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).

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.

Women of Faith 2009


This is the third year I attended the Women of Faith conference. Last year, I mostly wrote about my excitement of how awesome it was. This year I went in with a high expectation, and I was not disappointed. As expected, I was inspired and rejuvenated, which I really needed. I experienced all sorts of emotions during the conference. I laughed so hard that made me cough, and I cried and wiped the tears flowing down my chin and down my neck.  I heard so many messages and felt that God was speaking directly to me, and I wanted to remember them all but couldn’t take notes fast enough. I almost wish I had some time afterwards, maybe even days, to process some of those things. Some of those things, I need to keep figuring out, so the purpose of this post is not to explain some of those ideas. I don’t think I could do justice trying to explain right now anyway. I did want to highlight some of the cool parts, which is much easier to explain.

CIMG9234-w400On day 1, we had a couple hours of down time between the sessions, so some of us went to the Centennial Park. We had a lot of extra lunches we didn’t eat, so we gave away the food to some homeless guys. We then went to the fountain area and took some pics of ourselves being silly and debriefed about what we got out of the messages. We also had some deep conversations during our drive to and fro, which I appreciated. Then we headed back for the evening session and heard some more great messages and it was time for the concert.

Well, music is always a part I enjoy very much at these sort of events.  The musical guest were Steven Curtis Chapman and Mandisa. SCC’s story is beautiful, too, but I want to talk about Mandisa because I didn’t know the story behind the voice. Wow! She really blew me away! I liked her songs but wasn’t a huge fan until I got to know her story. Her testimony was so powerful. She talked about how she had been a victim of rape and began to use food to cover her pain. But, God rescued her from that which kept her captive and enabled her to use her experience to speak into other people’s lives. It was evident that she has a joyful spirit and is living a victorious life! I love that. AND most importantly, I saw her leaving the lobby area surrounded by bodyguards and I said hi to her and she said hi back! 🙂

When I process some of those things that I think God is trying to speak into my life, I will try to write about it. For now, here are some pictures from the weekend.





Signs and Waiting

I found this excerpt in today’s devotional from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest

‘There are not three levels of spiritual life— worship, waiting, and work. Yet some of us seem to jump like spiritual frogs from worship to waiting, and from waiting to work. God’s idea is that the three should go together as one. They were always together in the life of our Lord and in perfect harmony. It is a discipline that must be developed; it will not happen overnight.’

I’ve understood that work or school should be worship, but I didn’t think about waiting: waiting for God or for that something which you desire. That means that the time you spend waiting can be worship! It can be worship because you trust in His timing and you are obedient. And that means that waiting is not idle nor passive, but is an act of worship you can give to God.

Yesterday, I asked God for a sign about something that I was desperate to hear from God (which I usually don’t do).  I also asked God that I just needed to know “yes” or “no”, and I didn’t ask “when”. So, when God gave me a sign yesterday, I was grateful in just that answer and was okay with waiting. But this morning God spoke to me that I shouldn’t just be okay while I wait, but I should worship in my waiting, and not worshiping only when the wait is over.

Are you waiting [worshiping] God?

united, at last

Last night, actually, only a few hours ago, I witnessed two children arrive to the airport to be united with their forever families. The children were brought by the escorts, and they all endured a long travel, with the last flight delaying the moment of their union. Everything seems stalled when something so important is at hand, doesn’t it? As we were waiting for the children to arrive, I saw one of the parents standing there without saying much, and I saw another fidgeting like crazy in such anxiety and anticipation. They all had their hearts on their sleeves, hoping that they would finally meet their child and not wait another moment.

It was very quiet at the airport, being close to 3 am and all, and we found out that the babies had arrived at another gate. The parents and Jason and I walked speedily to the baggage claim, but I knew, in their hearts, they wanted to run but was keeping their composure. Of course, their hearts were already there.

And then, at last, the moment they were waiting for.

They each walked to their child and waited eagerly for the escorts to hand over the baby so they could hold, touch, talk to, kiss, and embrace their child. The children began to cry at the strange and overwhelming environment, and they grieved. With their tiny voices, and little droplets of tears, they grieved. It was incredible to see that they could sense that it was a stressful time.

Knowing that those children were abandoned or relinquished, for whatever the circumstances their birth parents were in, and for them to be received into a family to be loved, reminded me of the love that God has for us. We may be, or may feel that we were, abandoned by our earthly parent(s), but our Heavenly Father will never leave us. “In love, he predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ..” (Ephesians 1:5). Those parents exemplified the love of Christ through the act of adoption.

All the while, I was attempting to talk to the parents, take some pictures for them, and make sure everyone was doing okay, but it was such an inexplicable moment for me. I expected this to affect me, but it affected me in an unexpected way. I think when you experience another life being changed in such a powerful way, it undoubtedly changes you.

Sunrise, Seashells, and the Soul

I’ve never experienced a Thanksgiving morning quite like this before. This year, we’re spending Thanksgiving in St. George Island. I woke up around 6:40a.m. this morning and walked to the beach to watch the sunrise, just by myself. I spent a quick moment reading the Word, which led me to Psalm 47. Then I took some pictures of the sunrise. I walked on.

I decided to pick up some seashells to remember this walk. As I was sorting through them, I noticed that I was only picking up the unique seashells, those that stood out by their unique shape, color or size. There were many pretty shells but I didn’t pick them because I won’t remember the ones that were like all the others. There’s a reason to be confident in our uniqueness, because I believe God delights in our uniqueness. Stand out in your uniqueness, so that you can be recognized for your uniqueness and be used in the way for which God created you. Find out how you are unique.

After picking up some seashells, I started looking at the ground, looking for what other cool seashells I can find. I kept on walking, looking and searching, and I stopped looking up, failing to notice the beauty around me, and missing the big picture. We get like that, getting distracted by the small things, so focused on our next project, job, the next thing to do, the next thing to achieve. And we forget that God has the whole thing made, not just the seashells but the ocean and the sky and causes the sun to rise and the waves to roll. How much more, then, will He take care of us, too? So, look up and enjoy the works of His hands.

There was this one particular shell I picked up. It was the smallest one I had ever seen. Unbroken, smooth, and incredibly precise. It was truly beautiful, so perfect. God took the time and designed that seashell and a multitude of seashells that are so minuscule that you wonder why they were created. What use are they or for what function were they created? But I saw that they were created for God’s glory. God chose to create them, and even that tiny, fragile seashell revealed the glory of God. On my walk back to our place, I lost that seashell, the smallest one I collected, and I got sad. I retraced my steps to the entrance to see if I had dropped it nearby. Even though it was the smallest, I cared just as much as the other seashells I had in my hand. I believe God is the same way. Even though we are small, we are not less worthy in His sight, and He cares for us in an inexplicable way.

The God that created the sun and made it to rise, created me and calls me His beloved. “You were fearfully and wonderfully made.” I know we hear this all the time, but I thanked God this day for sending me this reminder through that small and seemingly insignificant seashell.