14th of August 2013

I Had A Dream …

I had a very vivid dream last night in which my sister Celeste confessed that her twin, Bethanie, had a secret smoking habit.

I woke up feeling so sad. At 21, Bethanie and Celeste are my youngest sisters (they’re twins), and I’m very protective of them. It was one of those dreams that felt so real, I couldn’t tell if it had really happened or not when I woke up. The details were all starting to get muddled in my head - was it Celeste I had had the conversation with, or Bethanie? Was it Bethanie who had the smoking problem - or Celeste?

I woke up David and told him about it - and also confessed that I wasn’t sure if it had really happened or not. He reasoned, “If one of them told you about a smoking addiction - wouldn’t you remember it?”

I wasn’t so sure. I texted Celeste in the morning to confirm, and tried to phrase it casually so that if it had been a dream, it wouldn’t be so obvious … like I totally remembered our conversation and was just picking up where we left off. After some thought, I settled for, “Wait, I forget - are you the one who started smoking?”

Celeste texted back, “… ?” I confessed that I had had a dream that either she or Beth had started smoking and couldn’t remember if it was real anymore.

There was what felt like an eternity of silence, before she finally texted back, “Oh … yeah Beth smokes. She’s trying to quit though. I think she’s been trying those electronic cigarettes lately. But it’s been really hard for her …”

I was devastated. For the next four hours, I alternated between praying, crying over my baby sister’s loss of innocence, and looking up desiringgod.org articles on how to counsel people with addictions.

Celeste cautioned that it would probably be best not to bring it up with Beth since it was a “sensitive topic” for her. Over the next couple hours, I was able to gather more details - Beth had been smoking for about a year, and was up to about a pack a day. She had been trying to quit for the last few months. It had started because of a roommate who was into drugs and a bad influence … no, not her roommate Connie, the other one. No, Mom and Dad didn’t know. 

My heart broke that Bethanie felt like she had to keep her smoking addiction a secret. To be honest, it all did feel a bit out of character for my clean-living sister, but I was humbled by the fact that “you really just never know.” David tried to comfort me by telling me that because Beth had only been smoking for a year, it would hopefully be easier to quit.

Long story short, Celeste finally confessed to me that it had all in fact, been a dream. I immediately spent the next five minutes bawling with a mixture of anger and relief.

Celeste hadn’t realized how hard I had been taking it and felt really bad. But honestly, I can’t even be angry with her because … hey, at least Beth isn’t secretly addicted to smoking!

p.s. I have greater sympathy for Michael Britten from the TV show, Awake. He lived a really stressful life!

3rd of December 2010

Grandma's Superhero Therapy

I love this so much you would not believe. Just reminds me again how old people are so awesome!! It makes me miss my own grandma, who is pretty cute herself.

There’s more pics here!


Omigosh, she even has a blog! SHE’S SO COOL!

2nd of December 2010

We come to God the same way we did on the first day we were saved: with absolutely nothing to boast in apart from the cross.

- Dan Nah, last Sunday’s sermon

I think the longer you’re a Christian, the harder this is to remember. You look at your growth, your discipline, the positive changes in your life and somehow in your twisted pride, you attribute it to yourself and your efforts instead of all by the grace of God.

No. The gospel is clear: no matter how long it’s been since the moment of our conversion, no matter how much we know or how long we’ve served, we have nothing to offer God but our sin. If there is any good produced in us, it’s all by HIS work in us, not our own efforts. I know this in my head, but sometimes certain sins still catch me by surprise or make me really sad. But I shouldn’t be surprised.

Thank God for Christ!

2nd of October 2010

It’s the little things in life … like sock reunions!

All my life, I’ve been plagued by the Mystery of the Disappearing Socks. Somewhere between going into the washing machine and being taken out of the dryer, one will inevitably get lost along the way. I never throw away orphaned socks, even if it’s been months (or years) and I still can’t find its counterpart. Instead, I keep all the singleton socks in a pile, just in case the other one ever shows up. Over the years, the pile has grown and grown, to the point where I seriously wondered if there was a little old lady who lived in the garage and liked to occasionally help herself to my socks.  

So it turns out there is no such thing as the Sock Monster … More like my mom with a trash bag full of socks she’s found over the years. The other day I mentioned offhand how I’m always losing socks and she said, “Oh, I have this bag of socks in my room …”

I think I matched at least 6 pairs from socks I thought would never see the light of day again … seriously, everytime I reunited another long-lost pair, there was a little leap of joy inside me. 

9th of September 2010

A Kogi Family Adventure

On the way to La Crescenta, after explaining the concept of Kogi and warning my mom we may have to wait a long time:

Mom: “This is the worst idea I’ve ever heard. We may have to wait two hours and they don’t even have a place to sit? Poor service.”


Mom: “This is a really good business concept. They must save so much on rent. And this way, they’re able to reach a greater group of people. If people eat it everyday, they would “sik eem sai” (get sick of eating it). This way, by the time they come back to your area, you’re looking forward to it.”

In the car, in between bites of burrito:

Mom: “So this is called KoreanBBQ.com?”

4th of February 2010

That God sure is a craazzzy fella!

I was listening to Pastor Dan’s message that I missed a few weeks back and I was just so broken by God’s love for us. He was preaching on the story of Hosea and Gomer, how God asked Hosea to marry a “wife of whoredom” who would repeatedly cheat on him, even bearing two children with other lovers. And yet in spite of her unfaithfulness, Hosea continues to not only love and be committed to her, but actively pursue her - even going so far as to buy her back out of slavery after she leaves him. This was to demonstrate God’s inexorable, persistent love for us in the face of our own spiritual adultery.

Does anyone remember a really bad movie that came out in 2001 called “Pearl Harbor”? Basically, there’s a love triangle between Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, and Josh Hartnett, and after Hartnett kicks the bucket in at the end of the movie, Affleck and Beckinsale end up getting married and raising … *dun dun dun!* the baby she had with his best friend while they both thought Affleck was dead. I remember walking out of the movie theater afterwards, and my friend Bonnie saying, “Gosh, that’s horrible for [Ben Affleck]. To have to be reminded that his wife cheated on him, everytime he looks at their son.” Yeah - it’s like that, only so much worse!

All I could think of after the sermon was “Who DOES that????" I think if people saw the kind of love God has for us demonstrated in real life, they would be so incredulous. Insanity is supposed to be a person who does something over and over again expecting different results, right? But this is even crazier ‘cause God doesn’t love me or pursue me out of a hope that I will change into something worth loving; on the contrary, he knows my hidden sins, how slow I am to learn, the idols of my heart, that I will fail and hurt him and cheat on him and stab him where it hurts  - and he enters into the relationship anyway.

Maybe it’s hard for me to understand because my heart is so small. I need people. I hurt easily. I can’t imagine willfully pursuing a person I knew would just hurt me, persisting in a relationship where I knew it would just mean opening myself up to getting my heart sliced open a few dozen more times.

This is love - the kind of love you will probably never see: God chasing after me with open arms after I cheat on him with Lover #152. Not just taking me back, but forgiving me completely with no strings attached, no “post-fight” awkwardness, never bringing it up. When I think about it, my heart hurts at how much God loves us in Christ.

God’s love for us doesn’t make any sense!!!

31st of January 2010
Whenever we don’t want to come to God with our sin, it’s because we’re scared. We still think of God as a taskmaster ready to punish us for every flaw instead of what He is: a God ready to bestow mercy in every way. 
Julia Chan

Why blog?

For me, writing has always been a matter of self-preservation. I think if I didn’t write things down, my head would have exploded a long time ago. It’s my Pensieve, my way of organizing and managing thoughts, especially at those moments when there just seem to be too darn many of them.

I’ve always been intrigued by the whole Hansel and Gretel story. Leaving a trail of crumbs in hopes of being found … isn’t that what blogging is? You do it out of a desire to want to be “found” - or at least heard. Why else would you write private thoughts in a public forum? You put your thoughts out there because you want people to read them, obviously, but at deeper level, you want to matter. You’re hoping that of all the sound and noise out there, your words will work their way through and strike a chord.

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