I want to be

Right now, I want to be somewhere sunny.

Sitting in the back of my family’s childhood era Honda Civic, my face slightly pressed against the window, enough to feel the coolness of the glass on my cheek.

I look upward to the trees as they zoom pass by, the sunlight intermittently streaming in through the leaves.

Rays of happiness that warm my face with that slight tingle you get when everything in the world seems perfectly at peace.

The family laughing, my fat little thighs waddling on the cheap upholstery as I struggle to keep my chubby person up.

Right now, I want to go back to that time when things appeared better and hurting souls didn’t exist.

When I didn’t know what hurt was, when I didn’t know what loneliness was.

How raw the unwanted feeling of hopelessness is as it wells up inside, the tears forming as the house you built so easily falls.

But I say it can’t be over just like that.

There is hope, and there is love.

 

I know this appears weird because I haven’t posted in what seems like ages.  But I needed to write it all out, especially with all that has been happening at school this semester.  So many things just don’t make sense to me, but I pray that God’s peace may fall like a comforting blanket of snow on this campus and quell the storms in all of our hearts.

FEy

Just some thoughts I had on my mind as I was driving home tonight…

I think it is quite interesting/infuriating (take your pick) on how ironic we can be as a society.  These are just some varied observations I had on what annoys me sometimes about people (a wide spectrum of annoyance levels hurr):

  1. There are people out there who wish more than anything and would give anything to be able to conceive and raise a child.  And there are those who are not found wanting in their fecundity but do not want, and then there’s abortion.
  2. How the people who say “f*** the police” immediately revert their sentiments when the bad guys come, and they find themselves alone and cornered.
  3. How those that so volubly express their disdain for our military overlook the fact that it is the same people they mock that fight and die everyday to defend their right to mock them.
  4. How certain lawmakers fervently push to increase our military presence around the world when they have not the slightest idea what it is like to be shot at.
  5. Those who want world peace when they are not even at peace with themselves or their loved ones.
  6. The person that uses the “hungry kids in Africa” line when they have never actually personally known or seen a hungry African kid.
  7. But alas there is also that one kid at lunch time who threw away everything on their tray but that one slice of “delicious” pizza they ate.  We all knew “that kid.”
  8. On a larger scale, there are those that want world hunger to end but have never spent a single day hungry.
  9. Feminists who believe equality means superiority.
  10. Feminists who believe all men are chauvinist pigs.
  11. Those men out there who actually are chauvinist pigs. Oink oink.
  12.  Yesterday, I bought groceries at Kroger and decided I didn’t need a PLASTIC bag.  So the cashier put a PLASTIC sticker on every item I had. Each PLASTIC sticker congratulated me for saving PLASTIC.
  13. That guy who doesn’t lift that asks me “bro do you even lift?”
  14. How there are people that try very very very very very hard to gain weight and people that try very very very very very hard to lose weight.

I could go on, but I am afraid to come off as an angry, cynical, hypocritical walking pillar of sanctimony.

I guess I just want people to be more self-critical, aware, optimistic, and loving and less hypocritical, ignorant, and dispassionate.  And I believe that change starts to occur on the individual level.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13 : 13

the heart

Wow.

I found this video off of Wimp.com (daily updated site of interesting videos I frequent), and I was touched so much by it.  Soulpancake has always put out interesting videos, but I would have to say this one struck the deepest chord in me.  I teared up multiple times LOL.  Seeing the passion this lady has to do her job as a cardiothoracic surgeon– it inspired me in so many ways.

I am not sure if many people know this, but I had a heart condition when I was younger that was surgically corrected when I was ten.  It wasn’t life threatening, but it limited me from having the freedom I believe every kid wants when they are wee tots.  From the moment when I remember coming off the anesthesia and on I was determined and even positive that my calling in life was to be a doctor.  Conveniently, a young Chinese boy sincerely desiring to become a doctor is probably the sweetest music to have ever graced Asian parents’ ears.  So I went through school, joined clubs, and did everything I thought would ensure my being able to study medicine at a good university.  I enjoyed science all throughout high school too.  Biology captivated me with its seemingly boundless information as to how wonderfully created this world is, and to how precious and intricate life is as a science.  Chemistry gave me a freedom to explore what things of this world were made of, and I was fascinated with how elements even seemed to act like organisms–choosing which other elements to bond with and in what angles (there’s a dirty joke there somewhere…).  And Physics was physics…LOL. All of this reminiscing though just made me remember the greatest moment of my high school science career.

We were doing an orgo lab of some sort, and the lab at one point called for butyric acid.  My teacher warned us that it stanked realllll baddddd so she had placed it under the fume hood.  I interpreted that caveat as:  “it stanks realll GOOOOOD.”  I knew I had to smell it.  So when the time came to use it, I grabbed the giant Erlenmeyer flask with the acid and took a big whiff.  I lost vision for half a second and almost threw up.  It was such a rush.  That day was a victory.

Anyways, that’s all preface to how I am feeling now.  When I was applying to school, I was stuck between pursuing business or medicine.   Penn would be a wonderful place to do either, and I even entertained the idea of doing both.  Right now, seeing the beauty of cardiovascular work in that video has given me immense appreciation for medical students, but it also makes me feel forlorn to an extent.  As if choosing the Horton school has made me turn my back on the passions I had growing up.  Even scarier of a thought is the idea that what if in choosing to dive into the business world, I personally won’t garner the degree of satisfaction and fulfillment the surgeon in the video has.

In any case, I still do very much love business school now.  And I am in no way complaining anymore about it, just the occasional grumble during exam week okay. I am truly blessed to be studying and learning what I am, and until I feel called otherwise I shall continue to live and work with the facts that I know now.  Who needs to worry about the future when there are so many good things to be done in the present!

Also, I loved that last bit of the video when she talks about the soul residing in the heart.  What a powerful woman.  Gotta find a woman like that.

:””(

Danggggg, after dinner I sat with my mom for a bit and watched her Chinese drama with her.  I came in at probably the worst possible episode because it was the one where the guy’s wife died in a car accident.  Saddest thing was they had a little girl together, but now she was all “where is mommy.”

It just made me start thinking about how I can’t imagine how I would get through an experience like that–having my wife leave me.  I think the biggest takeaway for me though is to not get caught up in the pettiness that often plagues our relationships.  Especially between a husband and wife, why go to bed angry at each other when we don’t know when God calls us home?  Why bicker about the small things and let our pride overcome the beauty of marriage when one of us might very soon pass away?  But since I have no wife, let me just relate this to my current situation and live up to the phrase “loved ones” by actually trying to love them.

 

Side note:  Tim gave me Max Lucado’s book In the Grip of Grace, and I am almost finished with it but it has blessed me in so many ways.  I’ll probably have to re-read it every now and then though to remind my fickle heart of God’s promises I often forget.  But shout-out to Pastor Tim for being number one!  Thanks :)

Little update

This past week:

  • I sadly learned that the reason why some of the kids were sleeping so heavily in class was because the homeless shelters were so loud at night that they couldn’t get any good sleep…I felt bad because I always thought they were just being “lazy/unmotivated” (the reasons why I spent most of high school with my head on my desk…), but it was sobering to say the least..
  • I tied a friendship bracelet around CJ’s wrist after he asked for one because he saw the one Ethan gave me.   I felt so mushy.

Noms

My parents visited me today for the lolz.  We went to get lunch and then shopped in Chinatown for groceries.  I remember feeling very excited the night before because I was really missing them and how much fun we all have together.  But today I just felt really cranky and tired and didn’t honor them as much as I should have with my words or actions.   And then today at small group, I heard that how we treat those closest to us is how we truly are.  Which is so true.  More and more evidence pointing to the fact that I am such a horrible sinner.

To make it worse, my mom tends to be very detail-oriented and asks a lot of questions that to me seem like common knowledge (when the truth is they are actually good questions).  I need more patience and empathy because I was snapping back at her and just being very prideful in how I was answering her.    And to make things even more worse…my mom, out of the deep maternal love in her heart, cooked me a bunch of foooooooooood to eat.

For some stupid stupid stupid reason I was just annoyed at how she was going to such great lengths to give me things.  I said to her “Mom, I don’t need any of this food.  Everything I need I have here already.”  LIES. LIES LIES LIES.  BECAUSE I JUST GOT BACK FROM THE GYM AND I KNOW WHAT TO EAT.  THISSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

IMAG1595I feel ashamed for being so ungrateful and shamelessly ignorant.  And undeserving of this food and love.  Tear tear tearrrrr :’(

Swimming

I started swimming again today.  Alex and Carolyn blessed me with their companionship and presence too!  Alex also gave me a Speedo to wear and keep for life #trulyblessed.  I felt so awesome wearing a Speedo for the first time.

LOL

HAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHA

WAX_EthanSongMy purpose in life is to grief Ethan.

 

 

Easter

Happy Easter!

IMAG1589

(Let us ignore the fact that I am a day behind the deadline of actually saying I posted this on Easter)

On December 31, 2012, I somehow got a fortune cookie with this fortune in it.  Instead of doing the normal thing of reading a fortune and tossing it away, I decided to scribble down the date and put it in my wallet for safekeeping.  The day I received this fortune was during the last day of the Urbana conference I went to over winter break, and I just cannot seem to remember where/how I got a fortune cookie during Urbana.  But I suppose that’s okay because this fortune actually held up to be true!

I flipped open my wallet during some time this past week when I was just incredibly bored (most likely during BEPP lecture…) and found this fortune tucked away.  I did some heavy calculations and realized that the date mentioned in this fortune was to fall exactly on Easter Sunday!  Hehehehehe….I had some expectations for what today would entail for me.

By the grace of God, I somehow got out of bed this morning at 6:30 am so I could meet with some other freshmen who were walking over to the “sunrise service” this morning.  I stumbled out of my top bunk, drowned in the shower, and struggled to put on nice clothes and look dapper.  I had to retie my tie six times because I kept messing up…  BUT I MADE IT ON TIME SORTA.  About a handful of us moseyed on over to the park and worshiped the Lord with the sun rising on our faces (I exaggerate.  The sun was hiding behind a cloud, as per usual in Philly…).  But figuratively, the son was indeed rising (SEE WHAT I DID THERE).  It was very calming and peaceful for me to be able to make the first real thing I do in the morning to find myself enveloped in a community of passionate believers seeking to know God and just simply worship.  I worshiped in the crisp air of a waking city the Creator who gives me true life and purpose.  Pastor Dan gave a short sermon about the apostle Thomas and his reaction to Jesus’ resurrection and how in the end, when Thomas finally believed Jesus was risen, he simply proclaimed:

“My Lord and my God!”    - John 20:28

I found myself simply uttering the same exaltation to God out of a lack of any other words I could use to tell Jesus to be Savior and Lord of my life.  I tend to forget that second part:  Lord.  Jesus is Lord over my life just as much as he is my savior.  Throughout this school year, I have been drawn closer and closer to this truth:  that Jesus is asking more from those who accept him as Savior–that we obey Him out of a genuine love and faith.  I think back to how Jesus often purposefully placed his disciples in weak, powerless situations so they would come to realize that it is only through Jesus they live.  And I think of 1 Corinthians 1:28-29, in that God uses the lowly things of this world, the things that are, to nullify the things that are not, so that none may boast.

Regular church service this morning though was by far another wonderful experience where I could feel that the Holy Spirit was leading me and the Church around me to worship God.  Right from the beginning, when we broke into O Happy Day, an enormous, uncontrollable smile broke out across my face because I had never before been so blatantly reminded by God that Jesus is risen indeed!  And when Paul Baloche’s version of Hosanna started, I came to appreciate the power of fellowship in bringing others to genuine worship (it is one of Rhobaby’s songs that he expressed really pumps him up to praise Jesus).  It is a small example yes, but because I knew this song would bring him closer to God, it made me also closer to God.  Word.  Community….

Through the rest of the songs and the blessed, God-breathed sermon Pastor Dwight delivered, I realized that in my heart there was no doubt, but, instead, only an overflowing of joy at the true life Jesus lets me now live.  As I stood in the front pew, I could not help but just feel so pumped up and awestruck by how awesome our God is and how great His love for us that He sent Jesus for us– for me.  Never before had an Easter been so real to me.  I was completely floored.  It seems that as each week passes, as I pursue God earnestly, He answers me directly in return.   Never had I loved God with all my being so much as I had last Sunday.  But with this Easter, not only did a fortune cookie’s promise come to fruition, but so did God’s promise:

“that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”     – Philippians 1:6

As the tears and snot dribbled down my face into my smiling mouth, I realized that God will never fail to teach me more, humble me more, and love me more than I could ever want.  Everything that I was feeling in my mind and heart culminated into that one verse from that one song:

 If ever I loved thee, my Jesus ’tis now. 

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Teaching struggles

In my late-night studying grind for a midterm tomorrow when my sister sends me this article about Teach for America.   I’m not advocating or supporting anything that is said in the article– at least I am choosing to not comment on my opinions on the things raised for the sake of saving time on my little break here.  BUT.  It is interesting how my sister and I have both found ourselves with a heart for urban development/inner-city education/kids in general.  Even more interesting is how our actions have lined up with our passions during the same time.  Don’t tell her this, but it has been quite a blessing to be able to have someone that understands these things to converse about.  I remember after my first day at site I called my sister to tell her everything that was inundating my feeble little pea-brain.

So if you gave that article a quick read, you probably have concluded that there is no answer to this “problem.”  And that everything especially just seems pointless…

But in reply, I sent my sister just this quick little blurb that I think sums up how I have been feeling about this topic.  I think there has been a very interesting shift in my thoughts/stance on this since the inception of this endeavor.

omgshhh. SO TRUE.  Such a well-written article…

For me.  I’ve accepted that there is no clear solution or “answer” to this problem.  I’ve just taken consolation and found sincere motivation and peace in the idea that no matter what I do I should do it for God’s glory.  So by going to the classroom and being with the kids, I may not be moving giant mountains in the public school systems, but I sure hope that I am at least moving little hills in the lives of these kids:  that they, at the least, implicitly know that there is someone out there that loves them no matter what.  They don’t need to get the answers right or be the smart kid for me to love them and show them attention.  So through this whole ordeal, I just hope that my time and effort spent there leaves at least one kid more motivated to learn and pursue his/her dreams than when I first arrived.

Word.
Dick.
I am not sure if anybody reading this has the same sentiments about this, but I would be more than happy to talk about this with you!  I don’t have any of the answers, but maybe we can find them together.
I just turned something of a more somber tone into something troll
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