Sunday, February 27, 2011

Obedience.



I said, "Let me walk in the fields."
He said, "No, walk in the town."
I said, "There are no flowers there."
He said, "No flowers, but a crown."

I said, "But the skies are black;
There is nothing but noise and din."
And He wept as He sent me back;
"There is more," He said; "there is sin."

I said, "But the air is thick,
And fogs are veiling the sun."
He answered, "Yet souls are sick,
And souls in the dark undone."

I said, "I shall miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say."
He answered, "Choose to-night
If I am to miss you, or they."

I pleaded for time to be given.
He said, "Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in heaven
To have followed the steps of your Guide."

I cast one look at the fields
Then set my face to the town:
He said, "My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?"

Then into His hand went mine,
And into my heart came He;
And I walk in a light divine
The path I had feared to see.

                         ~George MacDonald

Saturday, February 26, 2011

So Close...

Do you know what it's like to be on the verge of finishing something that's bugged you for months

You know, one of those items on your "things to do" list that's not trivial enough to discard but just important enough to linger in the back of your skull? :) (Side note: Why is it that the little things keep you up at night?)

I am very pleased to announce that I am almost, finally (that's an oxymoron, isn't it? :P) done with my essay! The second non-school-related thorn-in-my-side of this month. hehehe Isn't it wonderful? I have one more paragraph to write/edit, my brain is fried, and the deadline is Monday!!! 

Woot! 

Actually, I'm learning it's "okay" to have things postmarked the day they're due. :) It's becoming quite a trend, first with my Congressional Award, then my scholarship paperwork, now this "What's Great About America" essay contest...I'm quite proud of myself. Letting loose the reigns of control... 

[And this coming from the girl who began writing her thesis papers four months in advance! lol I would get frustrated with the teacher because he wouldn't give me enough details at the briefing of the assignment. :)]

On a separate note...

Today was cleaning day. We had some friends over last night and by the end of the evening, the house was a nightmare...graffiti everywhere, ice cream dripping from the ceiling, mustard and pickle juice on the seat cushions, confetti strewn all over the floor...rofl, I'm TOTALLY kidding! They left our house an exemplary picture of cleanliness. 

But I, for one, love the feeling of tidy living space. Always have. Somehow it correlates to the efficiency in which I operate. I can't think in a mess unless it has to do with figuring out how to clean it up! When I was about eight, I went through a stage of life where I offered to clean my friends' rooms DURING our get togethers. "Come on," I'd say. "We'll play your tape recorder [this was before kids had stereos and iPods] and have snacks. It'll be a heap of fun..." Needless to say, none of them were very enthusiastic. One girl, I remember, let me go as far as opening one of her drawers. Then she ran over, slammed it shut, and proceeded to explain that it contained her socks and undies. Whatever! :) I just kept thinking, "Yes, but it your room wasn't so messy, then I could have fun playing in it." 

I know, that's selfish. But hey, Marry Poppins liked tidiness. And she was practically perfect in every way. *grin*


Hope you're all enjoying this cold, COLD Saturday evening.
Blessings!



Thursday, February 24, 2011

Anticipating Wonderful.

Just got back from an hour's excursion to the park. I have to say, I never realized how much being with Mia brings out the kid in me. I feel like I'm eight years old again with my hair mussed all over my face and grass stains on my jeans.  It's funny the care-free attitude we loose through adolescence and adulthood. Watching Mia is truly a pleasure. She's come so far in such a short time, especially when you consider the fact that she didn't even know how to play when we got her. 


It gives me hope for the future. 

And right now, hope is something I desperately need... 

Because, like most typical A-type firstborns, I'm struggling with the tendency to plan out the next 50 years of my life all in one sitting. "Should I pursue this, what about that? What career would be the best fit for me? Oh yeah, I need a car. How will I get the money? Should I go on a mission's trip this summer or try to get a job? Okay, so by the time I get my Masters, I'll be twenty-something. If I want to work and travel before settling down, that'll make me like twenty-eight. Do I want a career or a family? Should I homeschool my kids or enroll them in private school? How will I save for their college expenses if the economy continues to plummet? Would I be a good grandma? etc. etc. etc." Now you know why I am *twitch* the way I am! *twitch* 

It sounds pretty ridiculous when compressed into such a short amount of space, but for anyone used to having their ducks in a row 24/7, it's no laughing matter. 

When I was little, "determining" the future course of my life was a relatively simple and stressless task. I would graduate from junior high, then high school, make good grades, play sports, and if I was driving by 18, well then my life would have reached the pinnacle of success.  :)

Back then, life was about pursuing dreams and making sure I did all the right things to open windows of opportunity. Not so now...

Because I'm discovering that dreams have consequences, and that the decisions I make in the next few years will affect me for the rest of my life. *wipes forehead* No pressure.

Sometimes I think the only thing that is keeping me sane is God's never-ending mercy. And perhaps a miniscule smidgen of faith that whispers His truths to my heart. Those times when I feel completely overwhelmed with uncertainty, drowned in doubt, anxious and confused, a small part of me still seems to hear the words of Jeremiah 29. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me will all your heart." 

And then my FAVORITE part... 

"I WILL be found of you, says the Lord."  

I've returned to that verse quite often of late. It's given me a comfort unprecedented by any other time of my life. And I realize that I don't have to figure everything out at once, if at all. That the best things in life--friends, dreams, and opportunities--have all come when I was least expecting them.  If God's been faithful thus far, shouldn't I trust Him to see me through to  tomorrow? And the next day? And the year after? Shouldn't I trust that He's already got everything worked out in exactly the fashion He's ordained? Shouldn't I trust that He knows me far better than I know myself?

Herein lies the dilemma: I know it in my head. I don't always know it with my heart.

But that's okay. Because I know my heart isn't the best instrument by which to measure myself, my dreams, or my emotions. It has led me astray before, and it will again. Oh, if I could only remember the countless times...Had been left up to me, I'd have wrecked my life by now with foolish hopes and aspirations. Thank goodness, He's saved me from myself else I'd be in big trouble. :)

I know that God has an awesome plan in store for me. Though I may not see it. Though I may not always understand it. Though I may at times lie awake at night dreading what lies around the corner. But again, it's okay. God's got my back. My blind side... *wink*


And as my pastor once said, the Lord never calls you to a place where He hasn't already gone before and pitched your tent. :) I'm so glad to take hold of that promise. Because I can't imagine life as a non-believer with the burden of "making it all happen." What a horrible existence that must be; to look back at the end of your existence and realize just how futile your efforts were.

I think when presented with the alternative, I'd rather go with God. He seems to have a better hold on things than I do. Like, I don't know, maybe an eternal perspective?

Someday I know I shall look back on this post and laugh. And when I do, I'll be sure to write about it. But for now, in all my weakness and immaturity, I can only reaffirm what I know:

That nothing happens by coincidence.
That it's okay to fail.
That my life is not my own.
That I am a child of God.
That I am loved.
That I have a purpose and a design.
And that God will reveal to me His perfect will in His perfect timing.

I once heard a story about a detective who was asked what he knew. He responded, "Not much." He was then asked what he didn't know. To which he replied. "A lot."

That is pretty much the summation of my life story...as yet. I can't see down the road to know what the future holds, but I do know this: I have much to look forward to. Because whatever God's plan is, it'll be bigger, better, and more fulfilling than anything I could have ever dreamed.

"Trust also in the Lord and HE will give you the desires of your heart."

May that be said of us as we continue to seek first the kingdom of God.

*breathe*

And now that I've got that off my chest, I think I'll go relax. :)



Monday, February 21, 2011

"I'll Capture Her Heart, Singing."

"Just wait 'til she gets a load of my dancing..."
For those of you who don't know, those are the lyrics to Holiday Inn, a Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire film. And I've had it stuck in my head ALL DAY!



So I'm sitting at the computer, staring out to a freshly weeded garden and listening to my bro experiment with impromptu jazz. That's the nice thing about belonging to a musical family...you get concerts for free 24/7 in all different styles and genres! (With no black out dates!!!)

I'm so blessed to have grown up in a family that's always singing. It's like living in a perpetual musical. You take a break only to say the essentials, and then it's back to "My Favorite Things!" Okay, so maybe we're not quite that bad, but we are most definitely the kind of family to "Whistle While We Work." Today for example. Over lunch, Mia received a Spark-notes rendition of the Broadway classics: West Side Story, Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, Annie, Wicked...okay, I guess that one isn't a classic, but what can I say? When "I Feel Pretty," I just can't help "Dancing Through Life." *wink*
And yet, despite being an incurable daredevil and boasting more fractured bones than my brothers, I am undoubtedly the family's most conservative performer. I don't know, maybe I'm weird, but does anyone enjoy breaking out in random, public settings????? Like the time we sang a quintet arrangement of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in our hotel in CHINA! Very embarrassing. I took off for the  Armani gift shop near by. ;) Still, I'm glad that at least my family finds "A Spoonful of Sugar" in the "Rainy Days and Mondays" of a "Hard-Knock Life." And it pays, ya know, to be spontaneous. During our adoption fundraiser/bake sale, one lady tipped us $20.

So, you may be asking yourself, did I have a point in writing this post? Nope. :) Just wanted an excuse to blog. And "That's the Way Uh-Huh, Uh-Huh, I Like It!" lol

"So Long, Farewell!" I'm "Off to See the Wizard" (or SLEEP!)




P.S. Just wanted to close by expressing my sheer and utter heartbreak at the discontinuation of Lark Rise to Candleford Season 4. I LOVED that series. *sniff* It was my one weakness... :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

No Mostrar Afecto en Público. Por Favor!

I have a life rule.

That is to say, I have many, but this one in particular stands out as being especially important. You may want to gear up for this...

Because my rule is so radical that those who know me best think I'm insane. My family. A very dear friend of mine. Her now very astonished family. And God. ;) Were I ever elected Queen of the Universe this would be the first statute I'd sign into law--before tackling health care, the economy, global unrest, education, etc.

Ahem, ahem, ahem!

I would make it ILLEGAL to have public displays of affection EXCEPT on television where I believe the maximum age limit should be set to thirty-five.  

There, I've said it. Notice I also underlined the word "public." Now, remaining perfectly calm, I shall proceed to relate to you why I think this should be so. (Here, Molls: your shot at the candid truth! lol)

Let us first examine the the purpose behind PDA's? There are only two. You do it 1) to indicate to your Romeo/Juliet that you find him/her extremely handsome/beautiful and that you're so glad to hang on his/her arm and talk his/her ear off over the Starbucks you've decided to split...or 2) to clue everyone else in on the profound happiness you are internally experiencing at that moment.

I'll work backwards.

In the first case [which is actually the second :)], passerby's don't necessarily care whether you're happy or not. They're just minding their own business, hurrying in and out of JCPenny or Walmart or wherever else they're going, bent on a plan of action, and now to add to their already heightened stress level, they have to witness a random PDA! Remember, they weren't exactly privy to the dizzying tumult of emotions which preceded beforehand!

Let's just stick with the ol' song, shall we? "If you're happy and YOU know it, clap your hands!"
Stomp your feet!
Shout "amen!"

You're happy. He/She's happy. You both know it. And everyone else around you can enjoy their day without having to stop, watch, and wait for your romantic, Kodak moment.    

Secondly, if you really, truly want to show your dream-boat you're happy and don't care what "other people think," show him/her IN PRIVATE! After all, it's him/her to whom you're trying to convey your feelings. At least pull 'im/her behind a tree, for crying out loud! And if there are none around, wait until there is one. Then you can embrace and whisper sweet-nothings in his/her ear without having to worry about anyone eavesdropping.

Okay, so I've stated my reasons. Now let us move into the next part of my argument: why are PDA's disturbing?

Because they're public.

If God had intended men and women to publicly lovey-dovey on each other, He wouldn't have allowed mankind to write the song, "Be careful little eyes what you see!"

It just wouldn't have happened. I know. The fine print of my Bible told me. :)

As to TV...

The purpose of TV is to entertain. Right? Of course, right! Now how entertaining is it to see two old people DA publicly? *screws face* I'm not saying that young people should have free access either, but there is a world of difference between the romance of Sophie and Dr. Harrison and Miss Matty and Mr. Holbrook.



Doesn't cut quite the same picture, does it?...DOES IT, MOLLS?

Thirdly, I believe the entire world should cater to the fact that I am a very private person! That's why I have a blog! :) Seriously though. If we live in a generation that's so "politically correct" and bends over backwards to keep from offending others, well then I'm jumping on this band wagon. I'm demanding my rights as an American citizen who pays taxes on time! who is concerned about the welfare of our children, and their children, and their children's children! Just what kind of social standard are we are promoting here?

I don't care if you're married or not, there are conventions to be met and adhered to! For the betterment of the world, society in general, and my overall mental health!

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Happy Sunday! ;)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Burdens That Are Too Heavy To Carry

Just finished watching Return of the King for the millionth time!

And I have to tell you, it's really started me thinking: who's the most important character in LOTR?

I know some of you are saying Frodo. After all without him the ring would have never left the Shire, right? Others of you might be arguing Gandalf (even though he's all talk and no action), Gollum, or--lest I offend anyone--Legolas. *rolls eyes*

But in reality, I think the true hero of the movie is one whose name may not precede a celestial choir. He's not typically the first guy that comes to mind. He's more of the sort wholly content to remain in the background, never asserting himself in public, always dependable, always positive, cheering from the sidelines, your number one back-up plan. I'm speaking, of course, of Samwise Gamgee.



Samwise the Brave. I admit I have a soft spot for this hobbit. Not because he's cute or daring or any of the things that make me swoon.... :) but because he's exactly the sort of person I hope to become.

Yes, Sam is the true hero of LOTR. And to those of you who disagree, I say this:
When the going got tough, those times when Frodo lost hope, who was there to spur him forward?
Sam.
When Frodo lost the battle to that man-eating spider, who stepped in and saved the day?
Sam.
Who saw through Gollum's guise of good intent?
Sam.
Who walked with Frodo through the perils of Mordor?
Sam.


In all the crises of the journey, it was Sam who carried Frodo across the finish line, Sam who literally saw him "there and back again." One of my all time favorite quotes is when they're crawling up the face of Mount Doom, Frodo slipping in and out of consciousness, and Sam cries: "I can't carry the ring, Mr. Frodo, but I can carry you!"

That line puts a knife in my heart every time I hear it. Because as weak as he is, he's still willing to go the extra mile--for the sake of a friend. And my eyes well up with tears because I wonder if I'll ever be that kind of person to another human being. If I'll ever outlive the selfishness and self-interest that prevents me from shouldering other people's burdens.

I think we've become an extremely individualistic society.  The trials we face, the heartbreak we endure, we're left to confront on our own. Oh, people wish you well. They'll even add you to the church prayer chain. But where are the kind of friendships that, like in Job, come alongside and sit with you in the ashes. for seven days. without speaking? Where are kinds of the friends that, when tough times arise, are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt... to talk through an issue and see your relationship to the other side?

I think of Anne of Green Gables and how Marilla and Rachel Lynd are constantly at each other's throats. How in the event of the "currant wine," you leave Mrs. Barry's house wondering how they'll ever stand the sight of one another again. And yet, there they are in the next scene, sharing a pot of tea...(not literally, but you know what I mean.)


That kind of relational constancy is disappearing more and more the older I get. And I stand corrected because I'm not nearly the friend I should, nor want to be.

But Sam...he ups the bar a notch. Shows us a new standard towards which we all should strive.
Because true friends never leave.

They're there when you need them, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad...
They listen quietly to your hopes, fears, and doubts, and dreams...
They support you when you're right and love you enough to tell you when you're wrong...
True friends follow from a distance when you send them away...
They show up in unexpected places...
They bring you closer towards your goal and defend you from the things that keep you from getting there...

True friends love at ALL times. (Proverbs 17:17) Even when you LEAST deserve it.

So the question is, what kind of a friend are you? Do you stick by through thick and thin? Or at the first sign of a storm head for shelter? You may not be destined to carry a burden. But you can ease the weight of someone else's, and by doing so "fulfill the law of Christ" (Galations 6:12).

Remember, not everyone is called to be a Frodo...

But everyone is called to be a Sam.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mamma, Mamma, Humma!

My little sister, Mia, is the world's biggest talker-box.

Seriously, she talks nearly every minute of every day. I don't find it annoying. As my parents can testify, I prattled without stopping for breath until age ten. (Side note: I watch VHS tapes of myself as a little girl and drive myself nuts! My poor, forbearing mom! lol) But the hilarious thing about Mia, is that even though she's speaking Chinese, we can almost always understand what she's saying! Not that we don't have ample material to work with: flailing arms and legs, wagging fingers, enthusiastic nods, squeals of excitement or displeasure, and her favorite word of all time--

Humma.

I'm considering adding that word to the Dictionary.

Humma, we've figured out means, generally:

What, where, when, how, why, because, aboard, about, above, across, after, against, along, by, down, during, except, for, from...etc. etc. etc. Basically the entire list of prepositions. hehehehe

When Mia wants to know anything it's always, "Humma? Mamma?" And often it's repeated two or three times before she trusts that we've heard her. :) Sometimes--and this is SO cute--she'll come up and say it right in our ear because she figures no one else can hear her. I guess it doesn't help that we do it to her all the time...

Another one of Mia's favorites is "aaaayyyyeeee." Just like that, long and sustained. I guess it's the Chinese version of "wow." But it's all in how you say it. If you're just somewhat impressed, it's a short, curt "aye." If you're astonished, then it's "aaaayyyeee." And if you're UTTERLY flabbergasted...well then, Mia just gives you the whisper-stare. :) It's pretty cute.

We like to joke that we have a Chinese-Irish-Italian girl, for when Mia points to ask if something's hers, she'll also say, "Mamma. Mia."

MAMMA-MIA! Get it? *kisses fingers* :)


But oh, how I love this little girl, and how glad I am that she's ours! One day, when she can speak English, we'll have one of those heart-to-heart sisterly chats I've always dreamed about. And I'll tell her what a character she was (and probably still is), and how her smile was sometimes the best part of my day. And then we'll laugh and grab an ice cream and head on over to Kohl's for some serious girl-bonding. :)

Hope you're all enjoying this beautiful, gloomy weather.

TGoodnessIF!!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Alright, I'm In...

I've never been a tech junkie.

I don't have an iPod, a face book, a fancy cell phone, or the latest and greatest what-u-call gadgets. To my brother's everlasting horror, I much prefer the texture and smell of books to a lcd screen.

But even book-addicts have their own musings, so at last I'm throwing in the towel. I don't plan to write anything purposeful or fancy--just the everyday happenings of my everyday life. We'll see what comes of it.

Happy Friday's Eve! (The second best day of the week!)