Friday, January 27, 2012

Heavy Heart

My heart is so heavy. My dear friend Tari and her family may move on to another church or move to Bloomington with possibility of helping develop a Christian high school. Either way I will miss them so dearly. When I was crying within for a prayer partner who would regularly pray with me about everything in my heart, God brought Tari to me. We became fast friends whom we could unload all of our deep inner struggles. We were transparent to each other. Weekly we took a walk and prayed about everything and anything. So many of our prayers were answered and our hearts were comforted.

Then Tim and Tari felt that meeting once weekly at our church was not enough. My heart jumped. Yes, let's create a home meeting, a bible study, during the week. How long have I waited for this? Now this meeting included Tom, Gifford, myself and Tim and Tari. I loved the extra meeting. This was so special.

Dear Tim and Tari, your family was a special gift to me, and to us. I am so thankful that you have come into our lives. I hope we continue to be best friends and prayer partner as time moves on. Should you move on to Bloomington, may the Lord bless you in all your endeavors in building a high school to help the young people stand up for Jesus Christ in which ever profession they may end up in. I will miss you dearly for I cannot imagine another person filling your shoes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sleep and Age

Now that I am in my mid fifties I have a problem sleeping through the night. As a youth and young woman I fell asleep as my head hit the pillow. Now I am waking up at 2am, 3am, or just any odd time and often I am not able to fall back asleep. I tried Benedryl, Melatonin, and Valarian Root. Non seem to help. And I will not go into prescription drugs. I have seen too many of my customers rely on them to sleep.

None of these are as bad as when I have to get up early to go to work the next morning. This is psychological. I have had many nights when I did not get a wink of sleep. So I get up not having gotten any sleep. I am not quite sure how to resolve this. I think of hypnosis therapy but never looked into it. Tomorrow morning I need to leave home at seven in the morning. Just to be able to sleep a few hours of deep sleep would be wonderful. I don't even know when I first could not sleep....

What is happiness?

How often I have felt the pang of pain as I have considered where I needed to be or where I should be in life. Yet strangely now I don't have that now. I do have to say I experience a twinge once in a while but that is a far cry from the deep and palpable pain.

So what is the difference? I have accepted life as is and this is the best it can be. When I watch Tom so immobilized and in physical pain, I am still in love with him as he limps. Yet here is a person who loved me through out life no matter what! I tell him I only love him if he loves me. He always told me he loves me no matter what!

My pain was always involved with Tom's choice in forgoing a wonderful secular job to serve God full time. I have to say it was decades of on and off deep pain for me. All my dreams of having a wonderful nest egg for old age and life of leisure and travel has evaporated.

Now I watch my who is so happy she can go shopping all day while her husband is at a medical meeting, one who will go away to a beautiful place for several days to rest and refocus on life, a couple who will go away to Florida for a month,...list goes on. This week I am staffing a pharmacy while my friend and her husband is gone to Virgin Islands. And I am so happy to experience working at an Amish community.

I feel so full filled. So content. I have a new kitchen that I love. Tom and I were supposed to start renovating our old home one room at a time. Well, with Tom's back and hip pains that plan is in the back burner. Tom works so many hours in his bent posture on editing yet we must rely on my part time income. For that I am so thankful.

I also remember those early years when I could not let go of what I wanted and needed in life. (Wings to memoir of those years). I was so unhappy and so often hated Tom.

Yesterday I came home from long day at work. At 7:30pm I was looking forward to a hot soup Tom was going to prepare. When I came home, things were chopped up but not cooked. I voiced my disappointment. He said the pain was too great and could not continue. So I finished up and we ate dinner after 9 pm. And I loved him and we totally enjoyed our dinner.

As I look at him helping me clean up, in his bent posture, forward like an old man and side way to avert the pain, I thought... Tom I am sorry that I never appreciated you all during the time when you were so handsome in stature and helped me so much in everything.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Drive to work

Earlier this week I was driving to a store long way from home. Many thoughts passed my mind.

November and December of 2011 was when I thought I was being pushed out of work at Kroger due to too many floating pharmacists. I applied for two jobs and was rejected. And down went my heart. Then I would get last minute calls from Kroger asking me to go and work because someone was sick. I was thankful that I was needed. At this time I realized that job is a gift.

As I was driving I thanked the Lord for this wonderful gift he gave me. All the sudden the long drive did not phase me. I loved all the personnel I worked with. I thanked the Lord for my improving health that I am experiencing this winter.

Now days I face the crippling pain that Tom experiences. I often think that we are too young for one of us to be like this. Then I remembered that Tom is a gift to me and I thanked the Lord for Tom. I remembered many years ago, I was invalid in bed with my chronic fatigue syndrome with four young children. It was seven long years. I often wished I would die because to me I would be sick forever. Who would have known that I would recover from that illness. I think Tom always knew that I would recover.

I look forward to the day when Tom is full of life and energy!

Snow Shoveling

Yesterday morning I shoveled front walkway, side walk, back walkway, and the alley by our garage. It is quite amazing that I should have energy to do all these before going to work. Tom is not capable of shoveling due to his back and hip pain. I was thanking the Lord that during time like this I should be doing so well in my health.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Friday evening we had Thiery family and Gifford over to help us enjoy Boeuf Bourguignon that I made earlier. I wanted more than just Tom and I enjoying this dinner. Dinner was elegant. I think all the adults really loved it. The boys did not care for fine French stew. Probably due to the unfamiliar wine taste in meat. Next time I have teenagers for dinner like this I should warn them before the dinner begins, and maybe have something else that is spaghetti.

Yesterday morning Tom said, I typically do not consider the dinner from yesterday. But Boeuf Bourguignon was so good! Now this is a real compliment! Tom is not man of many words regarding food.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tapioca Pudding

Last time I made tapioca pudding, it turned out perfect. Of course I had all the ingredients to start with. And I was focused in only one thing.

This time I let it soak 30 minute too long and then 30 more minutes while I went to the store to get milk and other things. I was busy exercising the first 30 minutes. Totally did not turn out. Neglecting initial process ruined it even if the rest were followed to the tee. I wonder how this relates to life itself. How often do I try to do two things at once and totally ruin one of the two projects.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Foreign to Familiar

This is a book written by Sarah Lanier. The book was refered to me by Jennifer Herron. She said this explained why and how she behaves the way she does.

To explain briefly Tom and I come from opposing cultures which are as different as North is to south. Koreans have hot climate culture (a country can have hot or cold climate culture without matching weather condition). Connecticut where Tom is from, is cold climate culture. Tom was always bothered by my going around the bushes to answer a simple question when yes or no would do. Tom on other hand is precise with his answers & would leave me feeling that he does not care for how I feel.

One year we have offended my parents deeply because of my lack of understanding Korean culture. Life can be confusing when I am ingrained in one culture and at the same time not know deeper aspect of my culture. When Mary Neill was getting married to Paul Stevens, I mentioned to my parents if they would like to come to her wedding, we would ask her. I knew that in US, bride and groom typically did not invite parents of sister-in-law where as in Korea, that invitation is a must especially if they know each other. My parents said it would be better if they did not get invited for some reasons. That was that. Later I would learn that I have deeply wounded my parents. It is Korean culture that it is polite to deny whatever was offered. It is the duty of the other party of invite, provide, or give until they accept or take. I learned it is very much like that in many parts of the world.... the hot-climate culture countries.

The book covers many aspects where I see myself whether I am feeling left out or ignored or twinge of hurt because of cultural differences. Jennifer said the book explained why she responds to situation that way when she read the book. Yes Jennifer is Korean who came here as a very young child.

The author said even in US, South has more of hot climate culture where as northerner has more of cold climate culture. There are many different aspects of Hot and Cold Climate Cultures. It explained who I am and it also explained who Tom is. Very interesting book. .

Boeuf Bourguignon

Week 1: Boeuf Bourguignon

For my recipe I decided on Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguinon. Two more hours of baking the stew then finishing it off by 10:00pm and we can have a dinner. Tom does not like wine, mushrooms, nor onion. I wanted to make it because it is something very contrary to my typical cooking. I may not even like it. Who knows. Maybe we both will love it.

Now at 10:52pm we finished our dinner. What do you know. We loved it! :)

Well exercise wise this has been seventh week. Maybe for ease of tracking I will call this week 1 and my goal is to continue for 1 year.

Today I also spent some time working on my painting. I have long ways to go.

I am not sure how all of this will come together. But it is energyzing.

I ordered 2012 Planner Pad so that I can continue on all my other endeavors for the following year.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My little Mateo

As I was resting in bed this afternoon, Tom and I were visiting Henna, Mateo, and Lizy. How is it possible that I can have such a cute little grandchild. I love you little Mateo. I pray that God's love will fill your life.


It seems I have a lot of loose ends that needs to be finished up. Here are the list of things;

Finish off paintings as I continue to paint new things
Work on a new painting for an art show
Start cooking 1 significant recipe each week. Rest of the week continues as before.
Continue to study profession related medical subjects
Continue to study/read the bible daily
Continue to exercise at least 30 minutes to an hour daily
Start to take a bite size of area and clean the house regularly.
Finish off the blog I started on our Goshen kitchen remodeling
Plan our 33rd anniversary. I/we semi planned it for the last many years and never consummated into anything. Plan, research, and carry it out.
Invite guests once a month whether it is dinner or social gathering.

All of those before or after work. So what should be priority and how should I attack this? It is so important that I give myself enough free time to relax, and treasure together time with Tom. None of these are possible with bad health. In that situation I need to place priority on exercise and eating well. All the others fall in secondary category. Let me brew on this until something gels within me.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Julie and Julia

I think that was the title of the movie Tom and I watched last night. It is story about Julia Child and Julie Powell. A story about a young woman who felt her life was at dead end and decides to cook all of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" recipes in one year. And each day she would log her accomplishments. Cooking and writing every single day. Through all the trials and challenges of this project she found meaning and fulfillment eventually leading up to a book publication and a movie.

This movie was thought provoking for me. I thought about cooking. Cooking always had a sense of dissatisfaction for me. I cooked many meals for guests and large crowds and received many compliments... but those times Tom was very much involved in helping me. If he did not actually help with cooking , he was busy cleaning as I was cooking. As long as we were working together I was happy.

It's when I am left to my own, to cook for my family which I have done all of these years, often unwillingly and without joy. I tried to accumulate simple recipes that took least amount of time. Cooking is to nourish the body and nothing more. I am haunted by words ringing in my ears...of long time ago, when I was a little girl as long as I could remember... My mother would say, you keep studying. One day you will have some one else to cook for you. Cooking is for servant girls. Cleaning is for servant girls. My mother cooked, and cleaned. She worked all day everyday at a factory, and one day her daughters would have a different life,... life like she had before she got married.

So I never developed any love for cooking. Would it be possible to turn that around? (Yet I loved cooking when Tom is cooking with me or he is just with me as I am cooking...)

Another thought that came to me was I want to write, even a little bit every day. Then I thought of all the paintings I started at painter's guild, and I need to finish that, all of them. That is another project. So I am going to brew on these things and come up with a one year project.

I have a tendency to overdo until my health is ruined from over working on whatever project I am doing and forgetting to cook and eat. So if cooking is one of my projects, at least the eating department should be OK. So dear Lord, keep me balanced.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Lately I started to exercise. To my amazement I started to get healthier. My yearly SAD (Seasonal Affecting Disorder) that I experience every winter dissipated within weeks. I am taking less supplements and I am feeling stronger. I am the definition of "weakling" who has no energy and strength. Could it be at ripe age of fifty six I am finding out I can be healthy?

Yet I am watching Tom with his crippling pain of back and hip. He has spent about two months under chiropractic care yet it seemed to me that he ended up worse than when he started. He also went to see an MD who gave him some prescription pills. I look at him. He is physically older, weaker, limping and bent as he walks... and that limits our world. When we take our luggage to our car to visit our kids, I have to be the one mindful of carrying our luggage. Where is my strong husband taking care of forever weak wife.

I want my strong Tom back.