as 2014 comes to an end, i was reminded of why i’m not making new year’s resolution for 2015… but spend each day trying to do better! #newyear #2015
Everybody seems to really like my fb post from yesterday. I found it online, and it cracked me up because it’s something I would say (jokingly, of course). I know I’m far from perfect… I’m very aware of many of my flaws! If you haven’t seen it, it’s from Calvin & Hobbes:
I’m a list-maker by nature. I’ve gone through many notepads making a to-do list for each day of my life. Every December 31, I would make a long list of what I would like to change for the following year. And to no surprise, I’m lucky if I keep half of them the first week. I usually fail before the second week of January, and I end up making a new list on my birthday (18th) as a fresh start once again. That’s been my January resolution making routine for the past 30+ years.
This year, I’m not…
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I packed all last night… everything was going so smoothly. I was so proud of myself for packing so well! i packed as light as I could so I could make room for the items I was taking to missionaries I’ll see in few days. Wednesday morning came… everything was still smooth. I set my alarm for 7:30 am, but I woke up at 6:30 automatically. I had time to make my first green juice of the year, clean up a little, and even text “Happy New Year” to few friends! Everything was going so smoothly… that should have been my first cue!
45 Minutes before I was suppose to be picked up, I weighed my bag on my bathroom scale. It read 52.7 lbs! Oh no… how did I go over? I was in the 40s all last night. I couldn’t get the bag off the scale–so I dragged it to the living room… I turned around to turn off the lights, and I had left a HUGE BLACK SCOFF MARK all over the bathroom floor! What in the world… I started scrubbing… nothing worked… I got out EVERY CLEANER in the cupboard, still nothing… 10 minutes passed… in frantic hurry, I literally used my fingernails to get every little black mark off the bathroom floor… and I mean it was the whole length of my bathroom… Then I remembered that I had heated up soup so I could eat right before going to the airport. I went to the kitchen, and I don’t know what happened. But as soon as I picked up the bowl of soup, the whole thing slipped out of my hand and SPLAT… went all across the kitchen floor and even onto the carpet!!! OH NO!!! I can’t leave lobster bisque all over the carpet–so I’m frantically pulling out all cleaning supplies and cleaning like a mad woman! I’m sweating at this point! Then my phone rings, and my dad says “I’m leaving right now. I’ll be there in 15 minutes.” NO!!!! I still have to repack… I have never moved so fast in my life… I’m cleaning the carpet, doing the dishes, re-organizing my luggage so it falls under 50 lbs… and I’m SWEATING! The last thing I want to hear is how I didn’t plan well from my dad because he’s always early, and he thinks I’m always late (which is NOT true!) At this point, I just burst out in laughter because this is just so my life!!! God forbid anything really go that smoothly…
Somehow, I finished cleaning and repacking just in the nick of time! I make it to the airport! And ladies and gentlemen, my bag weighed 22.98 kg and the allotted weight is 23 kg! In fact, the agent looked at me and said “wow, that’s cutting it close… you’ll have to be careful on your way back!” I just have to laugh because otherwise, I’ll just cry in defeat! So that’s the start of 2014… just in Gloria fashion!
My life is always this crazy… Never a dull moment! My dad and few other friends always look at me and shake their heads in disbelief because if something can go wrong, it always goes wrong or because I’m so accident-prone. But in the words of my friend Lisa, “crazy is NOT boring! I hate boredom!” A great attitude to have when your life is fashioned after Murphy’s Law!!! So once again, I’m reminded to laugh and smile my way through the new year no matter what comes my way! 🙂 Okay, gotta go run to catch my flight!
At one point in our lives, we were really good at it. In fact, we were so good at it that it probably drove our parents absolutely crazy! We used to be so good at asking why… because we were trying to understand the world around us… but somewhere between ages 3 and adulthood, we’ve lost the art of asking why. Perhaps it’s because we lacked people who encouraged curiosity and why questions in our lives.
I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately. I get quite few emails and inquiries regarding children’s ministry from my peers… They often want to know what curriculum to use, what events to have, how to have a stellar children’s ministry, if I would come speak at their VBS, or to consult for them. These are all great questions… however, when I ask them why they do what they do or why they want to change things up, I get two very common answers: because that’s what we’ve always done or because we’re bored with what we’re doing. Often times, I take a step back and ask “why do you do children’s ministry?” And more often than not, I get a blank stare before they formulate some answer about wanting the kids to know and love God. Once I probe further and ask “why do YOU do children’s ministry”, I often get “because the church asked me to” or “because I like kids.” I’m not saying that these are all wrong answers… but I just wish people asked “WHY” more often… Why do we do VBS? Why do we have Fall Festival? Why do we have Christmas plays? Why do we have camps? If the answer is “because we’ve always done it” or “because they asked me to,” then we really need to go back and have a clear objective about why we do what we do!
Another reason why I’ve been thinking about “WHY” is… I’m often approached by parents and kidmin leaders about the need to change behaviors in kids. I understand that misbehavior can be frustrating and even maddening. I usually come back to the “why” of their behavior… because I’m more concerned with the heart and lasting impact. Kids are smart… they often can figure out how to behave so they don’t get in trouble… but that doesn’t indicate that their hearts have changed at all. I will be honest–this is NOT an easy process most of the times… Journeying through the “why’s” are often followed by more frustrations and probably more questions than answers in the beginning… but once again, I do wish more people were concerned with the “why’s” of why kids behave the way they do…
So… all this is to say… let’s not quench the curiosity in kids when they’re little… I think “why” is such an important question in life… and at every age and stage in life, we need to be asking more “why” questions!
Honestly, it’s getting old. I’ve been through this before… many times. I must be stubborn… or dense… or just dumb… I keep making the same mistake over and over… and every time, it feels new.
I keep thinking that I’m in control of my own life. I keep thinking I know what’s best for me. And when things don’t go my way, I get disappointed, hurt, and sad. And I ask God “why God?” I ask God “what is your purpose in this?” I ask God “what is your plan exactly?” I need to Let.It.Go. I need to trust that God indeed knows what’s best for my life… and that He’s in control. I need to Let.It.Go.
I have the need to correct everyone’s misunderstandings, misinformation, or misjudgment. At least, that’s what I think they are. I’d like to think it’s because I want people to be well-informed and be fair. But in actuality, I just feel the need to make them understand things from my point of view. I need to Let.It.Go. I need to accept the fact that I can’t change people. I’m not responsible for people’s decisions and opinions. I need to Let.It.Go.
I have the tendency to want to fix everything. I’m a problem-solver by nature… and I get frustrated when I see people spinning the same web over and over again. I get frustrated when I feel like I have the answer, and yet they don’t seem to get it. I need to Let.It.Go. I can’t fix everything for everyone. I can’t fix people’s attitudes. I can’t fix their opinions. I really don’t have all the right answers. I need to Let.It.Go.
I believe life has many ups and downs. I believe how you feel about life is dependent on your attitude. I believe every stage of life feels difficult when you’re in it. I believe it’s necessary to have a good sense of humor about life because otherwise, you’ll want to cry all day. I believe God doesn’t give us beyond what we can handle. I probably won’t last a day in your shoes just as you may not last a day in mine. Trust me, my life is no picnic either. I believe every tough life stages will eventually pass, and we can overcome. Lately, I’ve heard so many “woe is me” stories and attitudes. I just want to shake them and tell them to put life into perspective. If you have a place to lay your head at night and food to eat, you’re blessed. I want to tell them to just get over it, own your own life, and live it! But I need to Let.It.Go. I can encourage people, but I can’t change people–only God can do that. I can listen to people, but I can’t shake them out of their self-misery forcefully. I am responsible to people, but I can’t be responsible for people. I need to Let.It.Go. By the way, there’s a reason why I didn’t go into counseling (when many people said I should)… I would have been a horrible counselor–God wired me for something else and thankfully the Holy Spirit guided me to listen to Him rather than people.
I keep holding onto emotions that aren’t healthy for me. I need to surrender every aspect of my life to God.
It’s been 3 full months since I last blogged… I keep thinking “I have to write about that…” and then life gets busy–super busy!!! okay… I also get distracted–super distracted!!!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, contemplating, and analyzing lately… and I thought I needed to re-start writing down my thoughts again… at least for my benefit! But where do I start? Hmmm… I thought I’d start with some things I have learned, experienced, felt, and thought in the past 3 months. These are random thoughts in no particular order. Some are fun (or funny), some are serious. Some are shallow, some are deep. Some are just plain silly…
- Disneyland really is magical!
- It’s really hard to lose weight when you love food as much as I do.
- I’m ridiculously blessed with some of the most amazing girlfriends in the world!
- When there is a good purpose, I don’t mind losing sleep to get things done.
- Easter reminded me that it was worth losing sleep to prepare to help people experience Jesus.
- Sleep, however, is under-rated! I really do love sleep.
- The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak… really weak… (sigh…)
- Kids are more than capable of experiencing Jesus in a personal way! When I hear stories of kids experiencing Jesus, it puts the biggest smile on my face.
- I feel alive when I’m challenged to think of ways to make Jesus real to kids!
- I really miss traveling and experiencing new people, place, and food!
- I think I may be a bit obsessed with juicing.
- I have the most amazing ministry friends in the world that challenges me!
- I go to a messy church with messy people… but it’s all good cuz I’m pretty messed up myself.
- Consistency is so important in helping toddlers and preschoolers overcome separation anxiety. But it’s totally possible!
- I also feel alive when I get to train, equip, and develop kidmin leaders and volunteers!
- Clear communication is soooooooo important!
- You can never over-communicate!
- Maturity has very little to do with age! I’ve met more mature 20-year olds than 55-year olds. Sad but true…
- We all have massive baggage… we all need help!
- I’m a lot more selfish than I thought I was. It was kind of traumatizing to come to that realization.
- Most Asians aren’t used to a loud, opinionated Asian girl who speaks her mind. I really do have filter… most of the time…
- I really am an introvert… I’m just good at pretending to be an extrovert.
- Why can’t someone figure out how to keep my lashes long without having to use latisse or revitalash every day?
- I really wish I could get a massage every week… I think that would contribute to staying healthy and sane!
- It really brings me joy when I get to introduce people to my favorite foods!
- People are difficult!
- It’s really a lot of work to grow in relationships with people… and that’s really what I spend a lot of my time doing… God’s amazing/cruel sense of humor…
- I hope to have a sense of humor like God!
- I wish I had “delete all and start over” button… I wish it almost every week…
- One day, I’ll just wake up and head to the gym instead of thinking “I really should get up and go to the gym.” I hope that day comes this month!
On this Thanksgiving Day, I’m reminded how awesome God has been to me…
What a good God You’ve been to me
Your goodness and Your grace everyday I’ve seen
And what else can I do
But give my deepest thanks to You
What a good God You’ve been to me
What a faithful God
You’ve been to me
You’ve provided far beyond
Everything I need
So what else can I do
But give my deepest thanks to You
What a faithful God You’ve been to me
What a loving God You’ve been Lord to me
You shed Your blood upon the cross
So I can stand here free
So what else can I do
But give my deepest heartfelt thanks to You
What a faithful God You’ve been
What a loving God You’ve been
What a good God You’ve been to me