In Your Language

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's not your fault

This is a post that portrays me as 

a fallible human being. 

[Enter Human] 

 Maybe this is more of an adoptee thing, 

but I think it has to do with a relapse with co-dependency.

The other day I was not reading my husband very well and he said to me in frustration: 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Heart "Out of Order"

"Emotional Heart Transplant" Nancy Thomas

Do you know who Nancy Thomas?

I watched the interview I linked to above a few weeks ago and I really resonated with the term she used as an "emotional heart transplant." For some people, this is in fact what they need- no fault of their own. Some people have been taught that the world is such a dangerous and painful place that they turn their hearts off. My heart breaks for theirs as God would call us to have a heart for in our fellow man. 

At first this concept sounds unthinkable, but it is something of a social deficit that is on the rise. I don't want to go backwards and point fingers; all I know is that we, the collective, need to work together to nip it in the bud. We need to change minds and hearts with an "emotional heart transplant" as Nancy Thomas suggests.

How do we do that? Isn't that abstract? Do I need to be trained?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Unexpected Gift

I noticed a message in the (Other) box of Facebook,

 I was astonished to see who it was from (video)...

Turns out, my old friend was contacting me after four years of estrangement. It was a welcome gift to be in relationship with someone. Despite the time we lost, we are in a better place to have a healthier relationship. I've been exposed to a new subset of people who have given me some insight on how her life must have been and now I can use it in our friendship.

Perhaps God was preparing me to be in contact with her again- so that I could see her with his eyes. I always had a softness towards her knowing she had a rough start in childhood, but now I've talked to people who have been down a similar road enough to have more sympathy for her.

The dynamics have changed in a good way. We have a different basis for our friendship now. I think God chose the right time for us to be friends again since we've grown and matured. It's a gift because I would have assumed that she was still mad at me.
I left things owning my portion of it. Our last conversation was the first conversation that I listened to someone complain about me without getting defensive. I didn't make excuses. I didn't agree with everything she said- but I honored her feelings anyway.

I was hoping that because I handled the conversation well that it would have ended better. But at least it was good enough to keep the door open for us being friends again in the future. This was such a great lesson to me. I was faithful in ending things in the right way and keeping my heart open to her.

God has brought us back together. Perhaps because now I can be better supportive to her. I can tell her that I know how it feels. I can be that open forum for her- as anyone yearns for. And it is good for our children also.

Our kids were the collateral damage of our estranged friendship. They were hurt at the loss of the friendship. They didn't know what happened. Perhaps they assumed it was their fault. To be honest, I took for granted that they cared. But they did. I saw it in my friend's oldest daughter's eyes. It was heartbreaking. I felt like I didn't just let her mother down, but that I let her down as well.

At any rate, things will be different this time. God has fashioned us into better people, with less raw wounds. I have never felt so redeemed. I've never had someone fight for me like that since I was abandoned as a child. It is my sign that God thinks that I'm on the right spiritual track.

Perhaps this is God's practice for me so that I can restore my relationship with my adoptive mother. I left it the same way. I told her that I felt pain for her; that I couldn't imagine not being able to have a child. I told her I'd take care of her when my father dies. And he died last year. I left my heart open to her so that I am ready when she is... when God is ready to do the work in restoring our relationship.

I feel like God is cheering me on in life these days and it feels awesome. I wish this for all of you. I'm not saying that my life is easy or perfect- but it feels like every experience is being used for good. This makes all of life's crap worth while. 

Thank you for reading this personal post. I hope it influenced you in a hopeful and positive way. Keep me in your prayers and send me all the good karma you can spare. If you have your own story of relational redemption or advice to me on the rekindled friendship- please include that in your comments below! Blessings to you~

#humpdayhappenings #friendship

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Are you an Enforcer?

Video response to comments on:

en·force  (ĕn-fôrs′, -fōrs′)tr.v. en·forced, en·forc·ing, en·forc·es
1. To compel observance of or obedience to: enforce a law.
2. To impose (a kind of behavior, for example): enforce military discipline.
3. To give force to; reinforce:

I give credit to Pastor Jimmy Evans with helping me see areas in my life where I had to allow God to take over the situation and shape me to be the person he designed me to be. God cannot operate in our lives if we are the enforcers. Innocently, well-meaning enough, I used to be an enforcer.

It got me no-where fast. As much as what I stood for was right and honorable, I was going about it the wrong way. The biggest clue that I was going about it the wrong way was the responses I got. God never backed me up when I was the enforcer. God was shaking his head in disapproval every time I was trying to compel a situation. There was no amount of praying that would compel God to back me up in my wrong pattern.

I finally got it through my thick skull to step back. It was hard to do nothing; especially when I felt so strongly about what I had been doing. I felt it to my core that I was doing right. I was even willing to take heat for what I thought was helping the situation.

But once I backed off, God honored my obedience and he stepped in. He brought professionals into our life and circle of influence that echoed what I had been enforcing. Once my husband heard a similar tune on a different channel, he was able to see the merit in the message and not let my ungodliness get in the way.

Now that God is the enforcer, my husband sees me in the correct light: as a person who had keen intuition and loving interest. He takes the advice of the professionals and is now doing what I used to do. Except this time, we're doing it together. We are in full agreement. It feels great. I know we're going to come out on top because we're fighting the good fight!

Thank you for reading through to the end. Extra props to you if you watched my video! I felt lead to share a personal part of my life since a bunch of you shared your prayers. Do you have anything to add to my video or post? Any more Prayers? Please comment below. 

If you think this post would bless anyone else, please share. 

You are the best! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Where's the proof?

Things to ask yourself if you are in that ditch: 

  • Does this person have the right tools to help you?
  • Is this person in a position to help?
  • Is this person willing to feel discomfort to help you?

    Keep your eyes wide open when it comes to your own welfare. Don't disregard conflicting impressions. Find the right help. Once you're out of that ditch, God wants you to become available to do the same for someone else. You're going to get through this! 

    If ever you have a special prayer request, send it my way and I'll pray over it for you. Many times I bring the prayers to the prayer group at church and everybody will join me in your plea. I have seen and experienced the power of prayer! It's available to everyone- including non-Christians.

    Thank you for reading~ You can attach your prayer requests if you feel led to. 

      Friday, April 25, 2014

      A Funny Story: Spoiler words- Wii remote, black, green

      Sept 2007


       This is a true story...

      The first day I ever played Wii, I was hooked. I was playing tennis and schooling the competition with a flick of the wrist. I was having so much fun that I played for hours. I played so long my hand got sweaty and....

      Thursday, April 24, 2014

      Easter as a blended family and foibles

      I promise that if you watch this video you will laugh multiple times!



      I wanted to give you an idea of how we spent our Easter... 

      as an imperfect, blended family.

      1. Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Cheese & Bacon with Resurrection Rolls made of Peeps rolled inside croisants
      2. Decorating Eggs: Monster style with stickers
      3. Egg hunt in the back yard, inside for Gabriel and his 4 eggs.
      4. Ham Dinner with Mashed Potatoes and vegetables

      What was not on the agenda:
      • Kids whining
      • Cracked Eggs
      • Kids taking forever to find eggs
      • No Baby nap
      My biggest bummer was having to write a Physics Lab and redoing a part of it ON the holiday. Minor blooper was the thing I mentioned in the video. I disappointed my family! It was such an easy thing I don't know how I could have messed that up.

      The point of the whole day was to realize that we are all sinners and fall short of perfection. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice and payed the price for our salvation. I was so thankful to have my family with me (minus V. but he also had a great Easter elsewhere). It was such a blessing to share Easter with my baby son for the first time. He is named after the Archangel. He is God's gift to our blended family-- tying us all together. We are so so blessed.

      Any unexpected things happen during your Easter or Passover? Please share in the comment box below! Thank you for watching/reading!   


      Wednesday, April 23, 2014

      Bursting with ideas

      Today I met with my friend and it dawned on me that I've known her for a while and it was only today that I asked her about her passion. The back story is that she has mentioned to me that she would love to talk about this with her spouse, but he is of few words and uninterested. I realized I've been looking as uninterested as her husband of many years. You can only imagine how her eyes lit up when I asked her. She also suggested something for us to do another day so that she can tell me more about her life work! 

      So, aside from feeling like a bad friend to her; what am I missing that would give my blog some spark?

      What are your ideas? Do you want to see anything
      on my blog that I haven't covered yet? Please
      share in the comment box below or
      contact me privately on G+.

      Monday, April 21, 2014

      You skipped a step

      Photo Credit:

      Slow down a second...

      take the time to learn...

      from this experience...


       Ways we speed through life:

                  1. Busyness

                                    Sometimes we over-schedule ourselves to where the only way to fit everything 
                                    in is to cruise at high speed. 

                  2. Default  

                                    Life can be so uninteresting or painful that we operate on auto-pilot. I've driven 
                                    miles across town forgetting how I got between point A and point B.

                  3. Lack of Priorities

                                   When we treat everything with equal priority we run the risk of not giving
                                   appropriate attention to things that truly matter. Sometimes we take the mentality 
                                   of "small stuff" too far.

                  4. Fear And Unpleasant Tasks

                                   Fear has a way of making us avoid things. Then we do them ridiculously fast so
                                   we can get through the discomfort of actually going through with the things that
                                   make us face our fears. Unpleasant tasks put us in a similar mental mode of 
                                   avoidance until it is no longer feasible to avoid and then we are forced to do those 
                                   things haphazardly due to the lost time

      But our biggest mistake is moving on too soon...

                                   Many times once we finish those undesirable tasks we rush to the more 
                                   rewarding ones. I mean-- dopamine is a tyrant! But then we ignore a    
                                   great opportunity to reappraise our apprehension about that task. 

      Upon finishing, we could try asking ourselves
      • Was that as bad as I expected it to be? 
      • Was there anything that surprised me during that activity?
      • What can I learn from what just happened?"

      STORY TIME...

      Unbeknownst to me, my husband had something to do that he was avoiding. He finally admitted to negative arousal around this particular task. But he knew he had to do it. [FAST FORWARD] You'll be happy to hear--- that he survived! =)

      Not connected to the story but similar concept

      After he was done, I asked him how he think it went. I said "Did it go better than you had expected?" Thankfully, he said it went just fine. I'm guessing he felt like he had psyched himself out over it. If I hadn't asked him that closing question, I wonder if he would have taken the time to reappraise his apprehension. =) I would be curious to see if he would have a different attitude toward this particular task in the future.

      Reappraisal and correct attribution can make a world of difference in the way we understand our life. It can also help us to shift our perspective in order to operate with the most success. The way we think about and see things is so very powerful to the subconscious and conscious decisions we make every moment of our lives. 

      Have you had a similar experience in your life where things turned out better or different from what you had anticipated? Care to tell us about it when you comment below? Or, can you share your strategies for getting undesireable things checked off your to-do list? Join the conversation! 

      Thank you for reading. Many blessings to you~

      Saturday, April 19, 2014

      Accidental Story, "I am that gal" & I hope to hear from you!

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      If you have a few minutes, please view my video which is the topic for my post today.

      I had a very non-glorious day. If anything special was going to happen, my chips were not stacked on this calendar day. I was dreading it for it's busyness. And since I'm honest, I'll divulge that part of that dread because the day wasn't going to be filled with my type of activities. I woke up selfish and a sinner.

      The to do list of the day:

      • Cook
      • Clean
      • Have Baby Throw-up on me
      • Pick up trash
      • Pick up dog droppings
      • Write a Physics report

      I told you this was no special day in the works

      But God would have it that nestled in-between those tasks within the fabric of that time, was the makings of relational resonance. Resonance is in my mind because I've been reading about sound and light waves in my textbook. But who doesn't like resonance... with another person? It felt so strange to be close to my daughter (8.5yrs) and enjoy her company. There was no complaining (about picking up poop! Whereas, she complained that her sandwich wasn't sliced all the way through. LOL). She did not talk about her friends. I didn't talk about my stuff. 

      We were in the same moment in time resonating in the mundane. I've taken her out to lunch at fancy places and we've never shared time like today. Go figure! I didn't schedule that magic. I didn't expect it to happen. And yet it did happen all on its own. It was a beautiful hour of meandering around our back hard picking up trash and dog truffles. Even the baby let us sleep through that whole process!

      All of this makes me think that we humans are doing ourselves a disservice to our families by not doing the mundane together: cooking, cleaning, landscaping. The magic of having a common goal mixed with no other agendas sets the stage for relationship building.  The more husbands and wives would do in tandem might just make their marriages solid.

      That is actually something I've never done: tandem biking! I've wanted to do that for the longest time. Every time I see a couple doing that I imagine it being a great experience and feel as if I'm missing out. Have any of you done tandem biking? Tandem sky diving? Please comment below about that experience. I'm curious!

      Friday, April 18, 2014

      Dear Father (In Memoriam)

      December 8, 1984 - April 18, 2013

      Hi Dad,
      This is the picture from the day we met at JFK Airport. You, against gentle advisement, forgot to kneel down so as to not scare me with your height. I proceeded to cry at your sheer size and strangeness. You were larger than life. At  that moment, I put my life in your hands. I decided that you were the face of God. And that wasn't fair. You had many great qualities but I had inappropriately put too much pressure on you to be perfect. It wasn't your responsibility to make my pain from my childhood trauma go away. I silently begged you to be delicate with me because my life had already been so hard for just a 4.5 year old girl.

      In that span, between our meeting and your Earthly departure, we shared many moments. There were also many misunderstandings and things left unsaid. Too much time had passed between us. I'm glad I didn't reunite with you because, like with my bio family, there is no patch for missed time. Nothing would make things right without the intervention of God. So perhaps we will finish this business in Heaven together.

      May 19, 2013 5:47am
      Nearly a month after you passed out of this life, my son Gabriel entered it. We don't have a picture like this together. You didn't know me in my first moments. Sadly, I don't think my biological father did either. This is one huge reminder that you weren't supposed to wave a wand to make things better. In some respects, you were just supposed to be there with me while the earth traveled around the sun. Someone had to hold my chronological age minus 4.5 years worth of memories- to tell me who I am this side of Heaven. Someone, some man on this earth was supposed to be able to account for who I am. And to your best ability- you did just that.

      Here is my husband holding your grandson. It's not his responsibility to fix my scars either. He has loved me in my most unlovely moments and has sweetened the precious moment of Gabriel's birth (on my own birthday no less) that we will share to eternity. I am in good hands between Robert and the Lord Above. I regret that you didn't get to meet them, Dad. I look forward to Heavenly introductions.

      I have learned how different we are. You and I both had baggage. But your baggage was hard to bear because you locked it up inside of you. Whereas, I am continually learning how to free myself of my own load. Knowing how much harder pain is to bear alone and by keeping it in, I have so much tenderness toward you. I see you more as a suffering person than my parent/teacher. I wish you had a less tormented life.

      All of this sadness begs me to think that my adoption has not disadvantaged me but made me more resilient to life's upheavals. I work hard to preserve our good memories, Dad. You had enough to endure, I'll do my best to tell people about you in the most attractive light. I never wanted to add to your pain. At least that pain has evaporated into eternal forgetfulness and unending nirvana.

      Above all else Dad- rest in peace.

      Your Daughter

      Thursday, April 17, 2014

      Chicken soup every day

      Photo Credit:

      What if we got chicken soup every day...

      How would that feel?

      My family got blindsided by the nasty stomach flu this past weekend. I dug my heels in as each member of  my family (except for my daughter) "dropped" with the stomach bug. I started feeling overwhelmed by being needed by everyone at once. And then... I GOT SICK! I was struggling to keep things going while nursing myself to health. Thankfully my husband helped me sleep most of this past Tuesday way.

      Today as I was making the best husband in the world chicken soup made from corn, broth of slow cooked chicken breasts boiled again with new bone in chicken, rice cake that was cooked in the broth so long it tasted like chicken and rice only added at the last second so that it didn't get mushy. I added organic ginger and organic tumeric to the broth for added medicinal properties. The funny thing is-- no one tasted those mystery ingredients. They only tasted my L.O.V.E. and C.A.R.E.!

      And, again for dinner I made another soup of deluxe ramen noodles with shitake mushrooms, swai and eggs swirled just right. Two meals in one day I was comforted by a meal of soup. And, we just happened to be sick. It was my first food since yesterday when all I had was a sweet potato and apple. I felt cared for (by myself) and warmed from the inside. I imagined my husband feeling the comfort as well.

      That's when it hit me: why do we only spoil each other with chicken soup when we're sick or down and out? Aren't we all in some sort of pain or discomfort most of the time? What would it feel like to get chicken soup every day... that special care that says that despite how crappy you feel, you feel the "know that I love you... that I'm here for you" feeling. Now, that's the stuff! 

      Pastor Jimmy Evans (of Marriage Today Ministries)  has a sermon where he does proposes "reality vows" and he refers to the bride and groom as sick and messed up people who are vowing to clean each others' bed pans for the rest of their lives to put it crudely (my metaphor). The white worn by the bride is just a facade as well as the clean pressed tuxedo that was merely rented. I suggest that you watch that, married and singles out there. =)

      So tonight I wonder what the world would be like if we all served each other chicken soup every day (or regularly) for the rest of our lives. What would you serve your loved ones to communicate love and comfort? Please share when you comment below.

      Thank you so much for reading! Many blessings to you~

      #tbt #throwbackthursday #chickensoup

      Wednesday, April 16, 2014

      Words With Friends WWF Prompt [3]: 04/16/14

      MUNCHIES: DW tile, 7 tiles 25pt bonus, 59pts

      Lately my husband and I are getting into making our own sushi for our night time munchies. In Korea, they do sushi that has some styles that don't have raw fish called Kim-bab. We were making the rolls out of smoked salmon (rather than raw), organic cream cheese and avocados.

      When we make sushi it makes me think of my #vacations in Korea with my biological family. My youngest aunt took me to the Fisher's Market seafood buffet in Seoul and it was amazing! They had all kinds of sushi and sashimi. The restaurant also had something that I haven't seen before: a kids play room where the kids congregated between taking bites from their delicious food.

      So when my husband and I make our humble sushi rolls it is as if I'm taken back a few years and many miles away-- Seoul, Korea. Do you have any food stories that remind you of your travels? Please share in the comments below. Thank you for reading!

      All of my WWF Posts

      #WordsWithFriends #WWFPrompt #HumpDayHappenings

      Monday, April 14, 2014

      Positive Labeling Proactively

      Image Credit:


      Send the kids off to school with a Vitamin and Positive Label

      Use Labels to your Parenting Advantage.

      Concepts: Self Fulfilling Prophecy vs. Cognitive Dissonance


      By the Grace of God, I woke up too late that day. I didn't hear my alarm clock and it seemed as if I started the day on the wrong foot.

                                          Until  God gave me his word and spirit to have an amazing start with my son.

      [Recently, I was helping him with a storyline project based on Star Wars.  It combined writing with charts and illustrations to help him conceptualize the story and get the main moving points. He was drawn to the idea "fully reborn." Although he reasoned that a person was literally a baby again, I tried to help him understand that this was not a chronological reference, but a  transformational reference as in a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon as a butterfly.]

      Despite the bad timing, I went down stairs and did my normal "get breakfast for child and make him lunch" routine. I made sure he had his shoes on and backpack ready to go out the door. But that day, I did some new (God breathed) intentional things that I HAVE done before but not all at one time.
      1. I congratulated him on a great job on his homework. (Setting up his self-concept)
      2. I told him that we have a special relationship. (Setting him up to value my words)
      3. I told him that he's going to have an awesome day. (Setting him up to have a positive day)
       For him to act outside of these three labels, would create cognitive dissonance in HIS brain. His inner self would feel discomfort to act uncharacteristic to the labels. When he acts in accordance to these labels, he will fulfill my prophecy (parent prophecy) and have an added level of self  pride.

      We are bombarded with spoken and unspoken messages that we distill into labels throughout the day. The only way to combat those labels is to actively, intentionally, consciously replace them with positive ones. Parents should assume that children cannot do this for themselves until they are in their twenties, developmentally speaking.

      Son's teacher reported to me, for the second time this year, that his standardized testing scores have increased by a margin of more than one academic year's (or more!) progress within one semester of middle school. My positive labeling (albeit not always welcomed because they also require action), have paid off for HIM. It was always about him achieving for himself... so he could feel good about himself and redefine himself.

      Those labels can be the cocoon to our children. Let's make the cocoons for them! Do you have a similar parenting story? Please share it in the comments below. Many Blessings to you and thank you for reading!

      #parentingwithvision #childfulfillingprophecy #positivelabels

      Saturday, April 12, 2014

      What is your personal measuring stick?

      Photo Credit:


      How do you treat the people who hurt you?

      Your answer will give you at least one telling way of assessing 

      what quality of person you are.

      There where times in my young life that I didn't know when friends would turn into enemies. The line seemed so blurry at times it was dizzying trying to keep track. My original goal was just to pick out who was "who" and stay away from the people who would lash out at me. I thought I was doing the reasonable thing-- avoid pain. Social pain can be exponentially worse than physical pain, at least for me.

      Some people judge others by a different logarithm than how they judge themselves. We are predisposed to judge ourselves more favorably than others even if our behavior is identical. It seems absurd, but at the same time it makes sense that we should have a preference for ourselves in pursuit of survival. But I don't see any dinosaurs or animals of prey stalking the common man; one is extinct and the other is something we would only encounter in the wild. It is not normal to have a frame of mind "to kill or be killed" in this day and age.

      Pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church has a sermon series on  taking accountability for our actions. He suggests that whatever gets jostled out of us could only be knocked out of us because we already had it within us. So, if someone hurts us and we lash back because we were triggered for that emotion; we must have already had anger inside of us. This implies that our present anger is connected to past situations. The anger we experience in the present is defunct. 

      By extension, the way we treat people who hurt us in the moment reflects more of who we are than who the other person is. It can reveal to us what we have inside. What things do we hold inside that makes us who we are? Whatever we are a vessel for defines us. So, if we are working on our inner qualities then we will not be driven to display disproportionate anger towards people who hurt us as time goes on. We will find ways to derail that anger; like offering something totally different: grace and forgetfulness.

      It's easier to indulge our anger. We already feel validated in that feeling from who knows how long ago. And, it's easy to treat people well who also treat us well because they don't knock out or trigger the ugliness inside of us. But it takes a longer time to rebuild something than to tear it down. When we accept people as being fallible and knowing that the are BOUND TO hurt us, we can respond to those moments with more aplomb. Then we can show who we are with the anger filtered out. 

      Image Credit:

      That is why a true measuring stick of our character is how we respond to distasteful situations. If you can act in love toward people who have no intention of treating you kindly, then pat yourself on the back for me.  You would be in my inner circle of friends. You are a blessing to all people.


      When is a time that you took the higher road in a social situation? Please share in the comments below. Thank you for reading and for joining the conversation!

      Friday, April 11, 2014

      Running out of Envy

      What do you do to "water your own lawn"?  Please comment below and share!

      Many blessings to you! 

      Thursday, April 10, 2014

      Dear Sister...

      (DSi front facing camera is soooo bad!)

      [This sort of photo analyzing program is of interest to me as an adopted person. I think that most adopted adults are very curious to see how similar their kids will look like themselves since they usually don't share a resemblance with their adoptive families. Actually, I had a different program online having my daughter look 51% like me so this DSi app is confusing to me.

      When I look at this I also wonder about my long lost sister out there who was also given up for adoption. Does she look 25% like me too? Would I know her if I passed her by on a street? Would our resemblance be so striking? I can only imagine for the time being. Does she even know about Eun Kyung (me), who was born the fourth month of the lunar year and the sixth day afterward?]

      Dear Sister,
      It is Sibling Day 2014 and I cannot have a picture with you in it. I didn't know you existed until 7 years ago. Or at least, the expanse of time lead me to forget about you-- about us. Before I never felt a loss because I didn't remember or know about you. But now, I sit here on Sibling Day and wonder and wish we could know one another.

      I don't know if you know or remember me either. Is it a secret that's locked in the mouths of our aunts and uncles? Am I on your orphan records? You did not appear on mine. Such a shame that I must make such flailing assumptions about what happened between us besides miles and time. But I remember so very clearly that as a child I hated being the only child. I was so lonely... left to my journal to sort things out. Imagine if I had you there to walk through that with me. My chest swells with a big sigh.

      I feel regretful that I am not searching for you actively. I guess I have little faith in the haystack of info that is available to me. I want you to know that you have family (me) out there. You have a niece and nephews in the USA. I know your (oh my gosh, OUR!) birth mother and aunts. [I really never ever had to say "our" in reference to parents- ever.] I wonder who your new parents are. We should go to Korea together some day to reunite with the rest of the family.

      How is your life? Are you happy? Find me.

      Your Sister Meredith Y.


      It's surreal to even imagine that I have a close link to someone out there that I do not know or see. Please, God, if it is your will-- please bring us back together. Please let us put the puzzle pieces of our family back together. More pieces are good, just no more missing ones. Okay?

      Many blessings to you and your siblings. Would you comment below to help me imagine what it's like to know my sister? How would life be for me... through your life as a sibling? =) I appreciate the insight!

      #nationalsiblingday2014 #longlostsister #reunitesisters #treasureyoursiblings

      Limiting words destroy potential

      Image Credit:

      Some of the most well meaning people say negative things about others. Some of the phrases imply grace, understanding, excuses for said person. Though many of these instances have no lingering affects; many people are exposed to damaging thoughts that they internalize and own for themselves whether or not they are true.

      I've heard my mother say that I was beyond help in writing in English. Although I could conceptualize that she was frustrated at not knowing how to help me, I still clung to the idea that my writing was not good enough and would never improve. What she said was enough for me to write but only in private as if my words were a source of shame. Perhaps that is a reason why I am writing out in the open now and actively promoting my blog. I have a voice and a perspective that has the same validity as anyone else.

      I heard a father say while looking at homework that was assigned to his son "Oh that's way over his head. How do they expect him to be able to do that?" The child was in earshot and not surprisingly, the child did not take well to any attempt of the father to help him with the particular assignment. I've heard people say "X simply can't Y." And, where I could agree that person X may have a hard time with Y, but that is a far cry from not being able to do Y. And wouldn't you know, X does not attempt to do Y.

      Before I sound really crude and judgmental, let me give you some amazing examples of people who could have been content at not challenging their abilities. Ultimately, they didn't let others decide for them what they were able to do. I saw a young girl, a daughter of a friend of mine, train for and get her Black Belt while going through chemotherapy. I had a co-worker who's daughter has cerebral palsy go to airline school and be at the top of her class. I know another mommy blogger who's son is doing amazing things for the Kingdom of God despite the fact that he was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and other challenges.

      I don't think there is anything a person can't do without some support. If you turn a challenge into a team goal, tackling it together could be a huge relationship builder. We are made to test our abilities, to challenge ourselves and the world around us, and to learn from those experiences along the way. We should not relegate ourselves to the limiting things other people have bestowed upon our ears. If ever we should play deaf, it is at those times when others doubt us. 

      I think we should lovingly challenge all of the doubts people have in us- even our own doubts in ourselves. We were born to want to know what is inside the cabinet, to crawl through that doorway, to climb to higher ground to see the world through new vantage points. No one has to urge a baby to learn to walk. But we can discourage that instinct and drive. But ultimately, we simply should not limit others on things that have not been pursued. We cannot reasonably say we're awful singers if we never learned how to do it correctly; or say we are bad cooks before we've learned the ropes.

      So, like the leading image suggests, please stop saying those limiting things to yourself and others. You'd be amazed and how much you/they could prove you wrong. If anything, I urge you to come along beside them in the pursuit of their goal. Suspend your judgement and just experience life unencumbered by predictions. We all have faulty abilities of foretelling the future. Let it be a glorious surprise.

      Recently, I've taken on aquaponics as a new challenge. What have you started to do that you've never done before? How is that going? Please share in the comments below! Thank you for reading.

      Wednesday, April 9, 2014

      Now that you know, what will you do?

      Image Credit:

      Imagine a situation where you simply cannot "know" 

      the world around you.

      Plato's Allegory of the Man in the Cave is a hypothetical story of such a situation. To summarize the situation: a man is held captive in a cave with his hands tied such that he cannot turn around. He is facing the wall of a cave and a fire (source of light) is behind him in-between him and the activity of his captors. The captive can only see the shadows and distorted images of what is going on on the other side of the fire and has no knowledge what is going on outside of the cave.

      Now, imagine that you are that captive but now you are allowed to turn around and leave the cave. How does that feel? At first you may experience relief. But what if that cave is all you know? What if you drew conclusions about life in the cave based off of the shadows that weren't in line with what really produced the shadows? Would you happily change your mind? Would you change your mind at all?

      Now, imagine that you have an unknown world open to you (finally!) outside the cave. Do you burst out of the cave with zeal? You don't even know where the cave is in respect to the rest of the world... in respect to anything. Wow- that must feel overwhelming, daunting and perhaps scary. Maybe you even have a small voice in your mind entertaining the wish that you had remained bound and involuntarily "ignorant" of the world around you?

      That is the dilemma about learning and maturing. Things that were once acceptable may no longer be acceptable for seemingly enigmatic  reasons. Is it your obligation to change? Is growing a natural process? Are excuses valid enough to turn away from such  revelation?  Is the unknown necessarily worse than the known?

      Learning is a way of communicating with the universe-- something bigger than and outside of yourself. And yet, it pressures you to change or choose denial.What if you don't want anymore responsibility? What if what you learned makes life less fun and more serious? What then? 

      I assume that the more change a lesson imposes on someone's life, the more resistant that person would be to changing-- to be in harmony with what we learned. What if this lesson is the foundation for future lessons? Can we go back years from now and in our own timing switch gears? 

      Then ask yourself this: Do I want to become an enlightened version of myself? If you feel cognitive dissonance inside yourself, I urge you to take the personal leap to embrace the current lesson. Currently, I have the most confidence in the choices I would have never chosen ten years ago, or if it is uncharted territory.

      How different are you from ten years ago? Please share in your comment below. 

      Thank you for indulging my thoughts today. Many blessings to you~

      #growingpains #transformation #lifelessons #maturingacrosstheages

      Tuesday, April 8, 2014

      Don't call it a failure until you have given it your all.

       Photo Credit:

      I don't know if it's because I'm Taurus cusp of Gemini, but I have a history of giving up before I ever really tried. On top of that, I labeled myself as a failure in those things-- never to try again. The funny thing was, I never gave up on bad habits as easily as I did on things that related to my feeling of self worth. I smoked for years knowing it was bad for me, but I didn't feel bad about being a smoker so I continued to do it. I used to do things that were immature, but those things were hard to shake because I thought they were common.

      Worthwhile things I gave up on:
      1. Relationships
      2. Education
      3. Chasing my dreams
      4. My inner potential 
      Things I wouldn't give up:
      1. Smoking
      2. Coffee
      3. Obsessing over the past
      4. Feelings of being wronged by the world 
      It was those wrong thoughts that I had to face before I could become the growing person I am today. Other than remaining a coffee enthusiast, I have repented of the other seven points. I have changed my mind about what it takes to succeed in those various areas (a lot more than I was willing to do originally). I had to work on ME before the things that involving the outside world could work well. There was no point in chasing my dreams as the old version of me. There was no point in chasing my dreams if I wasn't prepared to give it my all. There was no point to getting remarried if I was not going to devote my last energy to making it work for the long haul. 

      I had to acquire new behavioral response to life's normal challenges. By doing that, I decided that I was able to do things that I had not been able to do when I was younger. I am no longer that baby (in the leading photo). I am a woman who knows how to put her weight into the task and hang on for dear life. I had to be willing to get dirty and get bruised for the RIGHT reasons.

      It's no surprise that now I'm finally reaping good fruits in my life. My marriage was one of the most important challenges that I set out to master. Knowing that I have a lack of and need for family, I could not realistically pursue my education and dreams without support. So- the marriage had to be number one. And like I shared in the earlier post: I was finally convinced that I was loved, things have finally clicked in the relationship area.

      I am no longer haunted by my past. I've used the hindsight for insight. I've opened my eyes to how much hurt there is in the world that I was spared. Quitting smoking let me chase everything- not just my dreams. All that is left is to continue on this path of transformation and reach my inner potential. In psychological terms, it's called "actualization."

      I was never a fan of aging. But now that I actually enjoy life relatively unencumbered, I wish that I wouldn't have resisted it. I've never felt more blessed in my whole life despite my  physical weathering. So be it- it's a small cost for being a success in the making.

      Thank you for reading. Any pearls of wisdom you want to add? Comment below. =)

      Keep tabs on me because I will keep adding content often.  =) Blessings~


      Monday, April 7, 2014

      Banish the monkey that does everything he sees

      We have a plethora of horrible examples in life. The only way not to do what we see and not to repeat the bad examples of our younger years is to lean on the Lord through a relationship with Jesus, or through a relationship with your "Higher Power." Whatever you call the force that is greater that you...

      If we want excuses; they will always be there for us to default on. "My mother did X." "My dad never X with us."  [Insert your own mantra.] Yet all of those remarks only serve to perpetuate bad examples and pass on pain to future generations. If we can have honest eyes to admit our wrong behaviors; we know that we cannot rely on the examples we were given to do life the right way. We need to do life the right way not just for ourselves, but for the future generations of monkeys to come.

      We are good at being bad examples. We are good at being hypocrites. It's part of the human frailty. That is why, if we are truly in the business of doing things right, we must lean on another "source." I'm not suggesting that once we find this source, we will be perfect and so too will be our future generations. There is still a lot of free will to factor in. But if you care to open your mind to a infallible source, try God (or whatever religious figurehead you lean toward).

      When you train your eyes on that infallible source, you can banish that mindless monkey from your life. But more than that; our eyes actually play a huge roll on our lives in terms of what we let in from the environment to our minds. Lack of ocular stimulation can actually impede brain development. So it's very important to filter what we see and avoid looking at things that are bad for our minds and brains. Our orbital region is fairly low in our skull and is foundational for developing higher regions of our brain from the perspective that the brain develops from the bottom up. Mirror neurons allow our brains to "learn" things we see without even doing them from experience. They operate by  turning that visual information into knowledge.

      I digress. Once we train our eyes on honorable and worthwhile things, we will be more likely to copy those behaviors. Then we can stop beating ourselves up for making mistakes. We can be at peace knowing that we will never be perfect; but that we are pursuing the right way of living and relating to each other as humans. Our future generations will thank us. Or at the very least, they will be better off.

      Thank you for reading. Please share if this post inspired you to change your mind about things.

      #rightthinking #stoppingthemaddness #kickingbadhabits


      Sunday, April 6, 2014

      Deference during Differences

      Photo Credit:

      Deference: "a way of behaving that shows respect for someone or something" (Merriam Webster Online Dictionary).

       Picture deference as a gift given from someone to another person. It is not something that is required and it means little when it is demanded. But in the right circumstance, deference can speak volumes that you value and respect another person. When deference is offered in front of company, it would elevate the recipient to a whole new level. It would probably make someone's week or month in terms of personal esteem.

      Deference can speak volumes of the quality of your relationship to others when it is offered during times of differences. It communicates the fact that you honor your differences and will follow suit out of respect to the other person. In this case, deference does not mean that you agree or think the other person is  "right." It only speaks to the foundation of the friendship or marriage.

      Deference doesn't have to be dispensed out of emotions but out of mental intention. It can throw someone so off guard that despite our appetite to indulge our anger, we would instead make a gesture that would hopefully transcend our emotions. It is a gift that will not go unnoticed. You might even feel a shift in your own demeanor or notice a change in the other person's posture.

      Pastor Andy Stanley (of North Point Community Church and Ministry) suggested in one of his sermons that we should be arguing over who should defer to whom. That in that competition for deference is the highest form of conflict. I defy you to have bad feelings towards another person who would put you first. (SMILE)

      You might even feel like this:

       My new frame of mind is: if it feels awkward, I'm probably onto something good! (laughing at myself). Blessings to you all~

      Saturday, April 5, 2014

      The day I realized that...

      he really does love me more...

      This was shortly after we met...

      but it almost seems as if he has always had a special place for me in his heart.


      You see... If anyone can deem herself less loveable... it's me. {At least that has been my unspoken attitude ever since I was abandoned as a preschooler.} I felt so entitled to holding on to this idea that no one would ever love me again. It was hard for my mind to stretch in that manner. 


      So now... I have a husband that I can't begin to deserve tell me that he loves me more! For a long time I just took it as a lie. I was almost insulted that he would challenge my mental construct (lie is the better word). After all, I did X, Y, and Z AND there is less of me that was loveable... validating how impossible it would be to love me more. Despite the fact that I don't define myself as an "adoptee", the feeling of being damaged is hard to shake off.

      [Getting personal here] An ongoing problem between us was that we felt so let down when the other person complained or whined. It was a major rut. To be honest, I will take 99% of the blame for that. It started with my discomfort with his discontent about pretty much everything. Being adopted, I had a subconscious fear that unhappiness and trials would break my present relationships just like it did with my mother and father. It was a valid fear, but invalid application of such fear.

      I used to say to him "Why do you feel X about Y?" And he'd say "Why can't I just feel the way I feel?" We were in this cycle of just getting frantic over everything and nothing.  Then I stopped "telling him how to feel." Yet it still didn't feel secure to me. He wasn't happy with "something" and I was assumed that it was "me." [I have a feeling that my adopted peeps know what I'm talking about.]

      He admitted to me a while ago that when we first met that he was very selfish and stubborn, but that he wanted to be with me enough to go the extra mile (required lengths) to make our relationship work. It wasn't until recently that I felt strong enough to be okay with an "off" day and not feel like my life was going to end as I knew it. I even told him that he hurt my feelings. Do you know how long it's been since I've said that?!!! The last time I ever revealed in a conversation that my feelings were hurt was with my adoptive mother and she told me that I was too sensitive. So- I stopped thinking that ANYONE would care. (So stupid and yet, as a kid, it's a believable reaction)

      Yesterday- my husband graciously supported me when I was having an "off" day. When I brought it up today, he said "Don't be sorry about yesterday- I need to be there for you when you feel down or anxious." And instantly, I felt something completely new. I felt myself becoming convinced of my present security and love.

      So, now- I really do get it. He really does love me more... than anyone in this world. We are really winning this war against relationships lately. To my Christian heart, it just gives me proof that God blesses our marriage and wants us to have a safe and loving relationship as sinners in such a fallen world. But I'm starting to think that if our world was so grand, we'd take each other for granted. It's through our trials that have revealed the strength of our relationship.

      So as of today (4/5/14), I realized that he really does love me more. <3

      Friday, April 4, 2014

      Coolest Dog Ever

      Bella- 1 yr old
      December 18, 2012

      This is the dog that makes my Husband jealous. Back when we got her as a puppy, I was too paranoid that the landlord would find out about her to really enjoy her and seal the memories in my head. She was a hellion like most puppies. But we've come a long way- she and I.

      My husband surprised me with an early Valentine's Day Canine Present in 2012. I figured he wanted to wait until his elderly dog died. But, being the pleaser and dream bringer, he found and gave me my most wanted kind of dog. I wanted a Great Pyrenees dog since I was first introduced to them in my early twenties. I worked in a flower shop and these two GP's walked in with their majestic fur and didn't break a thing despite their size.

      Bella is actually half Great Pyrenees and half Saint Bernard which is why she has dark patches. My beloved Italian uncle had a Saint Bernard named Dominic while I was growing up. He was a great dog that warmed me up to the breed. Bella is the best of both breeds and is absolutely gorgeous (despite the horrible angle of this picture, wink). When I brush her, she has the loveliest patches and her fur feels like hair with an undercoat. Her tail has very course hairs that are as long as my finger span in some places.

      Since we got Falkor (our newest dog), Bella is displaying some new behaviors that I never saw in her before. She is turning out to be a sweetly jealous dog and rightly claims me by laying over me. I've had a lot of fun sharing my sweet potatoes with her. She gets to lick my dinner plates clean and has enough manners to not breathe on the table.

      She sleeps in our spa style bath tub which seems to be "her size." that is the one place where younger Falkor won't bother her. She sleeps very soundly in there. On hot summer days I'll spritz her with water to help her cool down. Otherwise, she'll lay down on the bricks in front of the unused fireplace.

      I hope you like the photo story about my favorite dog! Is this the first time you've heard of the Great Pyrenees breed? She is amazing with the kids. She calmed down a lot around 18 months of age. I guess that's pretty normal for all dogs. Do you have a post about your dog that you want to link to mine? Add it to my comments section after your comment. =)

      Best wishes to you and your family canine(s)!

      #furryfriends #besthusbandever #extralargeextragentle #fourleggedlove

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