Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Day in the Life of Me Travelling….

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So I was looking through my fancy files (aka a huge unorganised manila folder marked “PAID BILLS”) trying to find a receipt from last June to show I had paid the fee from my last flat before leaving for summer hols and I found my sad attempt at a journal from Stephanie and I’s Christmas trip to Australia last year. I wrote several entries, some long and then others of them were simple lists that I wanted to remember to write about. I so enjoy that all of the things on this list happened in one day (well, one travelling day, so starting in Korea and ending the night we first landed in Sydney).

I thought I’d share ‘verbatim’ what I wrote so you can laugh too…. some of these things I forgot happened!!!!

“Remember to write about:
– snowing in Jeju / Melinda driving us to the airport
– Starbucks with Jerri and Lucy
– seeing the Craig’s
– Bryan and Selina’s last minute visa
– Flying to Hong Kong
– changing our flight to CX111
– running to the gate but then being an hour early
– Page One bookstore for magazines in English!
– same flight as Parnell’s
-arrive in Sydney 12 hours earlier than planned!
– Airport to Central
– walk to hotel, drop luggage
– Deli France and iced coffee adventures
– “Adam” the interior design guy
– Free light rail ride from that one guy
– massage place and speaking Chinese to the ladies there
– Antony “5” and Andrew “42”
– Brisbane guy
– off at Central, lost cell phone
– look for Stephanie’s cell
– no cigar looking for phone so go to Circular Quay
– buy ferry ticket to Manly
– fish and chips
– ferry ride
– camels!!!
– going to the beach and taking a nap
– st. matthew’s xmas service / German guy (nice)
– drunk guys / Bailey’s and eggnog
– ferry back from Manly
– central station’s lost property office again
– campbelltown — three cheers!!! found phone!!
-train all the way to end of the line (campelltown)
– Kerry and pic w/ those who helped us
– rain
– central to hotel!

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Our hearts are heavy and light…

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My heart is light because after battling with feeling ill last weekend and then again this Friday and having a fever yesterday, I’m feeling much better today. Church this morning was light, a sense of peace and calm to counter-act all the business and frantic efforts of getting grades in for report cards that come out this week. 

My heart is heavy because of someone who I care deeply about who needs Jesus to intervene in his life. I’m no where near him right now and the information coming in when we talk is most certainly not the full story. I can’t grasp how best to help him, and I know all that can help him is Jesus. Maybe if I was there… but then again, how would that help? I don’t have enough power or strength and all that I manage to do is only in HIS strength and by His power and the Holy Spirit’s movement. 

It’s very easy these days to say “back home” when talking about three, four, even five different locations. I started putting it in quotes. It’s so tempting to say that things would be better with the situation my heart is heavy regarding if I was just “home”. But as I explained several months ago to him, that going back to Tennessee isn’t technically home either. It’s just another place I lived….. it’s one of the closest places in the world to be described as home, but it isn’t home. It’s even more tempting to want to feel ‘home’, especially as the holiday season begins. But I do feel home, I feel home here. It’s not my home and Korea never can be but I feel home and settled and loved. 

Last Monday, I went upstairs for Cat’s Thanksgiving Dinner. We had a potluck of sorts, and we mingled about telling stories from when we were little and stories from last week. I asked about 3/4ths of the way through the night if we could go around and share what we were grateful for… not exactly knowing how or with what would I be able to describe the gratefulness that I have had lately. I decided not to go first and made someone else go (even though it was my idea!) 

Eventually it came around to me and I was able to somewhat articulate the fact that what I most grateful for lately is the sense of living in the now. In the present. So much of my life, while yes, still living… it wasn’t always in the present. Wherever I was at the time, I was always thinking about how good things were in the past, or how much adventure would come in the next place I would live. This year, more so than any other autumn (my most reflective and pensive months), I find myself satisfied and okay with the simplicity and complexity of the now.

So although I am really concerned about my dear friend, I also know deep in my heart,  there isn’t much I could do about it even if I was there. That’s the part I’m struggling with.

My heart is heavy and light.

Standing up straight

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if given the choice of going for your dreams or not, would you try or would you stay comfortable?

I have always done things the hard way in life. I don’t mean my life was terrible or difficult, quite the opposite. I just mean that if there are two ways to achieve a goal or to accomplish a task I always seem to take the way that is harder or more complicated. Even in the simple things, like ordering coffee. Lan always makes fun of me and how ridiculous it sounds when I order something from Starbucks. I guess the little person inside of my mind has always been suited to the customized Hong Kong food order 🙂 I don’t know if its the fact I like challenges, or that my mind analyses things differently, or that I just want to figure things on my own but I crave simplicity and always end up with complexity.

There’s something I want right now. It’s always been a dream of mine and there’s a chance I could do it and excel in it. There’s also a chance that I could fail and then the idea of it would be crushed forever in my mind. I’m a pretty resilient person. When I had my eval for going to China pre-PFO, I sat down with the lady at Alongside to discuss my results. She said, well you are normal in all scales except one. My mind was racing about what I had scored ‘too high’ on. It ended up it was resilience. Not a bad thing I guess. Armed with this knowledge I know if i theoretically fail with trying to achieve this dream of mine, I’d be okay. But I’d hate myself even more if I don’t stand up straight and give it a go. I think this resilience comes from being a TCK and the fact my parents instilled in me a sense of courage when it came to “being a pioneer” or doing something new. I was a kid who did all sorts of activities …. Didn’t stick with many but enjoyed them all. Just the opportunity was enough for me. It didnt matter as a child if I ultimately would fail — I just never had that possibility of failure in my mind. That doesn’t sound quite like it should… I just mean I never took on anything that in my mind I thought I would fail at doing, so I never had the fear of failure. Things aren’t so black and white as an adult. *sigh*

When I was in my undergraduate studies, there was a lot of emphasis placed on your “calling” in life. I never quite felt comfortable with the terminology used ; it seemed to indicate if you didn’t succeed in what you were doing with your career choices that’s because you weren’t living up to the calling placed on you or walking directly in God’s will. I’m a teacher and so much of my profession is directly tied to my identity so ultimately if I failed as a teacher, I’d be failing as a person and failing as a follower of Christ. It was all new to me- this sudden concept of failing and I was afraid of it. I couldn’t walk straight with my head up confident in what I’d chosen to major in was my “calling” from God. With dealing with all the identity issues I was already facing, it was almost overwhelming. I remember many times crying in Mrs. Gill’s office about it. For as confident in something’s in my life, I was completely incompetent with confidence In other areas. My bachelor’s and first year teaching I began to chip away at those barriers slowly but surely. I do believe after much thought and now eight years of it, that teaching is something I am called to do. But the more we become instilled with the confidence of He who called us, the more we become humbled that it is only by his power and grace we exist. The more I become aware that there is so much I don’t know yet. The more and more that the experiences of observing and watching instead of speaking that I learned as a child serve me well as an ATCK. The more we experience grace , the less we understand of it.

So will I dive in to this momentary challenge of a chance for something I’ve dreamed about ? Do I believe I’m enough for it ? Do I believe He is enough for it ? I might not have all those answers today but I do know this…

The one who calls you is faithful, and He will continue to be faithful. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 ISV