Shortness of Life

 

I picked some bell peppers, jalapenos, perilla leaves, and tomatoes just before dinner time to go with my spicy chicken dinner. I love that I am able to cook up dinner without going to a grocery store for over a week. I just walked to the garden to pick whatever I need, and whatever is ready to be picked. I am waiting on 8 watermelons, and there are still a couple of zucchinis coming ahead. We have a lot of peppers as well and once they all ripe and turn dark bloody red, we will dry them to make red pepper flakes which will be stored and used for Kimchi and spicy soups for years to come.

It’s so easy to feel like I am the queen of this piece of land when there is so much bounty of food. I don’t even rely on electricity because there are plenty of fire woods for cold nights and I cook on the portable gas stove outside. I have enough candles to burn for at least a few years for some dark nights. Sure, I will miss my internet, and phone services, but I know I can live without them. I will miss human connections but it’s not like that connection happens much anyways. I have been surviving on my once a week visit to my parents or my sister. One of my few friends in town is conveniently located to my very next door. When I am home, I feel safe, secure, and complete. I have total peace on most days here (as long as my hormones don’t act up occasionally).

The recent tragedies from earthquake, hurricane, and persecutions against races and ethnicity, once again, bring my attention back to the fact that everything as we know in our own small world can change in a blink of an eye. On peaceful days like today, it is easy to mistake that life will continue on like this forever. But deep down, I know that things can always change. Any day, I will receive the news that my grandmothers in Korea have passed away. Who knows, maybe I will really wake up to a tragic news that a war finally broke out in Korean peninsula (my constant source of anxiety for the past decade). Even as I enjoy my spicy chicken dinner I made this evening in my peaceful country homestead staring at the bountiful assortments of veggies picked with my own hands, I am reminded of the sudden death of the chef who provided me with this chicken recipe. He was so young. Only a little over 40 years old at the time of his passing. He died of a heart attack according to his family. A popular food blogger in Korea, he was known to so many food enthusiasts. His last post just a couple of days before his death featured beautiful photos of his garden. It was so clear that this guy was living the good life. He had all the reason to celebrate every day of his life. But it was not to last long.

The sun goes down so early in this corner where I live. At 8 pm, it is completely dark now. The leaves are already falling and changing colors. It will be unmistakably autumn very soon. Where has all those hot summer days gone? I feel like I haven’t achieved anything, but here it comes, another season, just walking right in whether I am ready or not. And so will it be when the time of death knocks on my door. Whether I am ready or not. I sit here tonight as I watch yet another wonderful late summer sunset on my deck, counting my blessing while I still can. I suddenly feel so fragile and fleeting like I am sitting on a sand castle. I truly have nothing to rely on but the grace of God. The peace from the Lord is the only cure for this quickly dying world. Life is so short. Never cease praising God for His goodness. He will deliver. These are my affirmations tonight.

 

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This country life and hope, hope, hope

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I love this country life. This is my view, one of the countless million-dollar views from my drive from my daughter’s preschool. Can you believe it? How can you ever get tired of this view, this country life? I am beyond blessed.

But still. Oh the seeking. Oh the desires. Oh this turbulent heart of mind. Just yesterday, I applied for a job in Seoul, South Korea. I applied for jobs in Big Island where I used to live. I am forever struggling to fight the urge to apply for jobs in Jeju Island, in my beloved country of South Korea. I am forever restless, and perhaps, I will like this state of my being one of these days.  But not today, I do not like this state at all.

Recently, I have been grateful for God not granting my childish wishes, prudent decisions, or impulsive searches. Throughout my countless wistful thoughts, deep down, I have total comfort in knowing that God will not grant any attempts of mine that do not fit his plan. I am as busy as ever in my attempts to find my path, but this search is actually enjoyable for the first time ever in my life. There is a sense of hope, a sense of expectation, a sense of moving forward. An anticipation to find out what is around the bend.

So you see, I am in need of a lot of prayers…. but aren’t we all. I pray for you all. May the Lord of Creation, create the brightest path for us all….

 

Broken Child of God

One thing I love about living in the country is that my nights here are so quiet and undisturbed except for the sounds of nature. After every one is asleep and all my chores are done, I step outside to finally pause and breathe in the fresh country air. Last night, that moment came at 10:30 pm. When the crescent moon adorns the night sky, my backyard is so dark. All I see is the silhouette of the backyard trees and it can be quite eerie on some windy nights. Especially so, when I know there are foxes, coyotes, snakes lurking around looking for some food for the night.

Last night, the air was so cool and I could sense that autumn is not far. Although I love the silence of the night, it can be quite lonesome and scary when there’s so much fear in my heart. When I looked up at the vast empty dark sky last night, I felt as if I was a sole living person in the universe without anyone to respond to my silent cry. It is from my learned fear from childhood and the collective traumatic experiences of my sad, lonely nights when I was fresh to this country -back then, I really didn’t have anyone to respond to my crisis in the entire continent of North America, unless I called 911, that is. Things are different now. I am overcoming my past painful memories so deeply ingrained in my psyche. I know this process of healing will take time and I know that I will get better day by day. But most of all, I now know that even when I feel as if I am alone in this wild, vast, and sometimes fearful world, I am not alone. God is there. In the night, in the day, in the waking hours, and even in the sleep. He is always there.

So last night, standing in the ending summer night in the dark alone, I prayed. I prayed, not like the way I used to do when I was a child looking at the moon in tears. I prayed, I talked, to the one that I knew was listening, about my fears, my anxieties, my uncertainties, and my concerns. And just knowing that He was listening to every word I had to say to Him, counting every single drop of tears from my fearful eyes, was enough. My sadness turned into joy by the end of my quiet prayerful moment in the dark country night, and I felt so alive and real, because in that moment alone at night outside, I didn’t have to be anyone else, other than the broken child that only God could heal.

 

True calling

IMG_8480My daughter colored this page last week and we loved it so much that we hung it next to our window in the kitchen. It was only days ago that I noticed the phrase printed under the pony picture. It reads “…..This baby pony may not know what her true calling is, but she is determined to find out!” 

When it first came to my attention, I thought, how fitting, for me, for all of us, wondering to find out what the true calling is, and determined to find out.

Every morning, for the last week, the first thing I did after I opened my eyes was to check my e-mail to hear back whether I was accepted for a position I applied for or not. Today, I finally got my answer, my anticipated long wait quickly turning into a major disappointment. I closed my eyes, still in bed, still half asleep, observing my half awakening mind taking note of the undesirable sensation of my heart sinking. I let out a deep sigh. I slowly rose from my bed and walked to my kitchen. I carefully made my first morning coffee doing my best to not disturb the silence of the early morning hours. I wanted to sit in prayer in silence and be with God a little while this morning. When I walked to my window by the pony picture, the word “determined” came to my mind. It quickly traveled to my heart shifting heart-gear into that of hope.

I thanked the Lord for another bright morning, for the clear answer to my path to find a true calling, and for giving me yet another day to make a choice to amend and to try anew.

Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song. Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful. O Israel, rejoice in your Maker. O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King. Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp. For the Lord delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds. 

-Psalm 149:1-5

Waiting for the Path of Life

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This is all the beach I saw today because soon after I took this picture we had some issues getting into our room and after we ordered our pasta which took forever to take out, the night has sunk down on us and my daughter developed her fever and sore throat.

But somehow those commends “Stay in lane. Do not pass” speak volumes tonight as I lay here in an unfarmiliar bed that will be reserved for me for the next two nights.

Last night, I applied for a position that I personally hope to win. It was a position that required me to stay up until 4 in the morning just to complete its sample tests to qualify. After only a few hours of sleep -if I do get this job, this will be my sleep pattern as I will have to work remotely at home during my toddler’s bedtime-, I packed my suicase for my weekend getaway. With my sleepy eyes, I drove almost 4 hours for a relaxing weekend by the ocean.

I last came here back in 2009 when everything was at risk and I had nothing to lose. That’s a win-win situation if you ask me. It was right here in this place that I received the strong call of God for me to make my move to Hawaii, and two months later, I did. I did moved to Hawaii, and I am grateful.

Less than 10 years ago, I was on the verge of schezophnia after my intense episodes of bipolar depression. Tonight, here I am in the comfort of the bed listening to the gentle sound of rain right out my window praying for the acceptance of my job application which will require an intense intellectual thought process. Those gentle tapping sounds of the rain almost resemble my late night typing sounds. It’s the most divine hour that I know- me typing by the open window while soothing breeze washes away my concerns. Oh, how many countless hours have I spent listening to my gentle typing sounds and the waves of the ocean in Hawaii!

And tonight, I desperately pray that God will grant me my wishful thoughts and my heart’s yearning. As He granted my wish to know my path when I last came to this beach town, I hope that He will once again answer my prayers from the depth of my heart.

In the mean time, I will remember to stay in my lane, and I will not pass. I will go at my pace knowing that it will be just fast enough for me.

Tomorrow, I will wake up to a perfectly sunny day and the full view of beach will be within my grasp all day long.

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Lama, lama, wakey wake

How refreshing to wake up to a lama leisurely taking her morning walk! It is not a rare sight for me as I witness it every morning when I go out to get my newspaper, but I love it every time I see it. This lama provokes certain level of peace within me. It starts out with me getting in touch with my inner peace and pretty soon I feel as if I can accomplish the global peace today.  Peace starts with me! (Or did it start with lama?) My neighbor lama’s peaceful presence is influential in the most positive way. You can easily understand why animal-assisted therapies are effective to treat a patient’s mental, emotional, and even physical functions. I receive my lama therapy every morning and I don’t have to pay anything! Another perk of living in the country.

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My daughter receives her own sets of animal-assisted therapy, AAT. She loves this blue bunny I got her over Easter. She takes the bunny to her bed every night. You can see her taking this bunny along with her on most car rides. Of all her stuffed animal toys, this bunny is by far her favorite. So many animals came and went but this bunny will always stay. Now she wants real dogs and cats. “Mommy, I want a moving dog!”, she tells me every day. I feel my heart shrink a little every time I hear this phrase. For now, I am grateful that she seems content with her stuffed blue bunny.

It startles me this morning to think how our hearts naturally gear towards goodness. Goodness of peace and comfort, of love and joy. Healing is the positive step forward to the restoration of love and unity. As a matter of fact, this human journey is a healing journey from our brokenness to become whole again as we are created to be. We are born to desire light, not darkness, and in these end times as the darkness governs with more strength, healing and therapy are our modern key words. Everyone is after therapy, it seems.

And I wondered this morning, if I could be like that lama, walking with calm in this world full of calamity, spreading serenity in this stressful place. It’s a hard task, made even harder with my unstable brain hormonal functions. Perhaps that explains why God has placed me here where I am blessed to see my peaceful neighbor lama every morning.

Misty Morning

I can see the sun hidden behind the thick morning mist still making its usual rounds. Before I know it, the mist gives way to the persistent sun and the full daylight is before me. Clear sky, clear mind, clear visions, and clear answers... I find myself silently sending my wish list to God.

Whenever the morning is misty and thick woods in my backyard start to resemble the foggy morning somewhere in English country, I always think about the last scene from the movie Pride and Prejudice. Ms. Elizabeth lets out her cold breath, hugging her arms as if to protect herself from the pain of love lost forever (so she thought), her lost gaze penetrates through the thick misty air like a desperate prayer. Then, Mr Darcy suddenly appears breaking through the mysterious dawn, revealing his full mysteries…

The bright future walking right into your life…

Some feminists would do their best to argue my point, but sometimes, I just want to be a romantist.

With the stormy sea of emotions that had been governing my senses for the last few weeks behind me, I finally wake up to my real senses. Life will resume once again, even though I have a lot of catching up to do now. There’s so much to clean up after a turbulent storm has ripped apart my stability.

But, today, I am counting my blessings.

I think I read at least two articles during the last few weeks about untimely lives lost to drugs and suicide in the newspaper: son of David Feherty who died from drug overdose and Chester Bennington from Linkin Park who struggled with addiction and ended his life in suicide. Both died on their birthdays. These tragic stories tell me how dangerous it is to be alive. It is tough to stay alive. It’s a hard job to survive this life on earth.

But, today, I count my blessings.

After all, I am still alive having overcome yet another mental and emotional battle that occur so many countless times in my life. As I prepare my daughter’s birthday party which will take place this afternoon at my quiet homestead in the peaceful country, I know I will be celebrating not only her life, but my own as well. I am committed to this life more than ever, I still sustain and fight on despite this lonely battle going on inside.

Fog is slowly lifting, promising a perfect sunny day to have a perfect backyard birthday party. I let out my cold breath through the chilly misty morning air, hugging my arms to embrace myself. My bright future is in heaven waiting for me to finish this misty walk of this human journey on earth. And I have the best companion, My Jesus, right here doing the walk for me, carrying me in his mighty arms. I cannot finish this walk alone, but through Him, all things are possible, even when a single step forward seems most impossible.

I count my blessings today for my life, for my daughter’s life, and for the health and happiness of my family and my friends. But the greatest blessing of all is to have my Jesus in His full revelation right here, right now. And at this very moment, heaven is not just my bright future. Party balloons will be up and floating, one by one my family and friends will arrive. Kids will play in the pool-whether permitting!- and meat and vegetables will be grilled over the fire. It will be a day of celebration for these fragile human lives here on earth. And there is no other place on earth I’d rather be today.