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?

 

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.

Alone

As I was eating dinner by myself tonight (Jason was at church), I was thinking that I dislike eating by myself.

Have you heard of those people that go watch movies by themselves? Are you one of those people? Well, I am not one of those people. I can’t imagine going to the movies by myself. As a matter of fact, I hate doing most things alone (with the exception of going to Target). What’s the fun in that? I like to do things with people and I like sharing moments with others. If you do something enjoyable, I want to be able to share it with others. Take my relationship with my sister Sora for example. We have so many inside jokes, no matter how old or how lame they are. I love this about our relationship, and I don’t have with may others. I like remembering things and reminiscing with someone. I think this is because I’m such a relational being. This is a rather contradictory phenomenon because I consider myself to be a very self-reliant person. I almost have a need to do things, or be with, someone. I suppose from a negative perspective, I might have codependency issues. From a positive perspective, I’m relational. I choose to be optimistic. This time, at least :)

Jewel Undercover

Jewel goes undercover (at a karaoke bar, that is)!

She connects with Funny or Die (a comedy video website) and decides to go undercover at a karaoke bar in LA. She disguises herself as a shy, boring business woman, egged on by her “colleagues”, and eventually by the crowd, to sing. She reluctantly takes the stage and starts singing her own songs. The crowd is obviously impressed with her voice since she sounds just like Jewel but they have no idea that it’s really her!

Check out the look on one of the crowd’s face about 4 minutes into the video. It’s priceless!