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10.16.14

Teacher said something interesting yesterday.

"Knowing how to respond to a fire breaking out is of extreme importance! But what’s even more important is knowing how to not let a fire break out in the first place…”

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"To let someone love you is to no longer conceal what you think will scare them away."

— LB, A Few Things About Love (via yesdarlingido)

(via joyinchrist)

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4gifs:

Teamwork

4gifs:

Teamwork

(Source: ForGIFs.com, via p0urqu0ipas)

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10.14.14 - Understanding God’s Jealousy

Jeremiah 3 and Ezekiel 16.

A couple of the most explicit, raw passages that I’ve read so far.
In order to understand the riches of His grace in saving us, it is absolutely essential to understand the vile wretchedness of sin first… Reading through these two passages, it impossible for me to not be phased with disgust, horror, and a more refined understanding of God’s relentless pursuit and grace over us. Wow

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10.14.14

Vitamin water, lots of hot tea, this nasty plum juice sickness remedy, a good night of sleep, and gargling salt water… and of course the encouragement.

This might actually work o_o;;

Feeling better already… thank you Jesuuus… 4 more days to this crazy week!

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10.13.14

I just dunno.

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saidthedaisy:

Somebody please send me flowers

saidthedaisy:

Somebody please send me flowers

(via jennnipuhhh)

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"The Christian says, ‘Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country.’"

— C. S. Lewis (via controlthemic)

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10.1.14

Crop tops

I will never understand them

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9.26.14

How come I seem to always lose/misplace my Christian books…?? I was searching for my copy of “A Grief to Observe” but… it’s nowhere to be found… :’(

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"the preaching of the gospel is terribly offensive to the human heart. People find it insulting to be told that they are too weak and sinful to do anything to contribute to their salvation. The gospel is offensive to liberal-minded people, who charge the gospel with intolerance, because it states that the only way to be saved is through the cross. The gospel is offensive to conservative-minded people, because it states that, without the cross, ‘good’ people are in as much trouble as ‘bad’ people. Ultimately, the gospel is offensive because the cross stands against all schemes of self-salvation. The world appreciates ‘religion’ and ‘morality’ in general. The world thinks that moral religion is a good thing for society. But the world is offended by the cross. So people who love the cross are ‘persecuted.’ The cross is by nature offensive! And we can only grasp its sweetness if we first grapple with its offense. If someone understands the cross, it is either the greatest thing in their life, or it is repugnant to them. If it is neither of those two things, they haven’t understood it."

— Tim Keller

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9.18.14 - Giving Thanks

Another super long post… I always have too much on my mind.

A random thought today. As humans created in the likeness of God, we too possess the desire to be appreciated and thanked after we do/give something to someone else. But sometimes, our selfishness spills over into our motives and it’s difficult to truly embrace the humility of Christ. How often have I hesitated before helping out a brother or sister out on the streets, or just flat out ignored them, hoping they’d be someone else’s problem? It’d be different if I was truly convinced that it was “not my problem.” But having He, the creator of the universe, and He who spun the world into motion, and He who died for MY sins, live in me - my conscience simply cannot be at peace with that.

I find that the biggest reason (or weight, rather…) that holds me back from letting the fullness of Christ be embodied through me is that I still lack so much trust in Him. I’ve seen his faithfulness carry me through a multitude of times, but it seems like every time a new or unfamiliar hardship comes my way, I need to relearn it. My heart is prone to wander and prone to forget. I want to rediscover and tap into the joy that comes from the sanctification through reading his word, my daily bread. But if I’m honest with myself right now, my “spiritual diet” (haha) seems to be modeling an unhealthy starvation/binge pattern. Maybe this desire of mine to abide in His word is something I ought to consciously ask for everyday, because ultimately He is the one who makes me see… and that’s a miracle and gift in itself. He is the author and perfecter of our faith.

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God is the only one who can love without measure, give without lacking, and remain faithful under all circumstances. I think it’s great that there are so many movements out there on social media encouraging us to practice having a “thankful heart” (like #100happydays or something), which is great… One thing they got right is that “thankfulness” is like a muscle you have to exercise. The more you use it, the more you’re able to acknowledge the people/things you’re thankful for. But leave Jesus out of the picture, and everything amounts to nothing. Absolutely nothing…

All good things come from the Father, are given by him, and are for his glory. In that case, nothing I own is actually mine. None of my possessions, relationships, etc. They’ve all been given to me by God, and they all belong to him. The weight of that is fully sinking in… sorry, I’m just thinking out loud. Anyway, He really does deserve all the glory that rightfully belongs to Him… nothing I own is really “mine” but his - and so I shouldn’t be afraid to give and love without measure.

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What I’m thankful for:

-As silly as this is… I know this was God too. A few nights ago when I was in a whole lot of pain, my friend drove me to the pharmacy. We parked and walked towards the meter, but realized we didn’t have spare change on us. But as I turned around to walk back the same way we walked in, there was a crisp dollar flattened on the ground right before us. Ever seen those crazy magic tricks? Well it was like that… it literally just popped out of nowhere. (and no, there’s no chance that either of us dropped it on the way there). It made me laugh because it was as if God was saying “don’t worry, I will provide… in every way possible.”

-Reconnected with my brother for the first time in a long time. It was the first time he was honest with me with everything that was going on. God rescued and delivered him, even though he doesn’t know it. I was secretly hoping that he’d fall into such a state of desperation that he’d cry out for help, and in that moment, divine intervention would swoop in and he’d come to know the living God haha… but no, I guess it isn’t his time yet. Instead, everything worked out, he made it to his interview in DC, and got the full time teaching position in the navy (?) - don’t quote me on that.

-My dad recently went to church in Taiwan. He told me that he wants to learn more about the bible. I got super excited over that, and offered to have bible studies with him over Skype but he’s not there yet. It’s crazy how fast Christianity has been spreading there over the past few years. I remember looking at the subway map as a kid and there being one, central church on it. Now, there are dozens more that sprinkle the maps with crosses. Sometime last year, God gave me a very clear vision of a black, leather-bound bible with a golden line running down the middle of the cover with the English and Chinese dual translation. And so I found it online, gifted it to him, and figured he’d do nothing with it. Sure enough, he didn’t… but for whatever reason, he’s been more compelled these days to learn more about it. That’s Godddd! Seriously, so faithful even when we are so faithless…

I’m beginning to feel loopyyy now… my medication’s kicking in. But thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus. For all the small gifts, big gifts, and everything in between. Thank you for everything!

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this bear latte would be perfect with some bear pancakes…

this bear latte would be perfect with some bear pancakes…

(Source: weheartit.com, via wakeupchristina)

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9.17.14 - UTI’s are the worst. Well… all illnesses are.

Taking a moment to write out all my thoughts, so they can stop swarming around my head like abstract noise (if that’s even a thing). I don’t know if this has anything to do with the illness I’m dealing with right now… but I’m trying to trace as far back as I can to see when exactly I didn’t start feeling too great.

This past weekend, I went back to Troy for the weekend for a wedding. I felt antsy, nauseous, and dehydrated non-stop. It probably didn’t help that I spent about a whole day in the basement too, trying to work on some school work done while watching a couple of Marvel movies. But I’m thankful to my friend who housed me for the night… going back to a place where I’m not guaranteed a place to be able to stay is pretty tough in itself. I left the wedding early because that anxiousness still didn’t leave me, probably because I had so many other things on my mind.

The next morning (Monday), I powered through my classes feeling slightly uncomfortable, but I didn’t think much of it. I couldn’t really eat much, but I also wasn’t very tired either. So I tried to stay awake and get some work done but my mind just was not there. My body felt like it was being poisoned, but I had a few essays to write, so I took a stab at those but my thoughts would not come together. And so I took a nap… one of those naps that makes your head feel like a hundred pound boulder on your shoulders. When I got up, I used the bathroom… and that’s when the sharp, burning pains registered and my mid-back started aching. The nausea only began to get worse and I could feel a fever coming along. Thankfully, some good friends were there to help me get through the night. They helped me finish my laundry, take me to the pharmacy, made me food I could keep down, spent time with me, and even help get all the information I needed to get medical help the next day. What would I have done without them?

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I’ve had a UTI once before in my life but it was nowhere near as bad as this one. All the urgent care centers were closed by the time that my symptoms fully kicked in (around 10PM), and so the best thing I could do is call the 24-hour Olin helpline to find out more information on what (felt like it) was killing me. The nurse was very adamant that I take myself to the E.R. given to my description of the level and locations of the pain, but I was also very adamant that I do not have health insurance, so there was no way I’d opt for that, no matter how sick I was. So the next best thing I could do is head to Olin as soon as it opened the next day at 8AM.

I slept for about 5 hours before I woke up around 6 AM the next day with the urgency to pee. And that clawing, stabbing pain inside kept me awake. I couldn’t really cozy up either since my room was so cold. So I decided to stay up, layer up like crazy, and fold my laundry - some of which was still wet, which felt like ice-cold rags given the temperature of the room.

I called the clinic as soon as the clock hit 8, and got picked up by their courtesy van. The doctor was an (upper) middle-aged white woman, who seemed like she was concerned but also slightly annoyed. After we were about 10 minutes into conversation, she asked what my first language was, even though we’d been speaking to each other in English up until that point. I said “English,” but she questioned me again saying, “Are you sure it’s not Chinese? I mean, it’s for the purpose of knowing what language you’re most comfortable with.” At that point, I felt so weak-bodied that I just replied respectfully that it was English. I guess I would have done that in any case, but meh. I wonder what it would have been like if I’d said something snarky in response, asking if she’d be able to speak to me in that language if I’d said otherwise. Thankfully, she  didn’t do invasive tests like last time, and all I had to do is pee in a cup.

My results came back and sure enough, the severity of the UTI was just as bad as I’d imagined, but luckily it was nothing some strong antibiotics couldn’t take care of. The bacterial infection did spread from my bladder to my kidneys, which was the cause of the fevers/nausea/upset stomach. I wanted to stay up so I could get some work done, but it seriously felt like a block sitting in my mind, not letting me do anything but sleep.

Since then, things have been slightly better… the sharp pains are gone but my body still feels like it’s being slowly poisoned. I have three classes today, but none of which I can actually go to. I spent the majority of last night trying to readjust my sleeping position because it felt like no matter how I laid, my kidneys were causing a lot of back pain. I finally forced myself to get out of bed and stuff some food into my system so I could take my pill again. I haven’t showered since the weekend, but at least I  was able to bring myself to change my clothes today. That’s progress. I don’t really want to bump into anyone here in the caf, but I’m sitting here solely because there’s heating on the downstairs level. I feel gross haha, and I’m dreading the fact that I can’t do anything but rest, especially because my mind still feels so restless.

I have so much school work to catch up on - and one of my teachers hasn’t even replied. I might just have to take a 0 on the 3 assignments I had for that class. I have to make a trip to the insurance company to sort some things out. I need to work, but my boss (in a nice, but firm way) told me that she already found people to cover my shifts and I just needed to rest. I tried to argue it, but she said I’m just going to have to resume work next week.

The hardest part about being sick is that you feel helpless at times and dependent on other people. And even though the friends around me have been more than great, of course there are still moments where you catch yourself feeling utterly alone. Even though you’re not. Even though God is so near at all times, that loneliness is something you can’t quite shake off sometimes. I want to continue denying the possibility that maybe all of this happened because of stress. The kind of stress that you’re unaware of, which is what makes it so dangerous. Your body can’t handle it but your mind continues to inject itself with morphine to numb your conscience. Sooner or later, your body wins.

I am reassured in knowing that God has had me from the very beginning. That while all this is happening, he is here leading me through this so that I might come to trust him and surrender everything to him. It’s a lesson he knows he’ll need to continue to teach me multiple times over this lifetime, in different ways, and a lesson I’m going to need to rediscover each and every time. He’s been here with me through all of this, even though the loneliness is still sometimes haunting.

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I don’t think running into this video was a coincidence by any means. God is so purposeful in everything he does and everything he is… I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of standing in awe of his splendor. What a beautiful, beautiful family. It really does start with the parents, and with Christ at the center of all things. And it might be silly to say, but I’m seriously so thankful for this family, hahaha…