Thursday, May 28, 2009

Art Workshop

Today was the first day of the three day workshop sponsored by Goshen Painters’ Guild. Steve Blackburn, an artist from the South Bend area, is giving us instruction on his unusual technique: watercolor pouring method. Today I spent from 9am to 6pm at our art studio. I have not done this much artwork since I don’t know when, possibly my high school years.

For most of the day, it was a struggle. We were not sure where Steve was leading, which meant we did not know what we were creating. Time progressed and at the eleventh hour something sparked from within me. I was able to follow him, and my brush strokes came alive.

Sometimes art is like a puzzle with the final picture not yet seen. We fit pieces together. Then at one point you see a picture unfolding .... and everything makes sense as you put all the pieces together.


I never thought that I would like retail pharmacy, yet I do. I never thought that I would like a floating schedule, working at a different pharmacy each day, yet I do. I work with different people daily. I love the change in human dynamics.

I work with technicians who are struggling financially, especially now with so many husbands and other members in the family losing their jobs. It’s not uncommon for them to strive to survive on one income (making less than $10 an hour). Goshen is filled with those who can barely keep afloat. I have many customers who have lost jobs and wonder how they will survive. I love the relationship that I am developing with these people.

Then I go to Goshen Painters’ Guild. This guild is mostly made up of older ladies (50 and up) who travel often. In conversation, I learned that one has just come back from Hawaii, & the others are comparing notes. They often talk of their next destination—California, Florida, Europe, and other places ... Many of these ladies are retired and fill their days with activities. During winters, two of the ladies go to their summer homes in Florida, where their husbands golf all winter and they paint. One of the ladies owns a beautiful and successful nursing home. We all enjoy painting together and developing such keen friendship.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Clean Bill of Health

I went to see a doctor today. An insurance company had turned me down due to the presence of RBC in my urine. Well, another testing came out negative (meaning NO RBC or any unwanted things). Dr. Bhagat said one test often does not prove much. Based on the second test and previous tests, I am fine. So much for the scare!!! I did have a good imagination...of dying early. I did cry for the sake of my kids and Tom, yet what I found out was I was not scared for myself. Life is interesting.


I actually spent the whole day doing nothing. We made breakfast together and had a sweet time. Tom played with Sammy and Lizy. I watched. I took a nap and read Tess of the D’Urbervilles. I made dinner. Gifford came for dinner. We ate and played a game. That was the whole day. I think Tom spent most of yesterday reading Harry Potter to Lizy. And she loves all the attention she gets from dad.

I would normally have nervous energy and my mind would be filled with, “You must use your time wisely. Do not waste your life. Learn. Use time...” How long have I not allowed myself to be in the moment just enjoying the precious things of life, my family, and friends...or just give myself to rest in God.

I remember doing so many things with the older children. Everything had to go through the filter of “not wasting time.” I would get puzzles only after I found out that puzzles developed their brain. Any kind of play thing was “waste of time.” I wanted them to read history and science. When I went to work, I gave them a pack of “educational” things only to find out they played all day (they were ages 5 & 3).

I remember taking them regularly to soccer games, ballet lessons, skating rink. I would be watching them, so keenly aware that I was wasting time while the kids were doing things that were “good” for them. I always carried around a big bag of things that I could do. Reading a novel, or crocheting would be considered waste of time if I was at home, but it was time well spent if I was just waiting for my children’s activities to end. At home, I would spend as little time as possible in cooking and cleaning because that was a waste of time. The only thing that was NOT wasting my time was to study, to work towards something, to develop a business or work at a job.

Dear mother, in your suffering, in your longing for a life you could not have, you have instilled value in me that would rule for decades. Dear Grandfather, in your longing for the destiny of the Kim family, you have sealed in me the program that would control me. Yet this is human tendency.

It is too bad that we don’t have the wisdom when children are young, when they are a blank page, just to love them and allow them to blossom in God. This would empower them to be the best God has created them.... rather than what we need them to be or who we want them to be.

I would raise my kids differently. Three are young adults now. God has to carry them on just as who they are with all the idiosyncrasies they have received from me. I am learning with age that my wisdom is nothing, my ways are is God’s wisdom that will last. His wisdom has substance and will fulfill the meaning of life.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


It is very difficult for me when I have time. Not a second can be wasted. When it is beautiful out, I am thinking, “Oh, how to capture this beauty,” and then there is a struggle within. I need to capture time—study, work on books, learn something, read, write, paint, just something that would make me grow. What would it be like just to rest... Yet to rest is to be lazy, my mind tells me. (You would have to read my memoir to understand.)

The other day, in the women’s Bible study gathering, Doris said, “I waste too much time. I could be doing something useful, but I end up doing nothing...” The others followed suit, describing how they waste time. My problem is I try to squeeze too many things in time. Then almost always my health breaks, and I am in bed all my spare time. When I cannot do anything but rest, I may pick up a book and read. This is also a time when I can reflect, and I often converse with my God. I am forced to rest and no nagging from within occurs.

Long Drive

Yesterday I went to Wabash. My job at times takes me on a 60-miles-each-way commute. It was a bright sunny day. I love to drive long stretches of country road. It’s my time to just talk to the Lord. As I am enjoying the vastness of the Midwest, farms, hills,...oh just the stretch of land, I am so glad to have a time solely devoted to God. This is the time when I like to bring up who I am, and all my fears of what if's of life. This is also the time when I bring up the programming in my being that I cannot seem to shake. Sometimes our interaction moves me to tears. Sometimes I am filled with reassurance. And sometimes just peace to accept life as it is. And at times as I am taken into the depth of my memories, to the source of my stronghold of a false belief system, and as I interact with God, the stronghold is broken and I am released.

As I was driving home loving the scenery, I was considering how I have changed. To be constantly pursuing what I should attain, like a carrot ahead of me that I cannot quite grab, is forever exhausting. As a single person, it was acceptable and almost noble to be in a constant pursuit. As a married person, I was not prepared to live doing mundane housework. I remember when my children were young, I always felt to stay at home was to waste time. My children needed a mom that was somebody and it was for their sake. Tom watched me in bewilderment because I was forever pursuing accomplishments.

Yet there was me, a person so fragile emotionally and so insecure. I was easily stepped on, used, and spat out. Recognizing the love Tom had for me, I would cling on to him for love and reassurance. Yet at times I would hate him that he did not have the constant need to pursue. To me, life was like a report card. You must forever pursue an A. To rest is to give up. I still don't know how to rest, yet I am learning to accept life. In pursuing accomplishments, I could not see the beauty of my children and my husband...of my life and God’s multifarious wisdom. All I could see was I am not there yet. I don’t have an A yet.

I love these long drives. I get so much accomplished. The Lord is able to show me so much...all while I am mesmerized by the beauty of nature...And through it all I have not wasted time.

Oh, I do love this Jesus who is so real.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wilderness so near

Oh, the bright sun, cool breeze, and the delicious serenity as we take a walk! Or is it a hike in the woods? It seems like we are still discovering trails. As the trail leads us to the Elkhart River, I am in bliss. I love nature. I love sunshine. Tom is ahead followed by Lizy and her little frolicking dog, Sammy. This is a narrow, single-file trail. He is already covered in mud. He loves to jump into muddy water. Amazing to think this is only about a mile from my home in a neighborhood of century-old homes. I wish that one of us were into photography!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Scare

I signed up for long-term disability insurance through my job. To my amazement, I was turned down. The reason: high red blood cell count. I started to look into it. High RBC means too many red cells without enough oxygen...that it can happen to anyone...that cardiac disfunction, diabetes, cancer, and many other illnesses can cause high RBC or polycythemia.

I was overwhelmed....I thought of the movie, “Love Story,” of 70s. Jenny, after a perfect marriage, discovered she had leukemia (too high white cell count)...and she dies, a young woman with so much life ahead of her. I thought, “What if I was to die now...” Tears kids are not yet fully grown. Tom loves me so matter what happens, it would be OK.

I always had delicate health. So maybe this was the reason, but why was this never detected before when I was tested many times before?

I looked at the lab report once again. What? The norm is 0 to 4. How can norm be 0 (zero) red blood cells? Oh, it is under the heading of urinalysis. There is supposed to be no red blood cells in the urine. That changes the whole picture. It could be an infection or tumor. That is different than polycythemia (sluggish blood due to too many red blood cells in the arteries & veins.) I will make an appointment with a doctor. I have had many urinalyses with good results.