In Your Language

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What's New at According2Meredith?

Hello Again~

A lot has changed!

  1. My hair cut
  2. Cross Country Move
  3. Bought a house in California
  4. Beginning a new family endeavor -- H.O.M.E.S.C.H.O.O.L.
1. My new haircut is as pictured... I have longer layers in the back. It's not a new hairstyle. I've been using CreaClip to cut my layers since April of this year. BUT- it's freshly cut and my perm has gotten new life breathed into it. The perm is 1 year old. Not bad, right? My last perm lasted about 2.5 years. How long did your perms last?

2. My husband landed an awesome job in California and so myself and the kids moved out there in August so we could get them started in a great school district for this 2015-2016 school year. We had to live with my husband's grandmother for over 3 months, but it was not all bad. Having that intimate time with her was priceless. She is in her nineties and we know her months are numbered. The kids really stimulated her in a positive way and helped her have a new reason to be alert. My kids learned to be caring towards others. My daughter would give her eye drops at night, my 2yo would bring her blankets to keep her warm and our oldest would sit and watch TV with her to keep her company.

3. We bought a house with a pool in the most desirable school district in the area. The picture above is in my new kitchen. It has granite countertops, an island with a sink and the dishwasher. We bought a brand new refrigerator and washer/dryer set. Let me tell ya, I felt the squeeze on the wallet. Moving isn't cheap. BUT-- then we got a rebate from our title company that almost covered the whole cost of the new appliances. I don't know about you, but I think that is a God thing. =) Either way, we were mightily blessed by that windfall.

4. H.O.M.E.S.C.H.O.O.L. and a new blog devoted to it. So if you wouldn't mind, as the awesome audience you have been through my first couple hundred posts for this A2M blog, please put this new blog on your follow list. I could use some pointers on homeschooling and perhaps my new fresh take on it will inspire some new approaches for you also. Thank you in advance. =)

Breaking up with Public School

So how many of you made tamales this year?

We made 22 pounds of pork, olive, chicharron, and spam tamales this year in over 3 ssessions. It ended up yielding about 10 dozen tamales since we like ours meaty. My husband's family put a lot of trust in me to do the bulk of the cooking and seasoning with their input. Overall, the tamales turned out fantastic. We enjoyed each other's company and even 92yo grandma wanted to participate. It was hard to duplicate the deliciousness that grandpa created with his buckets and buckets of tamales. (He passed away in December 2014.) We have decided to carry on the tradition and remember him with every batch.

I invite you to comment with your best tamale making memories or tips on making it fool-proof and fast... I have a lot to learn as a Korean person learning Mexican cooking!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Rethinking what is medicine

I threw away the bottles...

                                              of pain pills.

Starting April 7, 2015, I broke up with OTC products. I was subjecting myself to an organic detox program and decided to make it life changing. It was the last day I reached for my side-kicks "Acetaminophen" and "Ibuprofen." I wanted to make the expensive detox carry over into other areas of my life. 

This was "breakup" was hard and nearly unthinkable. I had chronic pain from multiple physical traumas. I convinced myself that those "sidekicks" were benign compared to the prescription pain pills I could have become addicted to. But my body was telling me, I was not doing it any favors. 

Other than taking one headache pill, I have been completely off OTC medications for pain or for cold/flu. I have relied on essential oils, exercise and a fairly conscientious diet (less meat, more organic foods, more veggies and fermented foods). My experience with the detox was a surprise to me. 

I thought I would feel better immediately afterwards. But, my body was feeling sick and achy from the detox treatments. Then it hit me--- perhaps the pain is part of detoxing that my body has been doing on its own. Instead of trusting what my body was doing, I fed it the two side kicks as if I lost faith in my body's ability to restore itself. 

And to take things a step further... I decided to get my hormone IUD removed (procedure done today). Since having the IUD, I've collected a lot of fat around my midsection. I suspect my body was not liking the IUD and protecting it with the fat deposits. I have always been petite and nearly effortlessly slim until the IUD.

I have read testimonials from other women who gained a significant amount of weight on hormone IUDs. I will be blogging on my body changes in the coming months. I will continue my exercising throughout the week (monitored by my MisFit Shine) and taking my vitamins, minerals and fish oil. 

My newest health effort is to get better quality of sleep. I've put my cell-phone far away from my body and brain so there are no electrical interferences with restorative sleep. I'm careful to use f.lux on my desktop computer and on my cellphone (EasyEyes) if I'm using it at night.

As an added "health twist," I have been building new friendships that will help me with my fitness accountability, emotional health and general support. The nice upside is that both my husband and I are enjoying spending time with mutual friends. Friends take the pressure off spouses to fulfill all of the social needs a person has.

picture was taken in 2015

Now that I have officially hit 35 years of age, I feel that getting a grip on my health is of great importance if I am going to live a long vibrant life. I don't want to be the old person who is miserable from unnecessary body system decay. I know I'll never look like I did at 25 years of age, but I do plan on keeping people guessing about my chronological age. Thankfully, my mental age is progressing and improving my sense of well-being. 

I have a sound mind that is connected

to a 13-year-old face! Yeah~

What is your experience with detox or birth control? 
Start the conversation in the comment box below!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Dear Step Families

Combat your Prejudice

The area of blended families is the last frontier of socially sanctioned prejudice. There are activist groups for most sub-populations of Americans. The one population who gets the most legal and social prejudice is step-parents and step-families. I think this is the most insidious place for discrimination. If I write this post within my intentions, I will insult you little and motivate you to do better.

If it is okay to discriminate at home, then how easy does that make it to do it elsewhere? On top of that, we are basically modeling to our children that we CAN and SHOULD prejudice people who are not genetically related to us. Ok, to put that in perspective: how much of the global population to you claim as your genetic family? 

It's not just that step-parents succumb to prejudice, so do the children. But, I'm talking to adults and adults are the ones who need to be the "bigger people." I get it. You were a stepchild once and your stepmother mistreated you. And then, low and behold, you find yourself married to a person who has kids from a previous marriage.

The visceral reaction is to play out those unhealthy dynamics with an INNOCENT child. Your feelings and memories are valid. But they are not valid in this new environment. Don't get me wrong, every one has their pain and needs grace. But, for the love of your spouse, this largely innocent child, and the future of the marriage that holds together your present family, keep your past in your past.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

When Love Goes the Distance

A Helicopter Tour in Colorado
Distance can put a huge strain on relationships. Jen Im from “Clothes Encounters” on YouTube has a long distance relationship with a guy in England. Michelle Phan has a long distance relationship with her man in mainland Europe. Many military couples endure long separations so that they can serve their country on the home-front and abroad.

Driving down the road today, I realized that God was supplying me and my husband everything we needed to nurture and grow our relationship. Our communication is constrained by time, text or video chats that can be tense. There is also an inability to have physical intimacy with each other.

I know my husband, being a different person than I, does not share exactly the same view and experience of this separation, I still think that my perspective is worth sharing as it shows God’s hand in enriching our relationship. He replaced physical intimacy with physical longing. He gave us opportunities and inspiration to grow on a whole new level of intimacy—the spiritual kind.

Despite the fact that he is not a professing “Christian,” I see God knocking on his heart more and more fervently during this time. God knows that even though my husband longs for my comfort, that His comfort is enough. His kind of comfort can minister to my husband in his time zone when I cannot.

This period of spiritual growth (with God being the conduit that overcomes constraints of time differences) is monumental because it was a major point of weakness (or absent) in our relationship when we were face to face. It makes me realize that even with physical intimacy, there can be a lack of spiritual intimacy. And let’s face it, we all want to reach the mecca of spiritual intimacy. Anyone can knock boots, but can they resonate on a spiritual level?

With this realization, the promise that God honors our marriage has come to life. Our eyes were not on the spiritual side of our marriage in this “season of life.” In fact we were quite locked in on the mundane aspects of keeping the family going while separated. He has infused a supernatural aspect to our relationship.

Despite our physical distance apart, I have never felt so “known” by my husband. Chances are, we would not have reached this point if he were right in front of me. It was the hidden gift in this time apart. It makes me think of the work God wants us to do in our time apart, from hours to months to years.

God substituted something better than what was missing. He supplied spiritual intimacy when we lacked the physical kind. It is akin to losing a cubic zirconia ring and getting a free diamond for a replacement. It feels like a relationship jackpot. He is waiting to make your (future) marriage a testament for his will and love for all people.


Small Victories Sunday Linkup

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The God Network

Are you on Direct Spiritual Link (DSL)?
I ask this sincere question because I can say that I have NOT always been connected. But I can say that I have always known it to exist. This is my first stab at putting words to this idea. The premise for this post is reveling in the small and big events that have happened over the past few months that convinces me that this D.S.L. (with God) transcends time and physical presence.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

In Good Times and In Bad Times

You don’t need a perfect Marriage.
My marriage is not perfect. But it is at the stage where I feel like other people would want what we have. And in all honesty, that feels—AMAZING. It’s the quality of marriage that I don’t want to put in jeopardy. I am protecting it so it can protect me during life’s storms. It’s not a matter  of if they come, but a matter of when they come.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Recognize Your Redeemer


I was recently touched by someone’s very personal and very real story. While in the moment, I was drenched in empathy for this person’s story of pain and betrayal. The person had come to expect one thing in particular. And then— she met her redeemer. And like so many redeemers, they appear of God’s appointment and usually are not obvious to the receiver.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Harmony of Past and Present

In Foster Care Aug '84

My Adoptee Journey Destination: Wholeness

Most of my life, I thought that the only way I could be "okay" with life was if I could rewrite it. The static nature of my past was all to disheartening and condemning to me. It was easier to stop looking back. But then, life kept repeating itself. The past I was avoiding kept on appearing in my present.

It wasn't until I embraced God's call to repent of my ways, that I could look at my past and improve myself. God told me it doesn't matter where I came from (time/history perspective) but where I am now, in contrast. But ultimately, my destiny as a Believer is Heaven. Heaven is the antithesis of my previous life before I became "born again."

My first birth was less than dignified. Without holding on to blame, I can only understand it as the convergence of dismal circumstances with the culture in which I was born. But, my God given desires have always pointed me back to my family of origin. (Not to the exclusivity of my adoptive family, but to have a comfortable duplicity in my life.) 

I know God was trying to orchestrate something big in my life. He juggled the circumstances along with my sometimes unthinkable actions. But that matrix of his Loving Hand and my limited wisdom has brought me to a time where, I have total confidence in what he has in store for me, for my family and for the world. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Resonating with your True Self

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You Have Something Special 

to offer the Universe

How many times have you caught yourself in a conversation where the both of you are clicking? You resonated with what they said. They resonated with what you said. It doesn't happen often but generally those experiences generate a feeling of oneness and belonging.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Be the Boss of your Stress

Don't let Stress call the shots~

My better half asked what changed about me. Why can I handle this stressful phase in our life? My fundamental answer was that I decided that it was no longer going to have power over me. Of course, I acknowledge that I cannot control when stressful events happen. I accept that stress is something my body will acknowledge. It is what I do with it that makes it sabotage my days and my peace.

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Get Help Where Help is Due

  1. I bought a natural supplement to help my body detox from cortisol

Thursday, March 12, 2015

We Let You Down

When You Needed More Help,

We Dropped the Ball

I'm writing from a personal place about something that actually happened. From studying how to be a professional helper, I have come to a new perspective on something I was a bystander of. But, I will for privacy sake be very vague. But the truth is, we all have let people down--- perhaps when they needed us the most. It's so easy to point the finger and tell someone they failed. But, what did we do to help them do the opposite-- succeed?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

United Nations against Baby Boxes

Why can't people be okay with things that have no guarantee of good outcomes? 

Things that have both good and bad outcomes are perceived inflated threats to our society. The deciding factor is really our role in the outcome. What is the point of an outsider's attitude when it really depends on the actions of those involved?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Emotions are Tempting

I am a deep thinker. I watch serious, thought-provoking, and educational media like: "The Case for Emotional Hygiene" and "What is the Impact of Toxic Thinking?". I don't share this to put you off but to reveal a bit of myself. I don't do those things for show; it is merely a part of who I am. That is what I do when I'm "in character" and genuine to my inclinations.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Relational Grit

Relational Grit

I have done a lot of thinking on how we have made it this far. That is really striking to say because it makes it sound as if we were a train wreck. But the truth was, we really were. We were both pretty messed up on our own; and then we had to go on and put our crazy trains on the same track. It really is a miracle that we have greatly improved our relationship despite the odds.

In my psychology studies, there is a concept of personal grit that allows people to succeed and overcome the challenges inherent to life. Angela Lee Duckworth gave a TED presentation on "grit" that you can see by clicking here. Margaret M. Perlis writes about it on here. When I Google searched "relational grit" there were no results close to relationship or grit as a psychological term. The closest result was an article called "Does Your Marriage Have Enough Grit?" So, perhaps that is a good reason for me to continue this post.

Here I am Again

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