15
Feb
stored in: 2019

Another great Awana night. What makes it good are the volunteers. They not only get the job done, but does it with enthusiasm, joy, going the extra mile. And the true test of a dedicated volunteer is that they would do it again, and again and this team does! I am blessed to be a part of this team.

Worked at home today, but it’s not comfortable because the dining table and chair is not ergonomically set up for working on my laptop. I like my office at church with a big window.

 

 

 

14
Feb
stored in: 2019

I’ve not heard of this term of being “woke” or “wokeness” until I read this. Very well written. It makes me want to cry.

I’ve been feeling “off” the last couple days. Yesterday, I couldn’t remember my routine for going to prayer meeting – something I go to every Wednesday. What time do I normally leave the house? Where do I usually park? Where did I put my gloves? Where are my keys? I pride myself on remembering people, names and details. Right now I feel like my brain is mush. I remember things but it’s like a fog. It’s not that I don’t remember anything, it’s a strange feeling I don’t know how to describe. Then I worried that I have a stroke or a blood clot or something…which then the worrying makes me anxious…and the anxiety makes me unable to think…and I worry that I can’t think…it’s a vicious cycle. Thank God for sleep. Now I know why God created our need and ability to sleep. His mercies are new every morning. Each day is a new day. I don’t have to continue to worry. I can sleep and rest, and refocus my trust in the God of the universe.

On the positive note, I bought some floral wire on Amazon, it’ll be delivered tomorrow. I’m excited to make a wreath. Watched some how-to videos on YouTube. I need something creative to do. I think I’ll go to Michael’s for fun. Have not been there for a while, afraid that I would spend money on a project that I won’t finish. I’ve been too serious lately, too much thinking…I wonder if I would be relaxed if I was retired. But I love my job and I would volunteer anyway. But a volunteer can always punt it to the children’s director…which is me right now…

A big part of my digestion problem is anxiety. I noticed that my acid reflux has been ok until yesterday when I got worried about my brain. So silly. Need to spend time with God instead of online shopping on Amazon and Nordstrom Rack! And I don’t even like shopping, but that’s not really shopping, is it?

Heavy rain today. So don’t tell me to take short showers because of drought.

13
Feb
stored in: 2019

From yesterday, 2/13/2019

It was my turn to share in staff devo today. I shared about what I learned in Perspectives about prayer as an act of spiritual violence. Prayer pushes back the spirit of darkness and the devil’s work on earth.

I felt a bit hypocritical talking about prayer because I am not one of those who prays for a couple hours a day. My hero is George Mueller who is known for his prayer life. I shared about prayer not because I’m good at it. It was a lesson in Perspectives that spoke to me because I was convicted of my own weakness in prayer.

Staff meeting today was another interesting one. I’m thankful for the open honest discussion.

I always have high expectations that I’d get a lot of things done on Mondays. It’s my day off, I can clean the shower, clean the garage, clean the dresser, do some yard work..and I usually do none of those things…

Instead we go to Costco  to buy stuff instead of cleaning out stuff. When my husband goes to Costco by himself, he gets out with less than $50 of purchases. When we go together, it’s always over $100, he says it must be me that’s buying stuff. It’s true. I don’t like shopping but Costco is not really shopping, is it? It’s practical items, always useful or edible.

The weather was perfect after the rain, but other than walking in and out of Costco, I didn’t take advantage of the day. At the end of Mondays, I always feel I should’ve made better use of the day when it’s wide open to do whatever I want. Time is my life. Every minute that passes is getting me closer to death with less time to do the things I want to do…I’ve been thinking a lot like this since my birthday. A friend said we need to KonMari our time. Don’t do the things that are not important, focus on what is worth our time. Cleaning house is one of those things that’s not important.

I look forward to coming home everyday to read my Perspectives homework. There is such a satisfaction in finishing the reading for the week, and gaining so much insight about the Great Commission in ways I have not thought of. And I thought I knew the Great Commission.

At church today:

Me talking to a 2nd grade boy: I’m not punishing you, I just want to help you worship God, and i think you can focus on God better if you didn’t sit next to your friend M. Where would you like to sit so you can focus on God? Would you like to sit with another friend?

Boy: I think it’s ok if a teacher sits between me and M.

I’m so impress with his maturity to come up with a good solution. And he was indeed very attentive during worship.

This is what keeps me in children ministry. There is great satisfaction of seeing children grow in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man.

I don’t normally fall asleep during lectures, but today in Perspective class, I drifted off here and there…it was no fault of the speaker. He was excellent! But the room was warm, the lights dim, his voice was mellow, it was 2 in the afternoon, the chair were soft…despite his jokes to keep us awake, I couldn’t help nodding off. I am really enjoying the class, really I am. Very challenged by it.

Rarely do we go to Downtown LA. And even more rare going there at night, but tonight after Perspectives we went to the Otium in DTLA for a friend’s birthday celebration. I’ve known him and his wife for over 40 years. There were 12 of us and I didn’t make the connection of how he chose the guest list until the end…we were all in their wedding party! I was his wife’s maid of honor 35 years ago! It was great to see old friends. To be honest, I do not make much effort in keeping in touch. As I get older and meet more people, there are just too many people to keep up with! But this friend is precious, every time meet up, it’s as if no time has past. I am blessed to have such a friend.

Thank you God, for the rainbow this morning as I arrived at church, reminding me that beauty and creativity come from you and perfected in you.

To celebrate my big birthday, my family surprised me with afternoon tea at the Huntington Library.

It was hard to settle on a date when everyone is available. Today I had extended deacons meeting in the morning, got out at 12:30, ate In n Out and drove out to Huntington Library. We stayed till closing at 5pm. We had lots of laughter and conversations. i asked for the gluten free option for the tea, it wasn’t great. Overall I gave the food 3/5. Not the greatest, but the company was 12/10.

With my family I can be totally myself. I thank God everyday that my kids are doing well, we love each other, enjoy spending time together, exemplify Christ in love and forgiveness of one another. I have to say, they do have to forgive me of a lot. I thought I was a pretty good mom, but as I look back, my shortcomings become apparent. By God’s mercy alone, my kids are doing well walking with God, and they still love me.

After the tea, I was still hungry for dinner. My usual choice of quick comfort food is dumplings or won ton soup. It took us 3 stops before we got to eat. First, Arcadia mall to get dumplings at Din Tai Fung, but the parking lot was crazy full. So we left and went to our 2nd stop, Sam Woo, Rowland Heights, but the parking lot was even worst. Settled back to the Noodle by church which I usually wouldn’t choose to go. Not because I don’t like the food, I love the food. I eat for the experience and since I always go there with the pastors (they like Chinese food), it was not a new experience. But I have to admit, the won ton soup hits the spot.

Thank you God for a great day. Though I was feeling anxious about the deacons meeting, and not knowing the plans for the day, I had to let go, and just take each moment. I am learning not to expect control, not try to plan everything. I’ve only been this way since starting working at church because I feel so responsible in my position on staff. Yet, it should be that working at church in ministry, I can trust God to take of His business. And this I am learning to trust God, for everything in my life. My whole life is His business.

07
Feb
stored in: 2019

It was a privilege to lead the caring team to visit Muiha today. I am on the “bench” and only asked to lead if none of the other pastors can go :) What a joy to see God’s faithful care on this family. When I asked for one word character of God that you experience, Muiha said – peace! For the devo, I told the story in 1Kings 22, the death of Ahab. It’s hilarious. Ahab is such a comical evil king. God has a great sense of humor.

I wanted to visit a friend who just had a baby, but she was too tired to see people after C-section.

Submitted my Perspectives homework, instead of waiting till Saturday night! That’s because we spent most of the day Monday reading.

06
Feb
stored in: 2019

Have you had those moments when the Holy Spirit convicts you of your sin? And it’s one of those sins that you know is a sin, and have confessed it, but only on the surface. And the Holy Spirit convicts you of it again when he opens your eyes to see the gravity of it in a different light. And the light bulb comes on…oh the effects of my sin is awful. God showed it to me at prayer meeting tonight.

I am grateful for Psalm 32:3-5

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away

through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy on me;

my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you

and did not cover up my iniquity.

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”

And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

The bitterness, the anger, the discontent, the excuses…it has a physical effect. A part of the joy in the Lord is missing when we have unconfessed sin.

Thank you God, that when I confess my sins to you, you are faithful and just to forgive me, only by the precious blood of Jesus.

06
Feb
stored in: 2019

My day yesterday, 2/5/2019

We try to stack all office meetings on Tuesdays so that other days will be open for us to plan for whatever we need to do.

Had English team meeting in the morning, and staff meeting in the afternoon with an hour in between for lunch. By 3pm, with another hour to go at staff meeting, my heart wasn’t in it. My mind was engaged but I felt like I wasn’t in tune with God. It was just a meeting. I want to work on this. No matter what kind of meeting I’m in, I want to be aware of what God is saying, what he’s doing, what he’s saying through our team. The opposite is I insert my opinions, my preferences, and I get critical. That’s not the way I want to be.

I need to rein in my own agenda, and be more sensitive to what God is doing. He already knows what He’s going to do. In John 6:6 Jesus tested Philip but in fact he already knew that he would do a miracle of feeding the 5,000. God doesn’t need my opinions. He will do far more than I can propose or can even imagine.

For Lunar New Year today, we wanted to get a fresh chicken, but the place for that was closed for New Year :P Grandma got an organic chicken form Vons instead, without the head and tail. Not very traditional but that’s as close as we can get!

04
Feb

Ikea was the perfect work space today. There’s underground parking so we don’t have to get wet, I get free coffee or tea as an Ikea member, we sat next to the window in the cafe with an open view of the rain. Read my Perspectives book and felt productive. And of course we got meatballs for lunch. And when we get tired, we can choose a bedroom to take a nap…no we didn’t do that. But we did buy a mirror in the clearance section, it was exactly what I was looking for.

We did nothing to celebrate Lunar New Year’s eve. I, in general am not a big fan of cultural traditions, and only do it if it suits me. I’ll go watch fireworks on July 4 because it’s fun. I don’t even do much to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries. But I do believe in celebrating Christian traditions by going to church – Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and weekly Sabbath is pretty important to me.

So tonight we had steaks for Lunar New Year’s eve, and tomorrow we’ll probably have the traditional chicken with the head and tail intact. Only because we happen to remember.

Did a lot of reading for Perspectives, my brain is so full and tired.

 

04
Feb

Woke up really tired, but an answered prayer that I didn’t have any weird dreams as I did the past several days. But I missed 8:30am prayer, thinking it would be wise to just rest a bit longer. When I got to church, I saw a surprise present in my office with a note – “OPEN THIS NOW”. It was a pair of gloves with touch screen fingers, just what I wanted! A few weeks ago Lily and I had talked about how our hands always get cold, and she was wearing a pair of those gloves. I am so touched by this gift of love from her!

Children Worship was great. It was a good thing I wasn’t scheduled to speak because I didn’t feel 100%. And Casey’s message was very good.

3rd grade Andrew: do your birds fight?

me: no, they are love birds, they love each other.

A: When they get close together they form a heart shape!

He’s so cute!

I brought my own lunch of salmon and zucchini, my favorite things now that I’m eating low carb.

Perspectives class was great. Main takeaway – Jesus ushered in God’s Kingdom on earth, and we are to advance his kingdom rule to the ends of the world.

Dinner with JH and her bf was great. I was suppose to grill him. I asked a lot of questions, but was afraid to get too personal since this was my first time meeting him. But at the end when I asked how I can pray for him, his requests were quite personal. Now I wish I asked more personal questions.

My vocabulary is rather limited – great seems to be only word I know that rightly describe everything about today.

It was a great day.

 

This is my post for Friday, 2/1/2019.

Highlights -

Finished scripting, recording and sending out my annual new year update to all who serve in Children Ministry.

Bought fried chicken at 168 Market to have lunch with my friend Janis. We’ve known each other since junior high, she’s my oldest friend. The chicken was good and the fellowship was good. She is an inspiration to me not because she did anything great according to the world’s valuation. She inspires me with her courage and faith after her husband die suddenly of a heart attack about 6 years ago. We are the same age…giving me pause to think that can easily happen to me. Seeing her go through this and coming out of it ready to remarry reminded me that it’s not my our own strength, but by God’s strength alone that we live each day. However, I don’t know if I would want to remarry if I were to be single again. But that’s what Elizabeth Elliot said too, and she married 2 more times after being widowed again after Jim Elliot.

I think this is the record of staying late at church after Awana – I left church at 11pm! Amy and I drove together to church, so while she’s talking to her friends, I started catching up with JH. Hanging out with the young people late at church reminded me of how I used to do that too. Church is great. Grateful to be a part of it.

It was cold, rainy, windy today. It’s not -30C like in Chicago or -50C in Minnesota, but it’s pretty bad for us in SoCal. Why would I go out there, go to church on a Saturday, and stand outside (fortunately under cover) for a few hours?

Because of love, and because it’s a joy. It seemed like a sacrifice, but it’s not a sacrifice.

We scheduled the Awana Grand Prix car woodworking workshop, rain or shine because fortunately our church just installed water-tight covers in the outside patio area. I didn’t have to go, no one was expecting me to go. But I had planned on going. I felt it was my “job”. I want to keep ears to the ground and put my nose in grindstone whenever I can. But in this weather, do I really have to go? It’s not in my job description.

Yes. I wanted to go because I wanted to give my support for the guys who will be there. They will be there early, stay till then end, and then clean up the mess. I can do no less than to go give them my support. And as with everything you do for God, God gives back to you a hundredfold. It was fun to hang out with the people, see a few of the kids come with their parents to work on their car. Had a few good conversations. Church is a family, a community united by oneness in Christ. It is not an organization. I am privileged to be a part of it.

Also privileged to attend the wedding of Julia and Jonathan. I knew of Julia’s parent’s concern for her and have prayed for God to bring Julia a life partner. Today I saw the answer to those prayers. Though I do not know the couple that well, it was a joy to be a part of the church family and see God at work. Rushed out the door to get to the wedding since I was at church and was slowed down by the rain. We were 2 minutes late, but the ceremony started 45 minutes past the time stated on the invite. So I talked to a young man seated next to me while we waited those 45 minutes. I saw him reading the Bible app, asked what he was reading. His men’s group is memorizing 1John together, and he was working on it. What an inspiration. I told him they should start with 3John haha :)

Came back and finished my Perspectives homework. It’s hard to keep up with all the reading but I’ve been learning a lot. Looking forward to tomorrow’s class.

30
Jan
stored in: 2019

My sister texted me – her husband, my brother in law, drove himself to ER for the same issue that occurred over a year ago. His leg lost strength. Last time they diagnosed it as a blood clot. And he missed my son’s wedding. Now they are doing more tests. He’s been waiting for 5 hours! If he’s not sick before he’s certainly sick now! Please, if you can avoid it, stay away from Kaiser Baldwin Park. If anything happens to me, take me to Kaiser Anaheim ER.

My aging issues are aches and pains, particularly my neck. I shouldn’t blame it on age, really, it’s due to inactivity. I don’t exercise to keep limber. And being on the computer like I am now doesn’t help…I’m going to go stretch now.

 

28
Jan

I’ve not felt this emotional watching an ultrasound of a baby before today.

When ultrasounds were taken when my children were in utero, it was quite matter of fact. I already felt the baby, so listening to the heartbeat from the ultrasound was not a surprise. It was amazing but I don’t remember it being emotional.

But today was different.

I went with a friend to an urgent care appointment because she was experiencing signs of a possible miscarriage. She was early in the pregnancy, so the probability of miscarriage was higher. We didn’t know if we would hear a heartbeat. When the doctor started the ultrasound, we held each other’s hands, praying for God’s will be done.

When we heard the heart beat, nice and loud and even, I burst out crying! We saw a shadow of the baby, the measurements of the size matched the estimated weeks of pregnancy. Feeling so thankful to God for his mercy, for his awesome creative powers, for giving us joy though we deserve nothing.

Amy and I went to our favorite place – Goodwill! Came away with a book and some Christmas gift tags. We also had a good time at Brea Mall and Trader Joe’s.

PTL for a satisfying day.

27
Jan
stored in: 2019

Sunday is usually a good day. Usually tiring, usually satisfying. Today was one of those. It was a good Sunday.

Preached in Children Worship on praying for our leaders, going against the grain of complaining about our government leaders.

Good convos with random people, one in particular. Gave her some advice about her daughter that I will follow up on.

Perspectives 2nd class. This class was more typical of what I expected – more academic, less heart engagement than last week. The best part for me was the prayer exercises at the beginning. Also great to meet people from other churches. Also someone made really good carrot cake for snack.

Had J and L and Joe and Denise over for dinner. Great sharing. Deep sharing is what I enjoy most about Christian community. When I am useful to people on a personal level, then I feel useful for God’s purposes. I don’t feel that way if I’m useful in admin or tasks.

Have a problem with someone I have to tackle next Sunday. Not my favorite thing to do. Will be praying that God smooth the path and make it a growing experience for both of us. May God use me to bring unity, not break relationship when I have to correct this person.

26
Jan

Thankful for time spent with my kids! So very thankful to God that my kids walk with God and sincerely seek him. I wish I can take credit for that, but it is in spite of me that my kids are good kids. I am but a sinner. It is all His grace.

Started the day meeting Elliot and Nancy at the farmer’s market at Mariner’s Church. I am so impressed with how the church opens their grounds for the community. Families come out and kids are playing on the church’s children’s playground. I don’t know of any Chinese church that generously invites the community to use the church property this way. Mariner’s church even have a couple of little trains offering free rides for the kids. I love it!

A quick glance through their community thrift store yield no treasures. Also didn’t have much time. Was anxious to get on to the picnic.

Elliot and Nancy planned an early lunch picnic for my birthday – complete with cutting board, knife, chopsticks, wasabi, artisanal soy sauce, ginger – and buying fresh sashimi at the farmer’s market. First ever sashimi picnic – with salmon, tuna, and HUGE scallops.

At the farmer’s market I also bought grass fed beef bones – $7/lb. I know it’s a splurge for bone broth. I know you can get steak at that price.

Came back for Eugenia’s baby shower. Notable are games of all worksheets – unscramble baby words, completing nursery rhymes, naming kids in TV shows, matching animal baby terms with its parent (puggles is the baby of a platypus). It was great seeing old friends.

Then dinner with Audrey and Danny at home with roast duck, roast pig, roast pork, and sashimi and seared HUGE fresh scallops that I bought at the farmer’s market. Great conversation and ended with King’s Hawaiian cake – flavors Lime, Passion Fruit, Guava.

Day ended with doing a face mask.

I shall enjoy rereading the birthday cards I received from my kids. I always tell them I want them to write at least one paragraph in the cards they give me. No other gifts necessary. They still gave me gifts though, exactly stuff that I needed.

A full and happy day!

25
Jan
stored in: 2019

Today is my birthday :) Our family do not make a big deal about birthdays.

I have a pessimistic view on aging.  I don’t want to get old and be a grouch and be slow and irrelevant, and complain about young people’s loud music, and complain about how my knees hurt, and I need help to go upstairs, and I can’t read the small print, and I can’t hear when people talk, and I have that old person smell like moth balls or Bengay, and I have to go to see the doctor every other week for some ailment or another, and I can’t sleep, and I see my friends dying off…that’s why I don’t want to get old. Pastor Jackson and I agree that we would be satisfied to live to 75 and not much more.

I had a good day though – mommy and me fellowship, meet up with JF, ping pong hang out with young couples…note all these are with people younger than me…

Yesterday, my friends took me out to lunch – my peers, not older than me…

I know in theory that aging is not a bad thing. I need to pray and ask God to give me to really internalize that so I can have joy in aging.

Hmmm, this is a rather depressing post on my birthday.

On the bright side, I’m really happy with my life. I really am. I have a wonderful husband, my house is comfortable, my church is supportive and loving, my work is fulfilling, my health is decent, I have freedom to do things, and I am in the age of the internet with modern conveniences that make life easy, my kids are doing well. And most of all, I have a Savior who walks with me through it all and into eternity.

22
Jan
stored in: 2019

Spent the day interacting with each pastor’s presentation of their strategies to take our church towards the church vision of disciple-making. I will be presenting my strategies tomorrow.

It’s all good on paper. And even if all our plans come to fruition, it’s not going to be any changes in the church that you can see. It’ll be something you can feel. Everyone will be on mission to make disciples of Jesus. But one thing should be evident – we should see more people coming to know Jesus and grow deeper in their faith in Him.

I love my job because our pastoral team are all on the same page. We support one another as best as we can.

Had a kobe beef burger with gluten-free bun for lunch at Fuddruckers, very satisfying.

21
Jan
stored in: 2019

I’ve heard stories of adult siblings who do not get along, I’m blessed I’m not in one of those families. My siblings and I met up for lunch today, we had a great time chatting. I turned my brother on to Facebook marketplace. He’s been buying/selling on Offer Up. KonMari inspires us to sell, but then once you’re on the site, you are tempted to buy it all back! Well, my brother has not heard of “spark joy”. Which rock has he been hiding under haha!

We went to Mimi’s  – with coupons of course. In the old days, I would eat those warm, fresh, soft, delicious giant muffins! But on my sort of LCHF (low carb high fat) way of eating now, I had one bite. It was brutal to see its deliciousness in front of me and not eat it. I survived. I’ve been feeling the effects of a bit more sugar lately. My throat feels it first with burning. Enough sugar for the week.

Enjoyed the rest of my usual Costco date with hubby. We almost always end up with something we want to try. Today we bought guacamole salsa because a hispanic woman grabbed a pack and said it was “really, really good.” Figured she knows what she’s talking about. And the cashier said it was really good with salmon, and that’s what we had for dinner tonight. It was…good…maybe I was expecting more based on the recommendations.

Discovered an India market in Diamond Bar. Stopped by ACE Hardware to buy bird seeds on sale. How can a small hardware store compete with Home Depot?? It was dark, it wasn’t attractive, there was nothing to catch my attention, there were no signs indicating the departments, there was nothing out in the garden area except manure and bird seed. I believe in small businesses but honestly I would rather go to Home Depot. We got our bird seeds and left.