing the apartment ministry and moved back into our townhouse. Then, I started having early contractions and pain and was admitted to the hospital and was put on bed rest. And this day happened to be the day Jason scheduled to have his LASIK surgery, which thankfully, he was able to reschedule. After a week of staying in the hospital, my contractions were under control, but the day before I was going to be discharged, Landon decided it was time, I went into a fast and furious labor (that is a whole another post in itself), and he was born! He came eight weeks premature, so he has to stay in the NICU for approximately 4 weeks. I had to miss my nephew Dylan’s dol (first birthday) due to being in the hospital. And today, Jason is getting his LASIK procedure done. Next week is Caden’s dol, so some preparations have to be made, and Landon should be home soon after that. phew~ Is it even possible to experience any more events in just one year? I suppose it is, but as my sister-in-law put it, my life has radically changed in just one year!

Looking back, so much has happened, enough to make my head spin, but I realize that all of those events were a blessing! To receive not one, but two, gifts of life, to be able to have a bigger living space, and to have the luxury to have those elective surgeries for Jason, are all positive events. So, despite the craziness, I am very thankful for this past year. I just have to take a breather and be prepared for this coming year, as I’m sure it will be just as crazy, if not more, raising two little boys!

Promise of a Heartbeat

A year ago today, we got to hear Caden’s heartbeat for the very first time. It’s a special moment in and of itself, but for us, it was all the more special and amazing because God took us through a crazy journey. Two Christmases ago, we were in our adoption process and were matched with a little girl on that Christmas eve. Little did we know that we had already conceived and Caden was growing in my tummy.

To make the long story short, we had to defend our desire and reason to adopt to our families who held on to the Asian culture’s negative stigma of adoption. I went through many arguments with my family and shed a lot of tears, and that was definitely not easy. It took a lot of courage to obey God’s calling in our lives. Not knowing what would happen with our families, and as scared as I was, we took a huge leap of faith and made the decision to inform our adoption agency that we would move forward in our adoption process. But the very next day, we would find out that we were pregnant with Caden!

Hearing his heartbeat was an incredible feeling and it was an undeniable answered prayer from God. He allowed us to go through that journey but not without showing us His faithfulness. His heartbeat was, in essence, God’s promise of the things to come. I think that’s why it was all the more beautiful. And now, we see the fruit of that promise, and it is truly wonderful!

Christmas Cards

After several years of talking about doing this, we finally created a photo Christmas card! I’d like to say that I got on the ball this year, but it’s only because of Caden that we created one, AND did it in time too! I wanted to share our special joy of this year with our friends and family, especially with those that haven’t had the chance to meet him yet. I want everyone to know him and meet him and love him. It’s funny, I think. I mean, Caden can’t do much yet except smile, but I’m already so proud of him. I guess that’s the heart of a mom. But I wonder, in the busyness of taking care of a baby, have I been too caught up with him and neglecting the reason for the season? Have I hoped that people will celebrate and rejoice the birth of Jesus even more than wanting people to celebrate the birth of my child? I repent…

So, as I prepare to send the cards out, I reflect on how all the more thankful I am this Christmas season. And not just for Caden’s life, or mine, but the gift of eternal life. It is just that. A gift. It is wondrous. Praise to the giver of every good gift.