Archive for the 'thoughts' Category


sometimes the highlight of my day is lunch! since i have time now (and sleep >4 hours a night) i tend to make lunch instead of buying food. prominent meals have included:

– portabella mushroom risotto & slow braised chicken thigh
– garlic tilapia with steamed broccoli and homemade red potato mash
– homemade turkey sausage, zucchini and baby portabella tomato sauce baked with whole wheat penne
– chinese cabbage & chicken stir fry with rice

ahhhh. all of these with breakfast (usually oatmeal with soy milk and granola, or a toasted sourdough english muffin with peanut butter) makes for such happy moments at work :)

in an alcove

I had this thought today that I only have one semester until graduation. One semester until real jobs with real bills (all of them, not just rent/utilities/cable) and real vehicles with insurance and real.. everything? I thought about the last time I had this feeling — four years ago, being apprehensive about whether or not I should just admit defeat and go to UIUC like my parentals wanted.

I thought about how that year, senior year had been so challenging for me… and how much I think I was stretched and grew because of it. I spent a good chunk of my time in church crying or about to cry because of clashing visions and you guessed it, church drama. Maybe it’s the whole going to college halfway across the country thing, but I haven’t kept in touch with more than a handful of my high school friends…. sometimes it makes me sad, but sometimes I’m not quite sure how to feel about it.

Last Friday, we had an informal large group about thanksgiving and what it means to give thanks. Henry gave a brief message, then we split into groups to share and pray. Dave Smith shared a few things on his heart with my group, including a history of religion at Cornell and how God works in the long run. He also said this very curious thing: God has placed you at Cornell to show you something it’d be difficult to show you elsewhere.

And suddenly I felt like some sort of dam burst in my heart and there was sudden, brief clarity. What could I not have learned at UIUC, CFC? I did not learn comfort. I did not learn that great churches and fellowships brew at every college campus. I did not learn a guaranteed future — that I would naturally return home to Chicago and be merry for the rest of my days there. I would not have learned inner city — and the need that exists on a global scale. I would not have learned what it means to let go — to remember the past fondly as a life, then to move forward.

I’m sure there are many other things that are easy for me to see and know now, but would be difficult for me otherwise in other situations. I don’t even know what this post started as … something about my future? Hm…

two towers

Warning: cheesy ‘How Lord of the Rings is like our spiritual walks’ post. You have been warned.

Right before thanksgiving break, my apartment and I ensued in what we called… LOTR madness. i.e. for twelve straight hours, we sat glued in front of the television watching all three Lord of the Rings movies (extended versions, thank you very much) in succession. Of course, around 2am on Wednesday morning we all fell asleep towards the end of Two Towers and opted to continue the next day.

Being an avid LOTR fan in my high school days, the movies got me thinking about the series in general. Because I was at work, I missed part of the first movie only to catch the entirety of the second — which was somewhat disappointing since I thought I liked TT the least out of the three.

I love beginnings because they’re new, exciting, hopeful, and momentous. I love endings because they’re definite, exciting, hopeful and momentous. What I didn’t like about Two Towers is what I often dread about life — the broken mess that is often the in betweens. Because when I think about it, I don’t like middles… they’re often just that — at the edge of hope and despair, where you know there is an end and a hope and a return of not just the king of Gondor but THE KING and yet. . .

It’s these middles that I dread yet it is here we grow, mature, and perservere. There is uncertainty yet certainty of an end… desperately wanting yet being slightly out of reach. It’s in these trenches of anxiety mixed with fear, failure, and the brief glimpses of light and triumph where I spend most of my days walking and living and breathing and being. And that… in itself makes the end that much more worthwhile.


“You cannot live your Christian life as a debt owed in fake gratitude. ‘Serve Jesus because He died for you!’ only gets you so far. Because those are just feelings, emotions that spur you towards repayment to an infinite God… and when those feelings fade, there is guilt. No, you must see the end goal, the prize, what His death has accomplished and that is GOD himself… that is how we live.”


life is war. it is not just that. but it is always that. — jp

brownian motion

Sometimes, I think if I were still a non-Christian, I wouldn’t like Christians very much. 




What a sad thought…

the rock obama

(title quoting grandson Piper’s mispronounciation of the name :D)

I caught the flu on Tuesday. But stayed barely conscious to go to Dave’s football game on North (where they lost in the finals.. =/ to a pretty obnoxious team. but anyway) and to watch the last two hours of the election, culminating in Barack’s speech in Grant Park. Times like these make me wish I could still be in Chicago and see history in the making.

Now, I’m not a huge political junkie. I didn’t even vote this year because my absentee ballot would still be in Illinois (or Cali.. I’m actually not sure now) and wouldn’t make much of a difference. I never cast myself on the political left/right meterstick and may never be a strong stance of anything. But I do say this: For those who are vehemetly against Obama, take one day, one week to rejoice in the fact that within a nation where your children will grow up and know that a man of color can become the most powerful man in the nation. Rejoice in the fact that even though right now in the United States slurs, extreme prejudices are rampant in the Bronx, in Compton, in city slums where the color of your skin defines what worth you have, will not define opportunity in the future. Rejoice in the fact that this new generation, my children and yours, will grow up where equal opportunity is the norm and not blissful thinking.

For for those who call themselves bible-believing Christians –adhere to 1 Tim2. Romans 13. Therefore whoever resists the authorities reissts what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement. I am blessed and humbled by my Christian brothers at school who are avid McCain supporters who take this loss with grace and the knowledge that GOD is still sovereign. Christians of America, please do the same.


EDIT — great post by Thabiti Anyabwile —

at eleven ten

I’m so excited to hear that The Time Traveler’s Wife is being made into a movie! I read this book in my senior year of high school for a writing seminar class and have been enamoured by it ever since. Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for old fashioned romance, but it’s one of those books that I reread every year or so. I also think Rachel McAdams would make a great Clare :)


So lately I’ve been talking about relationships a decent amount with one of the girls I meet up with. Beyond the initial giggling and questions about my S.O., we were sharing how especially in Christ-centered relationships, they are one huge way to shed light in a world of broken, promiscuous and self-satisfying relationships. Over the summer, my fellow interns were often shocked by how I did not cohabitate with or engage in pre-marital shenanigans with my boyfriend, as if these things were that commonplace within collegiate relationships (though, sometimes also with Christian relationships but that’s for another time). I realized I love and appreciate my boyfriend for different reasons than why the world may think… how when I am struggling he first offers scripture and encouragement to me rather than himself. Or how he prays over and for me to receive His blessings and know I am loved by my Father first and foremost. Or simply how he is in the Word everyday, all the time, and has a heart after His own which encourages me to do the same. (I like it when he feeds me too =D)


Romances like the Henry and Clare’s are great, but they’re not real. What is, is a Truth that never fades, never lies, never disappears, never lets go…


When it comes to loyalties, there’s no question where I lie.




now who would've thunk :)


Even after living in Los Angeles for the past two summers, on any given day == CHC >> LAD. Go Cubbies!! :D