Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Henna and Andrija arrived at 10:30pm on 27th, Saturday. Because Cora and Olivia needed to leave for Chicago early in the morning (7 am), the kids wanted to visit each other as long as possible. Henna and Andrija both loved Borcht (heavy meat Russian winter soup). Henna and Lizy planned something special for that night. They would give presents to each other. Exchanging gifts have not been our family tradition.
Growing up in Korean tradition, there was no Christmas and hence no tradition of exchanging gifts. My mother would buy things for us as she could afford them throughout the year and saved it. When winter break came, we could have it and just tell the kids at school that was our gift(s). So when my local church did not celebrate Christmas because it was not Christ's actual birthday, it was no loss to me. So we raised our kids without Christmas. Unlike me they wished there was Christmas and everything that came with it.
Now I realize, it's not so much Christmas tradition, but I wish I had fostered gift giving practice. To find joy in giving is precious gift for anyone. I heard Henna and Lizy planning what they wanted to give without telling anyone else. They spent long time planning out a gift(s) for everyone.
It must have been close to midnight on Saturday when we settled in our living room. The joy and delight could be felt as each person got a little something(s). I watched the scene with so much contentment. Christian opened his gift and found a secret treasure book. Lizy had spent days cutting out inner pages to carve out a secret compartment. The compartment was filled with little treasures. The tickle on Seth's face when he opened a box and found a teddy bear made with 10 pairs of socks. The bear was holding what looked like a candy, it actually was a flash drive. Henna received gloves, fragrant lotion, and more... all from her $5 a week allowance. Henna presented a special something to everyone. Because I knew the girls were doing this, I also prepared something for the kids. Oh the joy of giving and receiving.
Tom and I finally went to bed at 2:30 am. I don't know when the kids went to bed. Christian stayed up till 5 am. Tom and Christian had to wake up at 6:30am to take Cora and Olivia to train station at the airport. Wow what a day.
Rest of that day and the next was filled with little activities, just being together and loving every moment. Having everyone was the best gift given to Tom and I.
Friday, December 26, 2008
The road is icy. I considered how I hated driving. My early years of my marriage, I drove to work, to church, and to the grocery store. When children came, I drove to their schools(one year I had 3 kids in 3 different schools), ballet classes, soccer meets, and to libraries. My driving muscle grew as my family grew. As I was driving on sheet of ice this morning, I was quite proud of myself. It is exciting that I am driving up to 60 mile distance to get to work through rain, snow, sleet, hail, storm, whatever the weather was dishing out for the day with out much consequence other than taking extra time. One time I got a ticket because it was safer for me to pass the red light rather than trying to stop a sliding car. But I also enjoyed the beauty of sunshine and sweet wind and the expanse of country driving.
This morning was the worst. Just a touch of the break pad caused the car to slide to the curve. Very carefully I drove past our block, turning onto SR 119. I saw the stop sign way in front of me. It must be a mile, maybe half a mile down the slope. I was sliding. My feet was not on gas pedal. Way down there, I see at least 5 or 6 cars with emergency light flashing. There must be an accident. I put my foot on the break every so gently. The car swerved, hits the snow bank to the right, then bounced off and slid into the center and then I did a slow motion U turn on the ice against my will. Soon I was on the other lane facing the opposite way. I tried to gently press the gas pedal and move up the hill. I went no where. The wheels ran in place. I called Bob (my scheduling pharmacist who sends me to different pharmacies as needed) and told him of my dilemma. As I was describing what happened, then my cell phone died. I thought I must wait until state police found me. I was only 3 miles from home.
Almost 2 hours later I was in the safety of my home. A young man whose car had stranded a little ahead of me, pushed his car to the plateau of the slope. He walked down some distance to my car and offered to push my car. He pushed my car to the plateau as I steered. Before I could fully express my gratitude, he drove away. When I entered home, Lizy was in tears, so happy that I had gotten home safe. Tom and his dad was out to rescue me. With dead cell phone, I was not able to inform them of my situation. The last contact they had was when I called to let them know that I was stuck and that my cell phone was dying. Tom and his dad was equipped with sand, pick, and shovel. Fortunately I called him before they got to that down graded slope. Then I called Bob. He was so worried about me. He thought I got into an accident or I must be in a ditch. Feeling helpless, he called Tom. Bob told me not to worry and stay home and rest.
We (Tom and I) went to grocery store and bought enough to take care of 6 young people (my 3 older kids and their special someones) that are coming tomorrow. Imagine 10 people eating continually though out the day. Yet I was so excited. I spent the whole day cooking. Tom was busy cleaning. I could not have prepared so much food if I were working today and was grateful that I had opportunity to be home. Then I learned that Christian and Cora, and Seth and Olivia were coming ...today...(they were scheduled to come tomorrow).
Soon they were home, in Goshen. After hugs and greetings I lead them to the dining room. I made a huge pot of Borcht (slavic soup heavy in meat). My intention was that this could fill in the gap between meals when anyone was hungry through out the weekend. I then learned that both Cora and Olivia were vegetarians. All of my cooking were heavy in meat (like most American food). With the help of the girls, we rushed to make some non-meat dinner (spaghetti sauce with peas and carrots) and noodles.
I am tired. I worked non stop today. What fortunate thing that icy roads prevented me from going to work. The young people and Tom were playing volleyball in the living room and I sat on the couch enjoying of their immersion in joy and laughter. The ball was globe balloon. The game was to catch, hit, or throw the ball while you are in the air (your feet cannot be on the floor during any action). It was fun to watch. It was a fun day.
I was so happy I was home today.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Getting the house in order, packing, gathering things for garage sale, kept her incredibly busy. Her anticipation of moving to Arizona where her son and family resided was exciting. She could hardly contain herself sometimes. She would tell all the customers that soon they would not see her... Finally Sheryl and Carl sold or gave away just about everything. They did not want anything left. When the house was sold, they were as light as feather. They would get an apartment out there. They would buy whatever they needed and live a simple life.
One day I came to work. She was gone. I had known all along, yet I felt a void. Sheryl was gone. Melissa was hired in her stead. One day Melissa told me, "Sheryl called from Arizona, but is having a hard time. The people she is working with ... her situation is not easy." Then another week, Melissa told me that Carl did not get NAPA job. I felt bad for them.
About a month ago, Melissa told me that Sheryl and Carl are moving back to Indiana. After 3 months Carl was not able to land a job. NAPA downsized and eliminated the job that were to be his. Oh no, I thought. They sold their home in Indiana. In fact they don't even own any furniture even if they were to rent an apartment. One good news; Sheryl was told that her job here in Indiana would take her back.
Last week Sheryl came into work as I walked in. I gave her a big hug and were back working as two sisters in Christ. She told me of some horror stories about working with so many people who were so unhappy with their lives. She even told of a pharmacist whose every other word was profanity. She stood up to him. She tolerated obscenities but that he must not use her Father's name in such derogatory way. He avoided her after that. Then she told me of Carl's inability to get a job. NAPA told him that he had his job waiting for him if he were to come back to Indiana. When he contacted them again after moving back, he was told NAPA had to downsize and his spot was eliminated (again). They told him, in January of 09 something may open up.
Sheryl talked about her home here. She is renting. It is a beautiful little home, fully furnished for only $500 per month. They could stay as long as they needed. Then she talked of her plan. She would finally be eligible for social security in two years. At that point they want to move to Arizona once more. She would be covered by Medicare. Sheryl is a cancer survivor and health insurance she must have until medicare kicks in. They would buy a small camper. They can live in Arizona during winter time and travel through out US during spring, summer, and fall. She says, "My good Lord is taking care of everything. I am so grateful that he knows what is best for us."
Saturday, November 22, 2008
After a wonderful 50+ years with his first wife Marjorie, with her passing he wanted to get married again and live a life of love. His second marriage did not last. He could not have comprehended how complicated a woman can be after a life long baggage of pain & rejection experienced by Lydia. She could not receive Gifford into her heart.
Lydia soon rejected Gifford and his love and requested a separation, which evolved into a divorce. Yet Gifford saw this whole situation as a life experience. He saw it as a good experience.She was a good companion while it lasted.
Currently he is busier than ever with his new house. It needs a lot of renovation. He is working tirelessly with a contractor to get that house to be his home as soon as possible.
Monday, November 10, 2008
One of the elders read in his Church History seminar, something that stayed with me. I don't remember in what context. Some pope said, "give me a child until age 5 and I will make him a devout Catholic till he dies." To me it was "give me a child until age 5, I will make him a devout (fill in the blank) till he dies."
I recall my childhood up to age 5 and beyond, my grandfather have instilled in me over and over daily that I was to carry our family to the glory of Kim dynasty we lost over the years (Our ancestors were Kings). I am not sure why he chose me, a grand daughter, to carry this heavy burden. I recall how my mother poured out her heart daily of all her woes. I watched how my father was either working and not at home or he was constantly studying when he was home. My father's preaching to me daily that we must work hard and save for our old age. Your place in life, dignity, pride, and achievements define who you are. These things have formed me. It was in my blood.
When Tom had none of my drive regarding human life and endeavors, it crushed me. When Tom was desiring to give up his earthly security to serve God, it nearly killed me. I expected my children to be focused and become successful in school or careers beyond my expectation. They had the smarts I lacked and we had the means to support them, and then Tom decided to give up his career in his higher pursuit.
For most of my adult life , we were in intense bible based church where the Word, Holy Spirit, human spirit, and spiritual experiences were stressed. It is ironic that I had so manysweet experiences of Christ over the years, yet the foundation of my being was changed very little. When I experienced the Lord, I was at peace, yet it was so brief. As Tom's conviction in life and my conviction in life collided, we were caught in a world that could not be compromised. He could not live in my world and I could not live in his world.
For myself, it was not until within last several years, I discovered through a brother named Ed Smith and his Theophostic ministry that I learned to un program what is in my blood and experience a powerful release of what must be, what has to be, what ought to be, and experience the power of God in my human life.
As I look back all those years, agony and suffering needed not be. The first year Tom took a year off to be in a bible training, I was absolutely devastated. Everything in my being cried out NO. Love God and serve him while we make ourselves abundant financially was my moto. We could give so much more when we have more for those we loved. The irony of persons given to serve God or to inner conviction to serve people, there is no human logic. Giving up worldly glory (which is no glory), one takes up the engine fueled by God and lives for that conviction, rather than human wisdom.
What is it to really fly? What is it to rise above the earthly struggles of life? To eliminate fear of poverty, to eliminate the need of security, to feel safe in love, God's love. How do we achieve them? I have seen too often, Christians and non-christians fall apart in dire circumstances. It's not teachings that will transform. Even experiences, as wonderful as it is, to raise us above the death waters, if it is brief and temporary one finds himself drowning again.
Yet to experience something that is lasting is so profound. One example is... for me living from hand to mouth, like everyone else, and to find joy in it...the same situation which has tortured me in the past. I had fought Tom for decades that this is not a life I wanted. Finally God was able to release me to peace.
I may still wake up in the middle of the night filled with anxiety. For example what about my children & their needs. In the past it would have escalated into deep angst. Now I know what I need to be untangled from. Recently I have experienced angst over my children having anxiety about their crucial stages in life. Again I take that and bring it to God, get to the source until that too has been resolved and eliminated, never to return to me again. All situations can be handled with wisdom when one is not filled with fear.
There is such freedom, wonderful freedom, in experiencing the release from the bondage of human struggles, one item at a time! Oh the joy of being released in the very things that have bound me. To experience God as He untangles me,... to watch my heart filled with love for my dear husband in his choice to serve, and to live in simplicity of life....I have Wings to Fly.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Soon after I had children I realized that I really did not enjoy the typical "home maker" duties. Everything I did seemed like I should be doing something with more meaning. I did enjoy being with my children, but even that I had limited capacity. I soon realized that I had to go to work part time and that brought me some self respect that I needed.
When Elizabeth was one year old, I had the compelling desire to be something outside of home. I started a small vending machine business with Barb. Within a year I moved onto network marketing. I had recovered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by using nutrition based products. I was excited. I went full force.
I was constantly running away from "home maker" duties. At that time I had no idea what was running me. It was just a few years ago, as I was doing theophostic work, I saw my mother's one desire; to mold me to raise me above what she was. She always told me, I will cook and clean so that you don't have to. You will have someone else taking care of upkeep of your home. She was happy to see me study. That meant someday I won't have her lot.
Yet I was surrounded by sisters-in-law who stayed home and loved taking care of their home. I desired that yet I could not be at peace with it. I hope my girls can be content in both worlds.
All prescription filling is stopped when the insurance is not working. We may just lack the right codes for the hundreds of companies with unique codes which are being changed too frequently as one company is bought by another leaving the patient and the providers in a mangle of confusion.
As we were trying to fill two prescriptions for this woman's husband (whom I will call Bill), the insurance just would not accept all the information on the card for Bill. She was adamant that all her own prescriptions were paid for and it must be our fault that Bill's medicine were not being paid. After about fifteen minutes she was livid. I could see her irritation escalating to anger in her face. I asked my technician to tell her of the insurance denial..I guess I was too chicken to be yelled at. She demanded for the prescription papers and stormed out.
About an hour later a Walgreen pharmacist called me. He was not able to get her insurance to work for Bill and said that he wished we would not have sent her to them. Later a technician from Walgreen's (Sara) called my technician. Sara was so afraid...she was never treated so badly and she wanted to see how we fared. The woman told the Walgreen crew that we were more than incompetent, stupid and called us many more names. By the time the woman left Walgreen it seemed that she was even angrier. But she did learn that insurance covered her medicine but did not cover her husband's medicine.
I thought of our young people going to school for six years to be treated like this. What high ideals would young graduates have, to be smashed to the ground by such incidences which are all too common. I remember myself being deflated. I worked in hospitals soon after graduation. I did not have third party issues. It was before computer age. We filled little boxes all day. We wrote patient name, room number, drug name, and other pertinent informations. After we filled these little boxes someone else checked it to make sure right drug was going to right persons. It seemed like what I was doing was meaningless. Did I go through so much studying to be doing this? Where is my ability to be active in patient therapy?
Nurses often called us being very upset that medicine did not come up soon enough. Sometimes we were at the end of nurses' and doctors' anger making me feel like we were the dog that got kicked (dad comes home upset, yells at mom who yells at the kids then kids kick the dog.) If we do catch a doctor's mistakes with drugs, we had to be careful. If he was a vain doctor, you have to be able to receive his anger for touching his pride. One time I caught a serious mistake. I informed a doctor that this was a wrong drug with similar name. He was adamant that he knew what he was doing. He did not change the medicine for a whole twenty four hours then he changed to a correct drug. At least I was not yelled at.
Yet outside of work place there would be such respect for pharmacists. I often wondered of the discrepancy. I would often tell Tom that my work is not much different than the kids who serve hambergers at McDonalds. At least they are not chewed out for some third party not paying for their hambergers and fries.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Today Tom and I have been married 29 years. Wow, it has been a long wonderful and painful winding road to here. To celebrate our special day we went to a local Mexican restaurant. It was a small restaurant with a few tables. The waitress seemed overly eager to please us. She offered us some Mexican soft beverage, tamarind pop with foreign taste. Lizy did not care for it. An older woman, somewhat heavyset with rolling waist line, mother of our waitress came. When she realized that Lizy did not care for this, she wanted to bring another one which passed Lizy's taste buds with flying colors. There was sign of relief and satisfaction in her face. She was so eager to please us. I think we will come back here.
It was delicious, every one of our meals. Tom and I looked at each other. Twenty nine years, Wow. We went through so much. We have been somewhat transformed. Our differences do not bring up so much abrasions. We have accepted each other, that both of us will continue to have our own unique traits, and in spite of it all we find that we still love each other.
Seth and Lizy was asking how we met, how long we dated, how old we were... It seems funny to talk about us...we were the college kids falling in love. At our marriage, I was younger than Christian and Tom was younger than Henna.
As I am considering my Christian walk, I am so thankful that I am here today. I just came home from a bible study with my neighbor, Deb and her friends. There were seven women. This is the first time I am in an on-going study started out by someone else other than those from my church. Such dear women and their pursuit to live Christ touches me deeply.
I am thinking of the last pot luck we had at Lizy's school. There was prayer before the meal. This would be very foreign practice in Chicago. I am starting to see God and His family much differently. He is working in so many people's lives to bring them together, to honor Him, to serve Him, yet in a profound way to take care of us to head up His plan.
I am considering our little church life here in Goshen. There are about dozen of us meeting. There were about forty in the gathering, before we moved here in 2006. There were something brewing for about two years in this small gathering. I hear that a couple from Southern California training center moved here few years before we came here. They realized that those in Goshen did not follow the program of the ministry that flowed from the west and tried to create the acceptable way to meet according to Southern California church leaders. Thus began the winds of unrest and questioning towards the local leadership here which eventually ended up dispersing the small congregation. Those members were blown and scattered in the wind leaving just a handful. This couple then moved back to southern California.
In this backdrop, we moved here. We were comfort to those remaining believers. Our little gatherings are so different than what I was used to in Chicago. As we go through a book in the bible, we all participate in a very different way. In the beginning I was not used to exercising my understanding. Everyone participated in the discussion. To my amazement, I am seeing the same verse or chapter in a new light. I recall that our meetings in Chicago, we would read the ministry material of respected leader's exposition and we discuss about it at the end. What contrast.
I am also thinking of Paul and Mary. They lived such sincere serving life in the local church in Streamwood. When they moved to Tennessee, they went to same local church that is the extension of Streamwood and Chicago. They were so willing to jump in and serve as they did in Streamwood. The local believers in that congregation had no heart to include all other dear Christians as joint partakers of God's riches. Yet they were sweet people. Out of the sense of being in a straight jacket, Paul and Mary left.
They found a church home with a vibrant Jesus loving group. This group began just one year prior to their moving with less than ten people. They hit one-hundred members the year Paul and Mary joined them. Today, three years later, they are three-hundred. Mary says she loves the church, the members, and the gathering. When they get together they enjoy being together so much so that they do not want to part. Out of the abundance of joy, increase occurred. Her understanding of God's family expanded.
I am considering, it was thirty years ago, maybe before that, we in the local church movement was increasing like that. I remember the joy of the Lord. Our enjoyment of Christ was infectious. Increase was happening and we didn't know where they came from. We were so free to love Christ and I was enveloped in God's love. As the years came and went, somehow our liveliness and vibrancy started to die out. Trying to live a very high doctrine, somehow lost me and in the process lot of wrong concepts filled me. Once we have tasted something so precious, we were still clinging to hope that this vibrant God will be real and living once more. Now I realize it is not God who has lost the vibrancy. It's us that has become old and embraced a teaching more than the Person of Christ.
These days I see Tom, enjoying the freedom in Christ. I am discovering who I am and who God is. I see the expanded view of God's family and I come to Jesus in gratitude. Everything needed to happen. When the leading brothers from Southern California quarantined a brother in the Midwest because he did not fit into their teaching and demand, it became clear. We could not be one with such group of leaders.
It is so good for us to move and to discover who we are. Tom knew he had to leave Chicago if he was to serve the God. He needed to have freedom to hear God's voice. I reluctantly followed him. Yet today, I am happy to be here. I am discovering more of me everyday. I am discovering God and who He is every day.
It seems amazing that for me all the teachings, regardless how deep and high they were, cannot be compared to simple love for Christ and His Word. I am also experiencing God digging out of me from the crevices of my heart, the fears and the wrong beliefs about Him. Each time He does that, the freedom, and the joy is experienced.
I would like to visit Tennessee and find out what they are doing to have such abundant fruit, which is the expression of God's enjoyment manifested.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Everrett and Beverly invited us to come camping with them...and we did, August 6th through August 12th. To our pleasant surprise, they had platoon boat. They had reserved this site exactly 6 months earlier (February 6th at 12:01 am). All their attempts to reserve the site for July had failed because someone had always beat them.
Once we got there, we saw why. My...the site was large. Enough to hold a large RV, a tent, 2 cars, a boat trailer, and a car trailer, 2 picnic tables, 2 additional folding tables, fire place, ... and yet had enough space to play frisbe. Overlooking the site was the beautiful and serene Salamonie Lake. . Surrounding to the left and right were dense woods. Even though there may be campers there we did not see them easily.
Salamonie Lake was actually Salamonie river turned into a lake by building a dam for flood control of surrounding towns. Interestingly enough they evacuated 3 towns and flooded them (now buried by the lake).
Lizy had brought a friend, Brittany. I was so happy to see the girls lost in the joy of childhood. The girls built a teepee on the beach with water system coming to their teepee. As Tom and I were walking along the beach, he pointed out to me what the girls had built. I was impressed. They went bike riding often, and disappeared for hours probably to build their teepee. We all went boating and the girls were brave enough to be tubing. This is the first time I saw what tubing was; a person would hang on to a air tube and boat would pull them at the speed they indicated. Looked like a lot of fun.
There was an attempt to fish during the time when fish escaped to the bottom of the lake, away from the crowd and the warmth of the daytime sun. Well the girls had fun. While boating, we would stop somewhere so the girls can swim and play with Sammy. Our entertainment was watching them at play and we were busy enjoying each others' company. Sammy had his little dog life jacket. Oh so cute.
The first evening we grilled T bone and sirloin steaks. We had recently purchased a quarter of steer from our farmer friends, Keith and Lois. Oh they were so scrumptiously delicious. Another day we made fat hamburgers. It was again so delicious and felt so healthy. (Well we know that Keith and Lois steers graze the fields and are happy animals.)
In the evenings, always there was warm glow and crackling of campfire as we talked, roasted marshmallows, or just sat there emersed in peaceful summer evening overlooking the beautiful sunset over the waters. One evening, just after dinner we felt rain drops. Soon it became a down pour. We hurriedly cleared up everything and went into the cozy living room of the Cook's RV and watched John Adams, a miniseries that is absolutely thought provoking about the start of US. Even such evening was so memorable.
One week went too quickly. I was so happy to have found such a beautiful place not so far from Goshen.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Yesterday we went out on a outing. Oh how I loved it. The weather was beautiful. We went to visit Mary Jordan play piano at the Pritskar stadium. Mary played ever so impressively.
Henna was beautiful and elegant as always. Elizabeth was in bliss to be with her adored big sister and brother Seth. I was so happy to get them to meet Nat, Brandon, Mary, Connie, and Micah.
Henna had prepared a gourmet wrap. So we went to Grant park to eat our lunch. Being nestled amongst trees and watching people in distant, it was so pleasant. The lunch was delicious. Afterwards we played catch with a water bottle (we did not have a Frisbee). What a sight; me fumbling as the bottle came to me, Henna catching still in her high heel sandals, and Lizy just being happy, all of us laughing while playing this sport.Seth was giving Lizy a ride on his shoulders and running around. What a lucky girl to be so adored and loved. I wish I had spent more time like this when they were children. I wish Tom was there. He would have loved it. It seemed we were alone in the midst of crowd. I had an even more of appreciation for such a desirable and pleasant surroundings. Who would have thought this was one of the most crowded areas of Chicago. It was beautiful. I want to come back many more times with my kids. I wonder how long we will own our Chicago home.
We walked nine blocks to Henna's work. Truefitt and Hill Barber Shop. I changed into an acceptable sandals before actually getting there. I did not want to look like an hillbilly with my clown shoes (ohhhh so comfortable Walmart clogs). It indeed is an elegant shop. It looked very distinguished and of rich old world. One of the barbers said we looked like sisters. That was a compliment. Oh I love my kids. I wish I was a better mother when they were children.
After visiting shops, bookstore, just enjoying being there with my children, we came home. Oh such a lovely home. I prayed once more, "give me the ability to sell when time comes."
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
For so long my health has been so fragile. About a month ago I decided to work more hours. To my amazement, I am thriving in working many hours. I am working full time (still in part time status so I could take time off when needed). I wonder how long I will be in this state. How could I be so content working so many hours outside of home? I have tendency to push myself until I am totally exhausted and used up.
The reasons to start working more were: I was getting very anxious about two homes and their upkeep and three children who may need help at any given time. I am endeavoring towards that day when anxiety no longer control my actions.
I am the one who had no heart to sell our Chicago home, hence we still have it. Our kids and Justin, and Dan are living there now and paying marginal rent and all utilities. What an irony; so many were advising me to sell in this home in unsellable market by cutting the price. It was not that I had to get more, rather it was that I could not or will not let go of the house. When the kids were little, they asked us to keep the house for them. Maybe that is what it is, maybe I am not willing to give up a beautiful home of twenty four years with our family history, maybe I always wanted properties and Tom would not and did not want to have anything to do with it. What freedom it would be to make a decision based on what would be the best for the time or situation.
I am probing deep into my being to clean up the things that keep me bound, whether it be a home, a place, financial status, or how I want my life to be. One item occupies my heart much- my children, and having anxiety that they are struggling with time management, schooling, and/or finances. I want to encourage them to grow, strengthen their wings to fly, and survive the world, and yet not hinder them by being there to save them when they make mistakes.
I pray, that they may get to know God. The ultimate meaning of human life is getting to know Him in our human life. Once again I pray for guidance because I don't know how to be a proper parent. I have a desperate prayer for each of them to live a life above the human struggle and it can be found in Christ. I am sorry that my children have not seen or experienced the love of Christ and I merit that much to our struggle, Tom and I, in our opposing view and value on life. It must have caused a deep confusion in them.
It is when God cleans out my inner hold so many things disappear... anxiety, fear, what could have been, if only..., regrets, turmoils, what should be, how it should be.... Oh to experience freedom, such freedom. This requires deep probing of my heart and allowing God's light to shine on the items which keeps me bound.
Tom does not seem to get anxious. He continues to serve God full time with zero pay. He has no paying job in his horizon. For me such a thought was and often still is anathema. Yet he is at peace. Often I think I should have been born a man with all my need to be successful. Yet there are so many aspects about me that is so insecure, and Tom provided for me the security. I always thought that if Tom was pursuing livelihood, or just relaxed endeavors in earning a living, I would have had a perfect husband, perfect marriage, and perfect family. Is it worth having everything perfect to lose the deepest digging and cleaning God was able to perform in my heart through out the years? Probably not.
Who would have thought that I could be at peace, at age fifty two, to accept Tom as he is (with mind only to serve). Who would have thought that I could work full time as a pharmacist and feel so content. Oh there were so many years I could not appreciate this profession. Who would have thought, that I could live in a humble home in Indiana, with nothing to show for, and be so much at peace. The walls, ceilings, exterior...they all cry for refreshing and renewing. Yet I am content.
Tom is so much at peace with our little church. Maybe leaving Chicago needed to happen long ago. The simple fellowship with the brothers, in the Word is so full filling for him. I am finding larger horizon in the vastness of God. I am so happy I am here today, that God has taken me through so much and He is still working with me and within me. As I get into the Word, my thought is only to know Him.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I work with such interesting people. Michelle is a full time pharmacist in Plymouth Indiana. She has an incredible love for horses. She raises, trains, and rides them in competitions. I believe that she has six or seven horses. Often when she walks into the pharmacy she has just worked with for her animals for some hours. After long hours of work as a pharmacist(some times 13 hour shifts), she will go back to her animals for more hours in taking care of their needs.
She has an amazing story of a horse named Pig Pen. He has a quite a story. When he got very very sick, the vet recommended him to be eutonized. Michelle did not agree and decided to take the matter in her own hand. She nursed him back to health with her own knowledge of medicine. He won a ribbon, third place in a state competition, his way of thanking Michelle.
She is also a farmer on the side. There is no money in it she says but it is for her love of outdoors. She is a real "tom boy" yet with a beautiful flowing and wavy and deep blond hair reminiscent of a princess from the Middle ages. I cannot fathom the energy required to live such a life.
She is my dear friend. I work with her almost every time I am in Plymouth. We talk about our families, children, church, faith, and so many human experiences and we pray for each other. I have seen her share a quick gospel to our customers many times.
We were both talking about how incredibly busy our lives are. She told me, "I want to do and learn so many things yet I am so overwhelmed by all the responsibilities, and necessary projects;like selling her house, moving to Arizona, to lean a new professional skill, to look for a job, an apartment in Arizona, the list continued .... I would like to paint, write, sew, and learn to play Organ. It is my aspiration..."
I said, "If you could spend 5 minutes a day, what one thing would you do?"
"JaeHi, I want to learn to play Organ. I will spend 5 minutes every day. But you must write every day for 5 minutes" She challenged me. She has been nudging me to write no matter how busy or tired I am.
"Yes, Sheryl. I will write 5 minutes every day. We will check on each other once a week, even after you move to Arizona. OK?"
"It's a deal and a pact"
She called me 2 days later. "Well How did your 5 minutes go?" The second day she found herself on her organ and spent 2 hours. She was lost in her enjoyment. That evening just before getting on her organ she wanted to check up on me. I started to write again and interestingly, every day I found something to write about.
Nancy is a dear lady that I work with when I am not with Sheryl. Nancy is 72 years old. She has gone through much suffering and sacrifice in her human living. At age 49 she lost her husband to a cancer. Four years prior, according to the recommendation of an oncologist, he went through surgery to remove all the cancers; which were like balls in major lymph nodes through out his back, front, underarms etc. The surgery removed cancer yet left him in a torture chamber of pain for the next 4 years. He died cancer free yet riddled in pain. She nursed him tirelessly beyond her human endurance. When he passed away she was able to rest for a couple of years. Then her mother's failing health called her to Indiana. For the next six years she would care for her mother ever so diligently until her death.
She tells me that it was her choice to not get remarried. She no longer had energy to take care of another dying person and she did not want to put another person through what she went through.
She loves her job. She loves meeting people and talking to people. She is still talking about developing another creative way to earn money like refinishing beautiful antique picture frames and selling them to museums.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wow! What a wonderful evening.
These are the moments that life is made up of. I wish I did more of discovering Chicago when I lived there for so many years. Well, we have a home to go back to, and I look forward to discovering Chicago with all of its ethnic culture and neighborhoods.
This year, Elkhart County is hosting a Quilt Gardens Tour. There are twelve quilt gardens, eleven quilt murals, and quilt displays. We visited the gardens and murals in Wakarusa and in Nappanee. The flowers are planted to mimic the designs of Amish quilts. A local artist painted murals of actual Amish quilts.
Then we went to Amish Acres consisting of a restaurant (a large barn turned into an eatery with Amish home cooking), inn, the Round Barn Theater and I don't know what else. We ate their Amish Threshers dinner. Oh, the food was so good! Fried chicken, ham soaked in apple cider then baked, mashed potatoes, stuffing, seasoned beans, hot rolls, a slab of butter, homemade lemonade, Amish noodles cooked in beef soup,...topped off by pies and apple dumpling. Then we walked over to a play, The Music Man, in the Round Barn Theater. I was comparing it to the ever so elegant Chicago theaters with plush velvet seats, winding staircase with gilded golden trim, opulent furnishings and thick carpets, the ladies in mink coats and long dresses; to this rugged barn-like theater, the walls and flooring were wide wooden planks, simple chairs with cushion, men and women who could have been on a farm during the day time, and many elderly couples from elder communities.
It was so enjoyable. Tom and Lizy watched this movie just the night before. They loved the movie, and they loved the real play. So did I.
We will be coming here again.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Elizabeth has started a small business. She created a flier about her "babysitting service". We walked to the park and she handed out to mothers with young children. Within a couple of days she got 2 responses with 20 fliers. She interviews parents then baby sitting starts.
Recently she has shown me another side of herself. She got into her middle school musical. I did not expect much but was very impressed by the 90 minute play. She is in school orchestra which did its grand finale last week. She plays violin. She joined Goshen Youth Soccer Organization and she found out she loves playing soccer. She may even join the school soccer team in the fall. Some how I did not expect Elizabeth to be involved in so many things.
She also has 2 best friends now who are in the neighborhood. She had longed to have best friends the way she had in Chicago.
Seth is active with Obama campaign. He has spent some time in Pittsburgh, then Indiana, and now he is in West Virginia. He loves to design, implement, then follow through large projects...He can judge a person's strength and weakness and give them duties that would best full fill their ability. One night he brain stormed a course of action, wrote it up, and implemented it the very next day with volunteers. He was more than happy with the outcome. Of course this is bits and pieces I gather from what little I saw of him.
I am starting to see patients, spend upto an hour in their medication therapies. For some patients who are on 30 medications, even 1 hour may not be enough. I have always wanted to get involved in clinical work, but as a part time pharmacist that has not been possible.
We have decided to keep our Chicago home for several years until the housing market picks up. For right now I am happy to keep our home, where Henna and Christian and Justin (our nephew) can reside. Also we have a home to come to when we are visiting Chicago.
Friday, March 7, 2008
My Friend Angie
My friend and coworker Angie from one of my
By the time I moved to
In her new job, she was working with a manager who would cause intolerable suffering. She does not know when and where he decided to be her enemy. He was out to get her in trouble. Each morning she was in fear and trembling. She prayed that her manager would have mercy on her. Her mental and physical health deteriorated daily.
We prayed over the situation many times…as time went on I suggested that she quit her job. She is a talented and excellent worker and that she would be a good asset to any employer. She endured one year in a situation that I could not have endured.
By November of 2007, her husband was seriously worried about her. He begged her to quit her job. She told him,’ I pray for you day and night that God will keep you safe and that your heart will turn to Christ. Instead of telling me to quit my job, please pray for me.’ He was at a loss. He could only do one thing…that is to start praying which he has not done before. The next morning he woke up early and went to prayer gathering at the nearby local church. He started to go every morning and continued to go.
After a few months, another job in the medical campus opened up for my friend. She moved on to a much more rewarding employment that she loves, in fact she feel so blessed that this job opened up for her. Meanwhile, she told me that her husband still goes to prayer gathering every morning. The Word and prayer has been her life sustenance. She told me that triple blessing has occurred in her one year suffering.
2. Through the trial, her husband found Jesus Christ. Even when he is on a business trip he still looks for a church which has daily prayer gatherings.
3. Through the trial of fire, the Lord spoke to her. ‘You were not willing to forgive your co-worker. Forgive him even now.’ She saw how she was not willing to forgive. She knelt in repentance and asked the Lord to forgive her hardened heart and asked the Lord to help her forgive Jay. She experienced the forgiveness of Christ and even more unbeliebable thing was she was able to forgive Jay. She told me it was amazing. Her hate towards Jay disappeared. She brought a gift for Jay and presented to him. She was released from the bondage of offense.
Now she goes to morning prayer gathering with her husband daily. She always went to bed at but now she makes point to be in bed by ten so that she can get up at five in the morning. A new fresh joy and love has entered into their lives and especially their marriage.
If you had known Angie the way I knew her, you would realize that what an incredible work God has done through her trials. You would also have known that her forgiveness towards her co-worker also was the manifestation of God’s grace and love.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
My Frail Body
When I watched Evita (Eva Peron of Argentina), I was pained much at the end as she died. She had so much energy and desire to be the leader of her people yet she became a prisoner of her failing body and eventually death conquered her at age of thirty three. I looked at myself. I always have such intense desire to accomplish so much in my life, yet my health has always been so delicate. I was always so sickly. Working three days per week wiped me out. I found myself having to rest most of the other non working days. Why is it that I who want to accomplish so much is imprisoned in this sickly body. Deep melancholy would set in. This is when I wish for what I cannot have. That I would be in security of Tom’s provision instead of me providing for the family. The greater wish should be that I would be so healthy that I could continue to work part time and be so fulfilled with my life. The irony is that I need to have a professional life to be satisfied. I find profound fulfillment working outside of home and having a significant financial impact. Often I go beyond whatever energy I may have, finding myself sick again … my frail body has no respect for the desire of my being, and leaves me in anguish and sometimes in tears.
Just this past weekend, our small church had a conference. It was wonderful. As a small church, we were hosting one hundred fifty guests and we were less than thirty. Our preparation to get ready was profound. Sherry and other few women worked tirelessly from morning to night in serving meals and other preparations yet I was not able to help. Sitting in the conference meetings in my sickly body was all I could do. The sense of remorse overwhelmed me in my helpless state. I could not help them in hosting our guests.
As I remember my childhood, I was always frail. I got sick easily. During school years I remember that I always took naps after school. In high school my mother commented that I may never be able to handle a household due to my weak physical disposition. In my twenties I knew that I did not have the stamina or the energy that my mother had (she was in her forties).
Why dear God, some one like me could not have abundant energy? This is the moment of anguish, when I am forced to be resting, I am forced to be in a wasteful mode, like watching TV or just laying in bed reading. And when I am not able to do anything, I find myself writing and painting. And the sweetest time for my soul is when Tom sings to me, plays guitar or piano for me, reads to me, and when we share sweet nonsense.
As I am with my family, I remember what my mother said. She always worried about my health. She still does. I wonder if she remembers about her comment to a frail high school daughter. She said, "You may not be able to carry a home, husband, and children. You are so fragile..." I am still that frail daughter but with four children and a husband and I am the one providing for the family. Life is so ironic.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Dear Family and Friends
Happy New Year!
It has been one full year in
As I reflect the past year there were so many experiences. For me 50 years of city life to adjusting to a small rural community is vastly different. Tom has found himself a home immediately.
We have visited
I meet so many interesting people in my work and life here. Recently I have joined Painters’ Guild in
JaeHi and Family
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Leaving Chicago Home
By January 2007, I was in
In May, 2007, we finally put our
We were discovering
We were praying that our
In June of 2007 I got a part time job in
It seems that I am always battling between two choices, in this case, to sell the
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Bend in the Road (continued)
Leaving Proevity Continuing Education Group
Also I needed to consider the practical way to support my family while Tom served. I needed to leave my business. It was an education business called Proevity Continuing Education Group (2000-2005). The work fulfilled the yearning of my soul; to achieve, to press on in human life, and to see bigger goal than to work today to live for today. The challenges were so satisfying - in creating the curricula in alternative medicine for the health care professionals as well as the general public. Our goal and mission was to create programs for the healing of chronic illnesses by natural means without complicated pharmaceuticals. We provided seminars throughout the
Essentially Tamara and I worked for almost for nothing while wages were available for our employees. Both Tamara and I were working more than full time and did not draw a salary if Proevity had no money. I worried about our current staff of employees, about the possibility that my leaving may cause the company to collapse and they would lose their jobs. It was somehow easier for me to think about them than for myself. It would take a lot of interaction with the Lord to be able to finally let go. My attempt to replace Tom’s income with my company never materialized yet and it was necessary for me to leave this company.
In September I officially said “Good Bye” to Proevity. I got a job as an oncology pharmacist. I had left that same position 12 years prior for
I realized that there was a definite catching up to do in pharmacy. I left the hospital job in March of 2006 and studied day and night for three months. One of my memorable experiences during this time is, I was sitting in a library one day in May studying pharmaceuticals. I was experiencing peace and safety of the Lord. Through circumstances, I felt to leave my current job, study, and look for another job soon. I felt the Lord was with me in each step of the way.
In June I got another temporary job for six months until my move to Goshen Indiana.
In August 2006, we bought a home in
Tom was in
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Bend in the Road
The years 2005 and 2007 would be very challenging years. There were so many turn and bends in the road that I was traveling. My life was sprinkled with sadness, troubles, excitement, freedom, happiness and so many more …what memorable years.
During these years Tom lost his mom and I lost my father. The feeling that our parents will always be there proved false.
I saw Tom’s mom as a simple lady who loved her family. She did not have much personal dreams. She lived her life taking care of her husband and children. In her dying days she was afraid to let go of her husband of over 55 years. She had traveled life’s tortuous ways yet she found security in Gifford her husband and later in Jesus Christ. When she finally was able to release her husband, she went peacefully on
My father had fought so many things in his life. He was thrown in the midst of Korean War, to support so many of his extended family. His older brother had died young and left him the burden that was too heavy for a young man of seventeen. He fought for what he could not have, education. He fought to have a career as a self made man in a foreign land. He fought his best to give his children what was elusive in his life, a real success. Yet life was cruel. He watched his children grow up and take on American culture. He knew they were good children yet he could never fully understand them. I watched him become simpler, like a child, as he was dying. I knew he was letting go of lot of bitterness of life. During his last days when he saw me, he asked me to pray for him. He also acknowledged that Jesus waited a long time for him. He went peacefully on
In 2005 we already knew that we were moving. We had feeling for
Tom has served the Lord in full time status for our church in
Life has a funny way of training a person. My life was in miserable turmoil when Tom just hinted that he wanted to serve God full time in 1987. I told Tom to follow his heart and go for the service he so desired in 1997. All of my programming as an immigrant who cannot stop until human success could be attained was in direct contradiction to what Tom was doing. Why would God match two such opposing persons? Was He amusing Himself? Yet God would come to me with sweet love and security periodically and assure me that building treasure in heaven is much more profitable, only then I would be at peace with Tom. I became a person torn with two opposing persons within me. Yet it required this kind of pain for me to understand who I really was. I learned to be so brutally blunt and truthful to Jesus in my walk and talk with Him.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all…
It was a song I loved to sing and I sang a lot as a young saved person.
An example would be, I was insecure if someone disliked me. I knew the biblical truth that God is my security therefore it should be OK even if everyone disliked me, as long as God approved me. That to be a God pleaser is the goal rather than to be a man pleaser. Another example would be my feeling of insecurity because Tom did not have an income earning job. To me serving God with no compensation was to be a slave, a shameful position. His trust in God did little for me. Tight finances made me nervous even though I knew that God will provide. So the truth in the Bible was not my experiential truth. Prayers and calling on the dear Jesus name from the depth of my heart gave me some peace and rest yet so briefly.
Tom and I realized that he did not have those fears because he was programmed differently than me. Also his assurance came because Tom felt that he had God’s calling… For him to live in a successful corporate job situation was to live a compromised life, or a wasted life because too much of his time was usurped by the world. For me that would be the proper and proud way to live. It is mind boggling to realize, in spite of our vast differences, we have accepted each other’s ways.
It is wonderful to understand who I was and why I was. The want of security I strive so hard to obtain only to realize I already had security. Yearning for love only to recognize the love was already there. Pain of insecurity, loneliness, desire for love, the need to be approved and liked, all of these were filed away in the deepest part of my heart until life triggered the corresponding emotions to rise up and cruelly scorned and laughed at my sufferings. Now I treasure the confronting of those moments with God and watch Him free me.
I love long drives. It is here that I have no interruption. Whether it is 90 minutes or 3 hours, that time is spent in dealing with my heart. I start to talk to the Lord. “Lord, where should we go in digging out some unwanted things (garbage) within me. As things would rise up my conversation would be like, “I am so sorry Lord for being such a mother. I felt I did not give my all to my children. I did not love them the way they needed to be loved.” As I continued to talk of the love not properly given to my children, I would sense His response, “It’s OK. Love them. I love you.” Often tears would stream down my face. That little car was filled with God’s love and I was swimming in the love of Christ. After this I would no longer torment over my lack of love in mothering. I would experience so many of repentance, forgiveness, then His speaking along with a change in my person.
Working in pharmacy triggered lot of things for me that caused me to think that my profession and I did not match. Slightest error on my part caused me to freeze up with panic, that something is wrong with me, I am not worthy, I am useless, I will be fired, I cannot face anyone … on and on… Logically I recognized that it is not the end of the world for this mishap, yet the emotion of panic nevertheless would surface and taunts me.
Not too long ago when I was working in
Such incidence was my opportunity to interact with God in healing. Instead of seeking the Lord to raise me above the situation, only to experience the same thing at another time in another place, now I was out to resolve the situation for good. Then that same trigger would not bring up the same panic. “Lord, we have a big job ahead of us. I need to resolve and understand why I fall apart in this scenario. Lord, take me to the place of origin where I first took on the belief system which is causing this reaction.”
This may take several days or weeks. Understanding would eventually come to me. My child world was not a secure one. My father was absent in his responsibility to take on all of his family, his parents, six siblings, their spouses, children and then there was his immediate family. My mother was too busy in practically running such a large home where she was the main cook, cleaner, and caretaker. I was lost in the midst of many relatives. I learned that it was not safe to be not approved or accepted by those surrounding me. At all cost I must behave well and liked by those who does not really care for me (aunts and uncles). In a world of insecurity, I longed for safety, acceptance, and love. The desire was so strong in me all through life. With this understanding I continued to talk to the Lord. Once we (the Lord and I) completed the issue, I was changed in that area. To experience the same trigger and to have different response coming from me was beyond my belief. He always replaced for me the troubling emotion with the truth, which would be His love, His security, etc.
Back in Oncology pharmacy,
I started to see human beings differently. When I meet a person, I realized what was ticking for him, what bondage they held, what were the walls they have created to protect themselves, how everything they saw had to first go through the filter of their understanding, how they were judging according to the world that they understood. As the Lord began to free me, I understood people more, as I understood people more, they opened themselves up to me readily.
I am thankful that Ed Smith’s ministry was introduced to me. He showed me another aspect of Christ in my relationship to Him. It is called Theophostic (Theo – God; and Phostic – light) ministry. We can learn to bring Christ to the depth of our being and watch His work as he heals us systematically and frees us … the way we saw so many people healed in the Bible. I think this aspect is often overlooked in our pursuit for Christian theology, ideology, and pursuit of knowledge.