“The great spiritual task facing me is to so fully trust that I belong to God that I can be free in the world—free to speak even when my words are not received; free to act even when my actions are criticized, ridiculed, or considered useless…. I am convinced that I will truly be able to love the world when I fully believe that I am loved far beyond its boundaries.”—(via henrinouwen)
“When we put our effort into whatever it takes to help us connect with God, we quite naturally do good things without thinking about them. In such “accidental obedience,” we obey out of a personal connection with God, not because we ordered ourselves to do it. That’s how life with God works: You do the connecting (with God), and God does the perfecting (in your behavior).”—Jan Johnson
“Don’t talk like Saul but talk like David!
Have faith in God and simply find out if __ is the place He wants you to go.
That’s all. It has nothing to do with your abilities and credentials.”—appa, per the usual
“Your behavior has utterly failed to make God love you any more, or any less. God loves you, knowing all the facts, knowing every future stumble. He chooses to love you now, of His own free will, and this love cannot be changed.”—Unka Glen (unkaglen.tumblr.com)
“I believe that God is better honored when we know and use and love the life he has given us in all its worth and therefore also strongly and honestly feel pain when life’s worth is damaged or lost (some like to complain about this as the weakness and sensitivity of ordinary existence) than when we are impassive regarding life’s worth and hence also impassive against its pain.”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer
and in that place, at her desk, she realized a thing.
no matter what she was going through, no matter what pain or devastation or trial or hardship or calamity or even agony of the heart, if she was learning something about God during it, if God was revealing Himself to her during that time, then none of it was lost, and none of it was waste. none of it was absurd, or useless, or an existential joke of absurd melancholy.
rather, she was only gaining the most valuable thing she could gain.
though it still hurt, and the way the pain hit her was reckless at times, God was there and He was in it and He was revealing Himself to her. she was seeing Him! she would see Him in moments throughout!
and when she remembered that, she wasn’t afraid of anything. because every loss on earth was still her gain in Christ.
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
“Humble yourself and cease to care what men think. A meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather, he has stopped being fooled about himself. He knows well that the world will never see him as God sees him and he has stopped caring. He has obtained a place of soul rest. The old struggle to defend himself is over.”—A.W. Tozer
that’s the image i see when i try to picture my thoughts. i realized a thing today. that i’ll always have writing. disclaimers and proverbs 27:1/james 4:14 aside, just all those…. yesbutstill’s aside… i’ll always have writing. if i look back on my journals, i find that the times i was most hurt or frustrated or desperate or falling apart were the times my writing was most prolific. pro li fic. and the converse it true, which is something i seek to change in 2014 (pronounced: twentyfourteen). so when i’m middle aged and have kids, or when i’m old and my teeth are perhaps starting to fail, and i’m mad about something, whether it be at someone or at the world or at the actions of someone or somethings, then i’ll still have writing. i’ll still be free to write. it will require more sacrifice when i am older, it will feel more like a luxury then, but it will still be waiting for me, it will still be the Option (d), right before option (e) all of the above. and so i’m thankful, Lord.
speaking of anger. i just hate them sometimes. sorry, gentle female Christian speakers and authors, the latter of whom i read from constantly, but _________ just s u c k sometimes. yes i’m talking to you, EVERY ___. and yes, it IS a reflection somewhat of many other things that just bother me SO MUCH and that i should not share on this blog.
i don’t want to trust you as much now.
i could be making this up, and i could be scapegoating things to make excuses for all my irrational fears and insecurities and sensitive points, but if i don’t write this kind of stuff then i’d be a near tumblrsaint and that’s inaccurate.
and i am afraid to drive and park this time around, i realized!
i know that nothing can protect her or me or her or her from heartbreak. and we walk by faith because the Bible says do not be afraid, and Jesus speaks the truth and He encourages us not to be selfish and invites us into a life where we do not fear and thus worship things that make us anxious in this world, in which we only worship Him because He is it, and there is Him and nothing else, but in this divided heart there is oftentimes a “but.”
i’m meeting her tonight. i’ve never met her before and i wonder what she’s like. she seems kind of very asian and generally peppy. i pray, Lord.
had a near 6 or 7 hour marathon of a conversation with c this past week, that dark horse o’ mine, and one thing she shared from her pastor struck me because it is for me and it is for her and it is for you. that nobody’s testimony of salvation is crazier than your own.
"In His will is our peace." (so Lord, if my heart is not at peace, where can You conform my heart and will to Yours?)
plucked out of last month’s entry from my secret blog (muhahah):
of course He does. He created us human after all. strange that i woke up after only 4 hours of sleep. thank you for that, Lord. i pray that you would sustain me as you always have. i thank you so much for spending time with me and letting me praise you, and for waking me up on this day to begin again. i know it was all you. thank you for this chance to begin again. thank you for the lessons i learned from michelle, to start even when i do not feel ready. to keep going even though i’m not doing it perfectly. to delight in my weakness even as i fail constantly. because You are my hope and You are my strength. not my past track record, not my willpower or my abilities to stay on the course. YOU. You. You. You.
practical tip of today: sing the lyrics to new praise songs so i don’t get distracted by the routine habit of songs i’m used to singing by habit. really sing praises to Him.
our littlest and biggest behaviors and decisions flow out of our thoughts. so conform your thoughts to God!
“When God made the world, He knew it would be a messy place. Likewise, when He made you, He knew things would get messy. God is bigger than your mess, He is with you in your mess, and your mess comes as no surprise to Him.”—
————— Forwarded message ————— From: Appa<_____@____.com> Date: Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 4:57 PM Subject: You are doing good! To: “tru__@____.com”
Hello My Daughter,
I m sorry I was a little aggressive last night. I also have been a little anxious and touchy lately for no good reason despite God’s comfort and overflowing blessings. So, Dads get mad when they see same traits or flaws in their children.
I also share your anxious heart for different issues and different reasons. I also suffer from my own life insecurity and trauma despite God’s constant reassurances and reminding of His guidance.
In your case, I just want to remind you that your past breakups was NOT YOUR FAULT! Always, I have seen you doing your best as an honest faithful loyal loving person. It was God’s intervention to rescue you from those past disapproved relationships so that He can lead you to the right person that deserves you.
Now, we still don’t know if that person is Paul, but we just hope and pray. As for you and Paul I honestly feel that things are actually going much better than expected. Just remember to respect other person’s pace and style and it should take some time and adjustments. Even God is patient and slow to mold and shape His children for his missions.
Today’s qt verse for me and you is from Romans 10:11 As the Scripture says, ” Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
and to add to that some common grace (thanks, j. park!), i can’t help posting this j. clear guy’s stuff when i want to remember it too:
In other words, the goals and results that seem so valuable to you in the beginning actually become less valuable as you achieve more of them.
So, if the results mean less as you achieve more of them, how do you stay driven?
By loving the practice of what you do. It’s only the people who embrace their work as a craft and fall in love with the boredom of doing it day in and day out that stay driven over the long-term.
Guess what? This answer is now easy. If you love the practice of what you do, if you love the daily work, then you can be happy before and after you achieve your goals.
When you learn to love the process of what you are doing and not focus so much on the goal, you automatically find happiness while staying driven.
If you learn to love the practice of working out, then you’ll be happy right now and you’ll see results later. If you learn to love the practice of marketing your business, then you’ll be happy right now and you’ll see results later. If you learn to love the practice of supporting your friends and family, then you’ll be happy now and see the results later.
Happy and driven. Just one more reason why the system is better than the goal.
today we walked by the tree lined street and she suddenly stopped and said “oh my goodness all those yellow leaves were on the trees yesterday when i ran by them and now they’re all on the floor!” and it was true, all the tree branches were bare, all i saw was dull brown on them and all the loud yellow of the leaves had fallen to the ground.
and as she prayed for me this morning (upon my request hehe), she prayed:
God, we know that it’s not about her making it to the top or winning the praise of everyone. it was never about that, Lord, your design for her here was never for that. it’s about her glorifying you in everything she does there.
and you have provided for her time and time again, throughout the years, and even just this past week.
Lord, help me to remember You. Lord, help me to trust in You.
i am sitting here with my hair still wet from the shower, gray on gray pajamas, and i recall when i was in the little room in silverman alone, with my laptop and just a rock in my stomach, after i had received my first semester 1L grades. it was such an alone feeling moment. sterile, cold.
i dig up the thing i wrote back then, some near-four years ago, and it says:
they were [almost, really just a centimeter away from being] as bad as i thought they would be.
and believe me, i expected some very bad grades.
:o) trying. to keep a smile on.
okay but what’s the point? i failed at what i did. i did a bottom-level job at what i was supposed to be working this whole semester on.
one whole semester’s worth of awful, awful marks. i mean, wow. a whole semester of law school tuition, down the drain.
what did i think, that the professors would somehow serendipitously smile and give me completely unjustifiably good grades?
wrong, dear. wrong.
i did so very badly. wow. this was it. and i failed at it. wow.
i wonder when it will really sink in.
on the flip side,
i have no desire to see or hear from him for the next while.
i’m just too upset at myself, too ashamed of myself, too filled with regrets and self-revulsion to even be worth getting into a relationship with.
i’m repulsed with myself.
these are the consequences of my actions.
but more importantly, this is what happens when you just don’t try hard enough.
when you just don’t get smart enough.
this is what happens.
i know that at this point all i should be saying is, “better luck next time, next time.”
but i’m too disappointed with myself and my own performance to even bother muttering anything.
i hate me sometimes.
… i’d better keep reading hosea tonight.
i think i just want to take a cab home with my books.
honestly, being here kind of makes me sick.
law school. ahh law school.
i spoke to my parents today. as soon as my dad asked me what was wrong or if my heart was hurting i broke down and started crying. i told him i was sorry and i felt so ashamed and i actually…. just told him everything.
he comforted me, he soothed me, he told me i did a great job, and he told me he loved me. he told me that i did great when i know i didn’t do great. he told me to trust in God. he told me to remember today’s QT, that God makes so much out of just nothing. he told me it wasn’t about my grades, and that it was about me trusting in God because He would always provide and carry me. he told me not to cry and say sorry, he said don’t say sorry, because the reason he was paying for my education and providing me with all of these things was because he loves me. not because of my tests (which he never asks about and never has asked about), or my performance in school, so certainly not my grades. he says i needed to think about his support all these years simply as a father’s love. and that i needed to remember God’s love that way.
and for good measure, he said he’d even send me more spending money here in philly if i needed it. har. har.
then i talked to my mom. and she was proud of me and told me i did a very good job. which i told her wasn’t true, it wasn’t. but she said she was still so proud of me and that she loved me.
so . there.
if i were at harvard law school and chief editor of law review and future first female president of the united states of america, but without the mom and dad i have today, i would still not be an iota as blessed as i am today, having the parents i have. they love me.
and that love changed me today. just a little bit, but a true bit. it made my heart softer and swellier and it naturally made me want to forgive others and love them because why hoard this love, love that i’ve grown up with as it’s been drenched onto me, year after year? i receive love from God i receive love from dad i receive love from mom i receive love from my sister
and so the only thing left to do is give love spill it spill it spill it spill it onto everyone around me
"them" includes him, the boy who, for this entire season, left me feeling stripped and empty and cheap and unwanted abandoned i wanted to forgive him and show him love and i did, i think i did then.
"them" includes the unloved the hard to love the people who need love the people who are hardened to love so maybe God will give me an opportunity to love those unloved and serve them and give them power.
i am so blessed. my grades suck but when has my performance in school, my gpa, ever been the determining factors of how far i’ve been taken ? i shouldn’t have even gotten into this school or the one before that yet here i am.
so back to the present.
last night i talked on the phone with my mom, and the night before that i talked on gchat with my dad and mom. things never change with them. God, i know your plans can not be thwarted. you told me so in job 42:2.
on sunday i walked back for prayer after the sermon on obadiah and humility and laboring in vain and pride. the pastor’s wife was there to pray over me then and one thing she said was: ”God, we know that you don’t promise us clarity… but you do promise us your peace.” and then she asked that God would be my peace and give me peace in my heart even in my workplace.
and i take delight in the fact that God hears my prayers. and i take delight in my weaknesses. and i do feel a deeper peace inside of me this week, than the stormy stuff that just kept rolling about inside last week.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
"You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?"
my gratitude and happiness are so largely dictated by my moods and circumstances. i am also a forgetful person, in that i forget the prior 17 good things that may have just recently happened to me, as soon as approximately 5 days pass after the 18th thing, the bad thing.
i forgot, for instance, that just about a month ago, my little daisy met me in new york and we used my firm’s office on the 45th floor of a glass building, the 5th tallest building in the city, as our own personal luggage closet and we ate at nearby japanese restaurants for lunch and dinner and i barely had to do a shred of work the entire time she was with me in new york. and that the first night, the firm paid for my hotel suite and paid for my meals and my train and my flight and i got to shmooze with all those professionals and graze at free sushi and laugh it up in people’s offices and that doto got to take boatloads of pictures on the reception floor, where all you see is the 360 degree panorama because the floor to the ceiling is a glassy clear. or a clear glass.
i forgot, for instance, that about two weeks ago i felt intellectually stimulated, my brain nodes challenged while respected even, by the totally random assignment i had to work on for the person for whom i’d never worked, and how reach for the stars it felt when he said my product was very well written and when he called my work really great. how much ownership and professional dignity i felt when he shared his case strategy with me, when he asked for my thoughts and opinions on the matters. in that scene i so enjoyed bankruptcy law. it felt like a fun near neon puzzle that wasn’t out of my league. maybe a 500 pieces picture instead of a 5,000 one.
i forgot the vision boards lo and i got to make at kristen’s, the cava and lime and cava lunches that i got to enjoy after church with jos and lo, the pleasant pops lounge sessions i discovered for my recent saturdays, the locolat i got to try out for the first time with julie and jos, the annandale car adventure i got to have with lo and dan and don, the same adventure i got to have with them at las canteras,
i forgot, for instance, that for months i didn’t have to work on any weekends, that for months and months i didn’t have to see the face of the one who makes me so anxious and little-feeling, that when i visited the new york office God took care of me really well, all my interactions and all my introductions and all my moments with doto.
and i forgot that while paul was here before doto, he came on a friday when no one was at work because of the upcoming memorial day and that we played and played and i had no work that whole weekend.
i forgot alllll those things, and many more, simply because for the past two weeks i’ve had to be on call non-stop (not even on friday nights really) and endure a constant stream of above-average stress and face snide comments and side-eyes and rudeness and it’s a relatively uninteresting case with much gruntwork and administration to be done. (i state the obvious, but it’s not a lot of hardship for all the triumphant undeserved moments with which i’ve been lavished).
i am so forgetful.
m encouraged me today. her left hand showed Christ and her right hand showed me in my sin. Christ is the yes to all God’s promises. and she placed her left hand over her right hand so that her right hand was completely covered and all God would see was her left.
i like this song. i like the first line and the second line and the third line and the fourth line.
Your glory is so beautiful
I fall onto my knees in awe
And the heartbeat of my life
Is to worship in your light
‘Cause Your glory is so beautiful
Your glory is so beautiful
cauliflower smells like cheese in a big way. and when you roast it it gets all meaty and fantastic.
four out of my six items came today. unfortunately i love the ones i’ve opened so far and so i’ll have to keep them. there goes my plan of hassle free returns. we shall see about the dress and the skirt though.
lo went so far as to email kristen and ask if i could please just have my birthday off of work (it’s a saturday). hilarious. kristen had to inform her in the nicest way possible that it was laughable to even think that there existed birthdays here at the firm. :o)
hahhaha. it’s okay. i know God protects my time when i need it. i’m not worried.
sometimes i really just can’t imagine riding this bicycle for more than this year.
my mom said something interesting last year, which basically went something like: don’t become one of those people who grows up and makes a lot of money to buy a big house that only your nannies get to enjoy because you’re too busy working day and night to even spend any time inside of it.
because it is true. she and i agreed that we’d rather have smaller houses that we actually got to spend time in and enjoy.
on that note, oh how i miss my happy warm home sometimes~ bye