Friday, March 06, 2009

God has been teaching me about myself and how I react sinfully when I am afraid.  For instance, when I worry about money, my first reaction is to stress out and frantically look for part time work.  Money has been tight lately and I felt myself falling pray to sin by wanting to take control of the situation.  This time, instead of trusting myself, I thought, I must pray.  I prayed, "Lord, more than anything help me rely on you and not myself.  Help me to develop a trust in you when you promised to take care of us.  Most importantly Lord, help my unbelief."  A few minutes after that conviction of sin, I got a phone call from a friend who I used to babysit for.  She wanted to recommend a friend who needs someone to chaufeur their kids to and from school; what a faithful God we have!  Although nothing has happened with the phone call, it was God's reassurance that he is with us and he will never leave us.

My diaper "business" has been going well.  My customers were really impressed with the quality of the diapers and the workmenship of my mom's.  I thank God for this side job.  I keep thinking of the Proverbs woman and how hard she works for her family; she doesn't sleep at night to make clothes for them; she selects wool and flax and works with eager hands; she considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.  Not that I am like her, but I inspired to be.

Isaiah just got his first discipline for spitting out food.  We decided he cannot be picky with food and throw fits when there are things he doesn't like.  So far it's been hard, he gets really angry at me for making him eat certain things.  When he spits them up, I put them back in his mouth and he cries.  That went on for 15-20 mins until he decides to swallow the bite of food in his mouth. The funny thing is, he eats bananas but he wants it his way and in his time.  My job at this point is to train him to obey mommy and to break the will.  My marriage and parenting class has been helpful.  I was encouraged to be more consistent with my discipline and to start them early.  I am actually really looking forward to it; I am at the beginning of a really special training to teach him love, respect, and obedience.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Super Cute Printed, OS, Organic Bamboo Diapers like GM's

Hey Guys,

Check out my new fitted diapers!

They have super cute prints on them and are just like the brand name GoodMama diapers.

These are made with 9 layers of materials. The outside is made with a layer of cute printed fabric; the inside layers are made with the best quality hemp and organic bamboo. It is super soft and absorbent. Hemp and Bamboo are organic and are said to be antimicrobial.

These diapers are one size which means they can be adjusted as your baby grows.

Asking price, $15 each but I give good discount to all my friends.  I currently have 2 bicycle prints and 2 tool prints but more cute prints are coming so keep checking the post.

Let your friends know and feel free to write to me in the comment box if you have any questions.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Life is sweet at this particular time period of our lives. Ben started a new job at Summit Energy, I am busy with my domestic endeavors, and Isaiah is growing leaps and bounds. I love staying home with Isaiah; we read books, take walks around the seminary, and run errands. He is my little companion and I enjoy having him around. He just learn how to roll over and has been going back and forth on our queen size bed. I enjoy watching him practice these new skills; when I watch him, I can almost see his wheels turn. He is a curious little fellow who likes to take note of everything. He gets this intense look on his face as he concentrates. At such a young age, I believe babies can identify their needs and can manipulate what they want.

Isaiah needs his mommy time every day; he gets cranky if I don't hold him after a while. He snuggles some, most of the time he is too interested in the world to be still for long. Ben and I have already seen some of his personality. For most part he is a happy boy; when he wants something, however, he can get pretty demanding. I can already see strong will manifested in Isaiah.

We heard him laugh the other day when I gave him kisses under the chin, I would do anything to hear him laugh.

I enjoy my little guy but he is growing up way too fast. I wish I can pause this moment for a little while so I can hold him longer.

When I actually have time to spend, I like to sew, scrapbook, and read; I can get really into my hobbies and become a hermit. I have often thought about my parents as I work on my projects. I am like my dad in that he is detail oriented, he likes to perfect things, and he likes to learn new skills. I am like my mom in that I like to make things with my hands. She is awesome at sewing and knitting. When I was a little girl, I would sit and help her sew; I would help her take out stitches, cut out patterns, thread a needle; I didn't really then how much I actually learned from her. Its been fun.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Life is hectic these couple of months. Ben is working more than 60 hours each week and I am constantly trying to organize and reorganize our new place. I am glad God created me to constantly work so that I won't get bored at home.

Isaiah is a week short of being 3 months old. He can smile at me when I look at him and he can recognize my voice. He waits patiently for me to get him in the morning; he gives me one of his wide open smiles and I pick him up and give him kisses. I don't want him to get big, he is my baby and I want him to be just as he is a bit longer. I love being a mother. I can't describe to you the joy I feel and the love I have for my little guy. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for him; anything that is good and wonderful. Its strange that I already have this deep jealousy for his love. One day he will become his own person and will not need me any longer. One day he will fall in love and get married and have his own family; he will no longer think of me as I think of him now. This feeling inside of me is strange yet very real. Perhaps this kind of love is the kind of love God has for us; an unconditional love; love that is sacrificial.

I am tired and weary, perhaps I should go to sleep.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This blog post took me four times to write. After becoming a mother, I didn't realize that I would develop brain farts that keeps me from forming coherent thoughts. After staying with us for a month, my mom is now back in Michigan, leaving the three to us to figure out our life together as a family. In just three weeks time I learned so much about my little man and being a mother. I finally understood why mothers know their babies so well; the constant feeding, the diaper changes, the crying sessions, it seems like the cycle never ends. Overall, we are doing really well. The late night feedings are hard but Isaiah drinks pretty fast and he is often very content after his feeding and diaper changes. This week, I have decided to let him cry a little before picking him up at night. Let me tell you this is an excruciating tasks. Isaiah's cries are often long, drawn out, and very loud. It seems like he wouldn't need to take a breather in between cries and he can go on for quite a while. It almost breaks my heart to see little tears welling from his eyes. I hold him all the time and I swear he is changing every minute. I already wish he would stay this little for a bit longer. This week, he must be going through a growth spurt because he wants to eat every one and a half hour. I know he isn't snacking because he would empty both breasts and would want more. Needless to say, feeding him has become a daunting tasks. Isaiah and I are working toward some sort of schedule. Being so young himself, he has a really hard time staying awake after feeding. After feeling really discouraged about not having any sort of routine, I called a friend and she encouraged me to give it time. She said that a schedule is something to work toward but it will take time. After talking to her, I feel much better about my perceived failure. It's funny all the different emotions you feel when you become a mother. I find that I have to keep myself from thinking how others perceive me. When my baby cries, I constantly have to fight the urge to explain to others why he is cranky. Today, I took Isaiah shopping and he woke up hungry at the store. I didn't know what to do so I pushed my cart aside and took him to my car to feed him. The heat was hot outside so I brought Isaiah into the store and fed him as I push the cart around. I felt as though others are saying, "Girl, you care more about your shopping than feeding your kid". I now understand why new moms stay at home.

We love Isaiah so much. He is a tough little guy and is generally pretty patient with his mom for trying many things on him. Honestly, there are times when I wonder why he hasn't gotten sick yet. By God's grace, we are getting through and enjoying every moment with him.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Here I am at 37 weeks. I haven't been sleeping very well so I have been extremely irritable. I suspect that Ben's been hiding out in his study to avoid me. I haven't had much of an appetite so all I want to do is drink fluids. I have a one quarter inch stretch mark that runs all the way to the top of my belly. Other than some discomfort, I can still do many things. I can still clean, do the laundry, and drive. That's all the update for now.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

My 35 week checkup was today. Baby weighs about 6lbs 5 oz. It looks like he will be more on the bigger side, possibly in the 75th percentile. The ultrasound was incredible! I think the baby looks more like Ben but with my nose...we'll have to see about that. Can't wait to meet him.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Another update on the Bartlett family.

Jobs: We've talked to the lady at the company. She said that Ben essentially got the job but now they don't know whether the position is still available. So what does this all mean?....more waiting. Of course we were devastated at first but what can we really do but to move on and to search for other jobs in the meantime.

Our pastor preached a sermon on Jonah 4 today. The passage was about Jonah being angry at God for showing mercy to the Ninevites. The funny part of that passage to me was when God grew the vine to give Jonah some shade but then took it away. Even though that wasn't the whole message of the passage, what stood out to me was that God clearly did it to bring out Jonah's sin of his angry heart. The reason why I find that funny is that I totally understand Jonah's frustrations and anger. I often feel that God is testing me in the same way. I can truly say that I can often times relate to Jonah. God keeps having to sanctify me over and over again and causes me to be obedient to him despite my objections and stubborn heart.

Baby: he's doing well. He's 35 weeks and almost ready to come out. I am making good use of the time left to read and to enjoy the last bit of childlessness before he comes. I am very excited to meet him!

Prayer: Ben still needs a job, pray for baby to be healthy with no complications, pray for me to have Godly wisdom on how to raise Isaiah, pray that we will trust in God's goodness for our lives, pray that God will show us our purpose for being in Kentucky and our roles here.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

During this time of waiting, God has been so good in blessing Ben and I with plenty of quality time together. Last night we curled up in bed, drank tea, and watched a movie. We often have moments like these where we share about children, relationships, values, theology and so forth. Simple things like that are meaningful to both of us, and it often draws us together as a couple. He is truly my best friend.

With a month left to go I often feel impatient to see the little guy's face but God knows when his time will come and I should rejoice in his good timing. It is amazing to know that soon we will have a little boy who is a combination of both Ben and I; the days of his life are marked by God and he has his special imprints on his life. As he is about to come, I often pray for Isaiah and his salvation; I pray that we will be devoted parents in raising him to know and love the Lord. As God has special purposes for each baby in the bible, I pray that Isaiah will be instrumental in God's work of redemption.

Women at my church have been such a blessing to me. They are a fount of wisdom and their examples have inspired me to learn and grow as well. I am also very thankful for the many resources that were given to me and now I want to share with you these things. I have been very encouraged by a book called, "A Mother's Heart." In it, Jean Fleming shares her vision and values for her family. The book encouraged me to understand how to teach my children to learn and to love God, how to set good realistic goals as a parent, how to encourage our kids, and to put our values on the right things. One of my biggest fears as a mother is that I won't be intentional about raising my children. I worry that they will grow up giving too much of their life to futile endeavors. Jean Fleming in this book gives me a better picture on how to intentionally raise my kids with the right values, vision, and character. Other books that I truly love include, "Shepherding a Child's Heart, " by Tedd Tripp, "One With a Shepard," by Mary Somerville, "BabyWise," "Stepping Heavenwards," by Elizabeth Prentice, and "Don't Make Me Count to Three," by Ginger Plowman. Others I plan to read include, "Instruments in the Redeemer's Hand," by Paul David Tripp, "Heaven at Home," by Ginger Plowman, and "Treasuring God in Our Traditions," by Noel Piper. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do and I hope you will pass them down to other women who could use the same kind of encouragement.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm into my 33rd week of pregnancy and my hormones have finally surged to a whole new emotional level. Being out of work and less active has given me more time to think and to brood over all the things in my life that aren't right. Today a girl friend of mine took me grocery shopping with her. It was perfect timing because I needed so badly to get out of the house. The second redeeming part of the day was that I got to pick out a new lipstick, a pair of sunglasses, a few long tanks for my overgrown belly, and a new nail polish to do a French manicure. I didn't realize how good it felt to spend money on things like a one dollar lipstick. At this point in my pregnancy, I've grown to feel unattractive and sloppy. I wear the same pair of sweat pants 6 days a week because I haven't spent money on buying maternity clothes. With that said, my point is that it's necessary to do little things that makes you feel good once in a while.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wow, what a fun weekend. Ben and I went home for my and Bethany's shower and received tons of stuff for baby Isaiah. We want to thank all our friends and family for coming and Debbie for throwing us the shower. We got tons of baby clothes, a bumble seat, money for the camera fund, toys, diapers, and a glider which we've been wanting forever. It was almost too tempting to leave Drew and Sarah behind so we can bring it home, but we thought it over and decided it wasn't a very nice thing to do. Besides, poor Drew got sick because of us and we felt pretty bad about it.

So I have a bit of news. I am completely done with Starbucks. Yea, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. These days, my time is spent trying to organize and reorganize the house. The problem is, no matter how many things I try to get rid of, there never seems to be enough space. That got me quite depressed the other day as I sat there looking at the pile of stuff that I wanted to get rid of but couldn't. I think I've been feel quite emotional lately and I know it's due to my hormones.

Hum...maybe I should schedule a hospital tour. From reading Alicia's blog, it sounded like a lot of fun. I've been so mellow about the whole giving birth thing that I am afraid it's going to come back and bit me in the butt.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Here's a bit of update on the Bartlett family thus far; Ben has had his 2nd interview with Summit Energy and hopefully we will be hearing from them soon for a third/fourth interview. It will be God's blessing if he does get the job because we desperately need it at this point.

Although I don't always feel it, baby Isaiah is growing rapidly inside of me; he is now about 15 inches long and the size of a butternut squash. When I sit really quietly, I can see my stomach pop up and down. He's pushing up on my stomach, making it more uncomfortable to sit. Other than that, both Ben and I are really excited to meet him. We are also very excited to meet his cousin Abby who is due in the same month and possibly the same week as him. I can't wait to go home in March for Isaiah's and Abby's baby shower. It will be so much fun to celebrate with family and friends and get lots of presents.

Currently, I am still working for Starbucks and have 2 months left before I am done with the job. By God's blessing, it hasn't really been too hard on my body even though I am on my feet all day long.

Lately I am trying to learn how to keep a budget and to manage a home. This is a hard task and I have never been good at it. I do feel enthusiastic to learn and I think it should help us to be more organize with our finances. If anyone is good at budgeting, please do share tips with me.

In addition to that, I am also learning to scrapbook so we can have memories of Isaiah before and after he is born. I often regret that my mom doesn't remember the details of my birth and what I was like as a child. I think it will be really neat to have something written down for my children some day. With that said, scrap booking is expensive. Thanks to Grandma Bartlett, I have some materials to get me started on. I think I will start out small and do a page at a time. Scrap booking is not as easy as it seems and it takes a lot of creative energy. I will slowly add pages to the book as he goes through different developmental stages. That's it for now. Hopefully I will take some good pictures to post soon.

BTW, thanks for all your comments and encouragements!! I appreciate you reading my blog and commenting on them, I find it very helpful!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Does anyone have favorite children's book recommendations? How about toys? I have a hard time knowing what kind of toys are good for baby's growth and such. There are so many toys out there that doesn't seem to make sense to me. Also, I am not sure what to think of Baby Einstein videos, any suggestions?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I decided to take a stroll around the mall today because it's my day off and I wanted to do something while my husband went to a basketball game with his friends. Out of curiosity, I went in the kid stores to check out prices for kid's clothing. I was not surprised to find that everything was, of course, overpriced. $20 dollars for a sweater!! No way, I am going to Goodwill. Isaiah already has more than enough clothing hanging in his closet. Proudly to say, he will be one well dressed kid. As you know, my nesting tendencies has become too strong to fight off. Thank goodness for Goodwill because I can satisfied my mothering instinct and still not spend a lot of money.

Afterwards, I decided to stop by ToysRUs for the first time. I walked around the store literally five minutes before I became overwhelmed by all the stuff they have specifically for babies. Wow, it's amazing. I think next time, I will ask someone to come along.

New Random: My new favorite quote of the day from my husband, "If I ever meet Ralph Lauren, I'm gonna punch him in the mouth."

Friday, January 11, 2008 it bad to register for a camera on our baby registry? I normally wouldn't do this because it seems very shady but, really, all I want from the baby registry is a nice camera to take good pictures of Isaiah. I understand that a camera is very expensive so I guess I am asking for cash or gift cards to Target instead of baby clothes and such so we can save up for the camera. Another advantage of a having a nicer camera too is that we can take more pictures to put on the web!! How's that for a sales pitch? Well, pass the word along and we'll see what happens.

Monday, December 31, 2007

In the midst of all my excitement I was unable to blog about the baby until now. In case you didn't already know, Ben and I are having a little boy!! I would've loved to have a little girl too except Ben feels most comfortable being a father to a little son first; I think it's a combination of being male, being nervous relating to a girl, and needing to be overly protective with a daughter. I, on the other hand, don't mind either way, except it makes me so happy that Ben has a son. I wouldn't mind if the baby looks and act more like him. We have already received so many blessings from God. We have a crib, car seat, stroller, baby swing, some books, an infant carrier, a tub, a pack and play, and super cute baby clothes; I spent less than $50.00 altogether! Whatever else we need, I am hoping to get later with gift cards from Target that people can give us. That will be more useful than anything else. The baby is now kicking in my stomach, although very slightly. I keep trying to imagine his face and what he's doing in there. He's very cute and I can't wait to meet him. He's already very loved by his grandparents and his many aunts and uncles. To all of you out there, be ready because this kid will be one rambunctious child. Thanks for loving him anyways. I'll update more later.

Friday, December 07, 2007

This Christmas I understand why people say the holiday season is a depressing time of the year. Everything about the holiday makes us feel completely alone. The holiday season makes us think of relationships we had with people, both the good and the bad. Holiday shopping makes me wish I can give more for people I love. Even nicely decorated houses makes me wish we can embellish our home with pretty garlands and wreaths. This Christmas, both Ben and I are feeling the blues. We are discontent with where we are in life, what we are doing here in Louisville, and relationships we wish were better back home.

Of course there are many things to be thankful for as well. During this holiday season, God has given us with a baby whom we already love. Both Ben and I have the blessing of good health and God is never slow to give us our daily bread. When I feel blue, I think of all those people that truly loves us and I am thankful for them.

Maybe this year God is trying to show us what Christmas is really all about. When everything we cherish seems small and distant, we can rely on Jesus, the everlasting God. After all, he is the only one that will never change, will never fail us, will never disappoint.

What does Christmas mean anyways? It meant that we have a personal hope of being with God someday because a savior is born to take away our sins. Why is that important you say? It is important because when we are with God, we will never again have pain, hopelessness, and despair; we will enjoy God forever because he is the father of all good things.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Today's dinner is fried fish with sweet and sour sauce, pork bone and watercrest soup, and rice. I had to eat this all by myself of course since my husband can't stand the smell of fish.
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I made grilled fish with sweet and sour sauce today. The only problem I had was that the kind of fish I used had too many bones in.
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Here's another Chinese recipe that I made up and really like. Stir Fry Snow Pea Chicken with Shitake Mushrooms.

snowpeas-1 large handful
1 piece large chicken breast - sliced into thin pieces
1 small can of bamboo shoots
1 8oz carton of Shitake mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teas sugar
1 tablespoon veg or corn oil
chili sauce (optional for additional flavor)

Add 1 tbsp cornstarch to chicken pieces and let sit for 10 mins. Heat Lg nonstick pan with oil under med-high heat, add garlic and saute 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and saute 5 mins or until tender and soft. Add bamboo shoots and snowpeas, saute another 5-10 mins (until snow peas become tender). Remove vegs from pan and hold on a plate. Saute chicken breast until it is no longer pink. Stir together 1 tbsp cornstarch, 2 tbsp oyster sauce, 2 teas sugar, and 2 tbsp water and add to the chicken. Add the vegetables. Add chili sauce if desired. Stirfry another 2 mins. Serve with rice.

I made chicken lomein the other day and it turned out fantastic. Here is my recipe.

NOTE: Before you think this is TOO complicated, it's not. Make sure you have all the ingredients beforehand and do all the prep work in advanced. If you don't have these ingredients, I would suggest going to an Asian grocery store and buy everything you need there, it will save you a lot of time. Also, sauces I used here will be standard for most Asian dishes so it is worth investing in. Before you begin, read over the whole recipe so you know the general gist of what you need to do, trust me, it will seem a lot simpler to you. The recipe is kinda general because it depends mostly on how much food you make so taste test as you go. Feel free to add/subtract more sauces if you need. Besides the sauces, it won't really matter how much Lomein, mushrooms, or bok choy you use because it won't really alter the taste, so add more mushrooms if you like mushrooms. Call me if you have questions.

-You can use any kind of meat/seafood you want. I used chicken. Cut up one or two pieces of Chicken breasts into bit size pieces. Put in about 1 tsp of cornstarch to soften the meat. Cornstarch makes the meat very tender, be careful not to use too much.
-2 carrots peeled and cut into matchsticks
-a handful of shitake mushrooms. If you use dried ones, you can boil them in hot water for a few minutes and then drain the water out. Cut into smaller pieces lengthwise.
-I used baby bok choy. You may also use napa cabbage if you don't know where to find baby bok choy.
-Lomein noodles. As you can see, I used thick egg noodles. They are usually in the freezer section at the oriental store. If you can't find them, you can use dried egg lomein noodles but they do not have the same texture. The kind I use have a chewier texture.
-minced garlic
-soy sauce
-hoisin sauce
-oyster sauce
-chili pepper sauce or jus plain hot sauce (preferably Asian kind)
-Chinese cooking wine or sherry

Take out Lomein noodles and loosen them out with your hands unless you are using the dry kind. Boil some water in a quart size pan, enough to boil the noodles in. You can use however much noodles you need depending on how much you will eat. Put the noodles in the boiling water and separate them apart. After a few mins, when the noodles looked al dante, drain them and run cold water on them (This will prevent the noodles from sticking together). Heat a Lg NONSTICK pan with veg/canola oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic for 30 secs, add carrots, and mushrooms. Saute for another few mins or until the mushrooms and carrots appear soft. Remove mushrooms and carrots and put in a side dish. Lower the temperature to a med-low heat. Add more oil to the pan, wait until it is warm but NOT BURNING HOT and then add the drained cold noodles. This is important (keep separating the noodles with a pair of chopsticks in the pan so that it does not stick to the bottom). Let the noodles sit and become somewhat fried on the bottom. After the noodles are soften on top and crunchy on the bottom, slide it off the pan to a large plate. Add the mushrooms and carrots back to the pan, add 2 tablespoon of hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce, 3 squirts of soy sauce, a tsp of chili pepper sauce, a tbsp of chinese cooking wine, and a quarter cup of cold water mixed with cornstarch. Taste the sauce and adjust it to your liking. (The cornstarch will make the sauce thicker, make sure it looks like gravy consistency before you add it to the noodles). When the sauce is heated up, poor the mixture to the noodles and serve.

Chinese store: Da Hua on Preston Highway.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Have you ever felt that it is hard to stand out as a Christian in a world that is so much louder and more pretentious then you? Where sincerity means you make sure everyone around you knows and sees what you are doing? Where you have to shout in order to be heard, where you have to be above and beyond everyone if you want to be recognized? As Christians, how do we fight these battles? How do we live a contrary life as Christ taught us to have humility rather than pride; meekness rather than strength? It has been hard for me to know how to be a light to the world. I feel as though I am going against the current. Do I strive to be like the world? Do I conform myself to how the world wants me to behave? Do I have to be bigger, better, or bolder in order to be known? How will Christ be seen through me? I don't know the answer.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I've been tagged. The game is, I have to write seven things about myself that is funny/weird/quirky. Hum...shouldn't be too hard. Also I am suppose to tag two other bloggers to do the same. OK, so here it goes.

1. I got weird crazy cravings long before I became pregnant. I will crave whatever I think about, read about, and see on TV. Once it's in my head, it will stay there until I satisfy the craving. Salty fish, Kim Chee, fried okra, lemon grass soup, anything really.

2. I get freaked out by worms. One time I had to climb on my husband's back at Antietam because there were so many of them on the side walk.

3. I have had three different guys give me the "we are just friends" talk. It was totally unexpected since I wasn't trying to be anything more than just friends. I was overly friendly I guess.

4. Before my family came to America, we had to spend 6 months in the Philippians. One time my mother bought 4 mac apples, one for each of us. (We never had apples before, they were expensive.) After I ate mine, I was tempted to eat my dad's also. I finally caved in and ate his. I have felt guilty ever since that my dad didn't get his apple. Everytime I think of that story, I am on the brink of tears at how selfish I was.

5. I have a hard time enjoying dinner at a restaurant if a server who is older than 60 years old serves me.

6. When I was 8, I fought a black boy for picking on my best friend. He got in trouble of course and I didn't.

7. When I am nervous around people, my grammar gets worse and I clam up.

Wow, that was fun. Now I tag
Vanessa Kynes
Anne Diffy
We heard baby's heartbeat the other day. The doctor placed cold gel on my tummy and ran a Doppler around my stomach. The first sound we heard was my heartbeat. He did this for a while until we heard thump, thump, thump, thump, thump at a pace that seems to be twice as fast as my own heartbeat...BABY. He said that it's heartbeat is strong and consistent, everything seems to be developing as it should and we should see him in another month. It became real to me to hear the heartbeat of my own child. This creature is completely different than me or Ben but it's life is totally dependent on me. Ben told everyone that day how amazing it was to hear his baby inside of me. When he left for work that day he said, "I Love you, both of you."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I've been thinking about my dad lately, about the relationship between him and I and the dynamic of our family. I was ashamed that I have not called my father in person to tell him of my pregnancy. It is unloving conduct that puts me to shame. The root of the problem is that I am deeply fearful of talking to my dad. It saddens me that I have never had a conversation with my father. Growing up I seldom felt affections from him in any emotional sense and I never longed for it. He never shared any feelings with his children and what's going on in his life, he always felt very distant to us. My father's inability to communicate with his family has isolated him from the lives of his children. Both my brother and I try to avoid any type of conversations with my father because we are so uncertain of his reaction. There is almost nothing in common to talk about between him and us. He doesn't know how to respond to even the simplest type of conversations. When I think about my dad, I cannot think without a feeling deep pain for his loneliness, his isolation from people, from his family. I can sense in his eyes his longings to be known, his longings for love, his longings to know us, yet he cannot get beyond his emotional wall. I can only guess that the root of his problems are the deep pains that only he can see; pains of war, pains of losing a father at the age of 13, pains of poverty, and pains of losing a respected brother in war.

With my father there is one thing I am certain of; it is that he loves deeply despite his inability to communicate. It is impossible that a person who feels so much cannot love. I always wonder what God can do with a person like my dad. I wonder why he suffers so much and I pray desperately that there is hope for his soul.

To this day, my brother is still affected by my father's actions. Like him, he is unable to communicate love deeply. The difference between my brother and I is that God has demonstrated his love to me as a father through many wonderful influences in my life; he has given me a husband whose affections for me taught me the wonderful joy of being loved. I am more open to love with my life because I can see how silences destroys families. I hope that my children will never experience the suffering of not knowing love.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

For the last few days I've been cooking up a storm, making traditional Chinese meals. Maybe it's my pregnancy cravings but instead of wanting fatty foods or things I normally find appealing, I've been longing for a taste of home; home that I used to know when I was a little girl.

Today I spent 4 hours stewing a pot of dried cabbage and pork bone soup. In the Chinese culture, the art of making soup for the family is a task that a good traditional wife ought to perfect. It was essential to have a pot of soup for "mon fon" (dinner) along with other complimentary dishes. The soup takes center stage to the rest of the meal. After years of studying from her mother and grandmother, a wife will learn to perfect her own soup using traditional ingredients, expensive herbs and spices, and most importantly, time. A good pot of soup will usually stew for a few hours. The soup is beautifully done when all the nutrients are entirely cooked out of the ingredients; they call this having enough fire power.

I am usually not one of those you would call a traditional Chinese girl. I have not mastered the art of Chinese cooking and I certainly do not need to eat rice in order to feel full. As I grow older and have a home of my own, I often long for the taste of foods that I once find unsophisticated and odd. Take the dried cabbage soup for example, my mother used to spend hours trying to convince me to drink it for good health. I would never have thought that, one day, I would seek and long for that familiar taste that I can't describe. I hope to continue to learn and master the art of Chinese cooking. As I begin to think more about how to raise my family, I realized that I long to teach them the culture and language that is instilled inside of me.
A few blogs previously, I was struggling with some difficult decisions in our lives. We were deciding between going to Seminary, finishing my certification, and starting a family. Almost a year later, almost all of our questions has been answered. Ben and I are now in Seminary, working part time, and having a baby. Yes, yes, I said baby.

I am now in my eighth week of pregnancy and my baby is now the size of a kidney bean. I just learned that its brain has started forming as well as the fingers and eyelids. It is a wonder how this tiny little thing inside of me can make me so sick. On most days, I feel nauseous all day and night long. Foods that I once loved to eat seems so unappetizing to me now. Some days I feel well enough to cook a meal, other days, I'm not able to stand the sight and smell of food. I used to love eating chicken and steak, now I prefer fresh fruits and veggies. I have eaten so many pineapples that my mouth is sore from the acidity. By God's grace, I can still work but it is exhausting at times. I sleep about 12 hours a night and maybe take one nap/day. My friends tells me to take naps as I need them because my body is using a lot of energy to make organs and things. It is difficult being a mother and it is also difficult preparing to be one as well. People have asked me how Ben has reacted to the news of a new baby. Besides telling me that he is happy but nervous, he hasn't really said too much about it. Ben is not one to go goo goo gaga over things. On occasion however, he would speak directly to my belly and say, "hello baby, it's your daddy." We have some names picked out but I have decided not to tell everyone.

Please pray for us if you can. Pray that God will use us to raise a child that will seek after his own heart. Pray that we won't be anxious about anything but to go to him in prayers. Pray that Ben and I will have a steady income, and pray that we will have timely insurance to take care of doctors visits and such. God Bless.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

We had communion today and it made me question myself and where I am with God. I've been a little embarrassed at how I have been doing lately, spiritually . To be quite honest, it has been a long time since I have had good quality time with God. When I do my bible reading, I find that I read it for the purpose of knowing what it says rather than trying to understand what God is saying to me. My prayer time is often time short and on most days, I am too distracted by other things to remember. I've felt guilty about my spiritual droop and that caused me to avoid thinking about it altogether. I realized that I been hiding behind my Christian facade for too long, and no one really knows about my spiritual struggles. I often struggle with whether Christ is real to me or not. When I think about it, I am not sure I feel the extent of Christ's sacrifice. Shouldn't I be a changed creature? Why am I still scared of people rather than speaking out for God? How do I contribute to God's Kingdom? I feel like I fall so short. I am so ashamed because I am so weak. How do I continue to fight this battle when I feel like I have already lost?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Ben and I got a new laptop today. We waited for a long time before we convinced ourselves that we "need one." Although it is quite fun I still can't justify the need for this new toy. I am convinced that once we get used to the laptop we will have a hard time without it, and will depend on it just like we depend on cell phones or mulitple cars. I wonder how we ever survived without those things in the past.

We have had many people ask Ben and I when we are going to have a baby. It seems to come up a lot since I joined facebook. I am guessing that people ask because babies are naturally a pleasant thing that they are curious about. Also other people's babies are fun because you can play with them and then give them back at the end of the day. Some of my friends are even asking me to have one!! It amuses me so much. Of course I don't want to disappoint so the only option is to try and please everyone. : )

I find that I am the most content when I am at home. It doesn't matter what i do, I can read, cook, clean, decorate, run errands, do the dishes and I am happy. Some women have a hard time being at home, some have a hard time feeling stuck carrying out the domestic affairs in the home. On the opposite end, I struggle with how not to make my home an idol. I struggle with wondering, is it wrong to put so much time and energy into making my home beautiful or spending time on a wonderful home cooked meal? I wonder how it is that serving my husband and being at home is a service to God because it is just too easy for me to do that. I love it!!

There are times when I feel looked down upon for my love of home life. Sometimes I even feel embarrassed that people see me without ambition and drive for a career. I feel as though they are judging me saying that I am lazy and, therefore, I have no desire to work. The truth is, I am constantly battling between my ambition to suceed in the world's eye and my true love of being a wife, a mother, and a domestic caretaker. The truth is, the reason why I care so much about how people think of me is because I am a prideful person who wants others to think highly of me based on my achievements. The reason why I set my value on my achievements is because that is how society has taught us to value other people. As a Christian it is wrong of me to use that same standard to find my self worth. God is our creator who made us for his purpose and not our own. When we draw value from what other people think of us and not what God thinks of us, we are worshipping an idol. I have been humbled lately by how little I have achieved in the world's eyes. My life is simple and small and God can use it any way he wants it. If God decides to achieve big things in my life, it is for his glory, if he decides not to use my life in big ways, then I have to be content living faithfully for him.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


We all had a great time.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

so our computer broke down and I am now at the library trying to update my blog. Wow, what a summer. We have had so many visitors this summer. First Dave and Peter came for Spring Break, then dad came to run in a marathon, then the gramps, then my brother, his wife and some family friends, and most recently Bethany and Aaron. Next week, our college buds are coming to visit for the weekend and I am thrilled to see them. I am glad we are able to stay in touch and I love them with all my heart.

Ben and I are doing well. God has blessed us so much by giving us a great church to be part of. Ben has been meeting with some guys from Third and I am meeting with some women on a regular basis. It has only been a couple of weeks but I already love getting to know the women at Third. What I needed all along (and didn't really know it) was to have some good Godly perspectives in my life who isn't my husband's. It's been such a blessing.

I am continually learning so much about homemaking. It is such a joy to be able to spend time making my home a place of refuge. I hope to be more hospitable to other people since God has really blessed us with so much.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I think I will try photography, I really like it!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Our own little world
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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

God has been so gracious to me lately. I am adjusting to work quite well; having a routine helps me to stay diciplined with my time. The relational aspect of work is still tough since there is little I have in common with people there. I often feel intimidated to speak my mind and I feel shut in from sharing my opinions, my worldview, and my life. At work, I am criticized, and critiqued; at times, I am the scapegoat for mistakes that happen. Through all these things, I have truly learned to be content with my situation. I was overjoyed today that God choose to dicipline me. I have learned to feel humble when I am wrong; I feel joy when I am not well liked; I am grateful when people are kind. Today, I felt a shadow being lifted from me. I am no longer afraid of people and what they can do to me. I gladly accept my plight, and I give thanks to God for driving out all fears that have been a stronghold for me in the past. Today, I understood that I am God's child.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I am done reading Elizabeth Prentiss's biography called "More Love to Thee." It is interesting that both she and I share similar characteristics; we are both deeply emotional and passionate creatures. We get exhausted by people yet we are at our best when serving them. This paragraph describes our temperament well;

"Her temperament was volatile and passionate. When her mood swing was high, she could be enormously energetic and productive; she would throw herself furiously into whatever project was occupying her at the time. This would be followed by total exhaustion and cooresponding depression..."

I have often wondered what God can do with powerful emotions like mine. I feel guilty for being so emotionally unstable because I thought it was sign of spiritual immaturity. After reading Elizabeth Prentiss' biography, I see that God can use people like her to glorify his name. In this book, I can relate to many things she struggles with. When I am emtionally low it is hard to pray and I feel like I have lost God's presense. Then I turn to God and rely on His strength to get through and it draws me closer to him.

I love Elizabeth Prentiss's description of spiritual growth. It speaks directly to my feelings about my spiritual life. She writes,

"God never places us in any position in which we can not grow. We may fancy that He does. We may fear we are so impeded by fretting, petty cares that we are gaining nothing; but when we are not sending any branches upward, we may be sending roots downward. Perhaps in the time of our humiliation, when everything seems a failure, we are making the best kind of progress. God delights to try our faith by the conditions in which He places us. A plant set in the shade shows where its heart is by turning towards the sun, even when unable to reach it. We have so much to distract us in this world that we do not realize how truly and deeply, if not always warmly and consciously, we love Christ. But I believe that this love is the strongest principle in every regenerate soul. It may slumber for a time, it may freeze nearly to death; but sooner or later it will declare itself as the ruling passion."

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I am exhausted. I chatted with my mom last night and told her that work is so exhausting. From her own experience, she told me that I will eventually get use to it. My mom is super woman. When she was in Vietnam, she worked three jobs and still took care of her family. I was really encouraged by her even though she said little to make me feel better. Maybe it’s because I know she knows what it’s like and much much more. You see, I have gotten use to the idea that I will be a wife and a mother someday. I have enjoyed knowing that my husband will work and I will take care of the family. Sometimes, I even despise working. I have forgotten how hard my parents worked to give us a good life; I have forgotten how to appreciate Ben for all those times he provided for the family.

While conversing with God one day, I said to him, “Lord, surely there is much more value to life than this?” Then he spoke to me and I was encouraged to keep doing what I have been doing. It’s almost as if he is saying to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weaknesses. It was clear to me then that he wanted me to rely on him everyday of my life. My weaknesses required that I draw strength from him, and that in turn, draws me close to God. Oh how long I have missed the point of it all. No matter work or play, I haven’t relied on God for strength and guidance in the past. He has helped me to experience fully his sweet love by putting me in a circumstance that is beyond my comfort.

Friday, April 06, 2007

This is a response to my earlier blog from Pastor Phillip Way in Texas. Thanks for the excellent exhortation of the Word. I hope that everyone who reads my blog will benefit from it.

Phillip M. Way said...

Good question. And the best place to start is with the character of God – because that is at the root of the question, isn’t it? When we ask why God has done or said something ultimately we are asking to know more about God Himself, either because we question His goodness or we do not understand His motives. Let me say first that it is okay to ask “Why”. Jesus did. “My God, My God, WHY have You forsaken Me?” And looking at Jesus there on the cross we find our answer. We see there God’s true nature and attributes.

God is absolutely holy. In fact, the only characteristic of God that is ever repeated 3 times in a row (for emphasis and affect) is His holiness. He is above all else holy. The angels around His throne who guard His glory proclaim forever and ever that He is “Holy, Holy, Holy.” (Isaiah 6:1-4) It is hard for us to comprehend the extent of His holiness. It is not that God will not sin. He cannot sin! He is so holy that He cannot commit sin (Titus 1:2).

The terror then is in finding out that He is so holy that His justice must be upheld by the pouring out of His wrath upon sin. The wages of sin has been and always will be death (Rom 6:23). The good news of the gospel is found in the grace and mercy of God given to those who deserve only death from Him. Yet as we even remember on Good Friday, it was His Son who was put to death as our substitute, beaten, mocked, scourged, and crucified. Why? To pay for our sin. To die for us. To satisfy the justice of God by bearing the full wrath of God.

Since He was completely innocent Himself (1 Peter 3:18), He was able to give to us His right standing with God and take away the penalty for our sin so that by faith we can stand before God justified (Rom 5:1). He died so that we might live.

At this point I am sure we are all in agreement, and many are wondering why I have not answered the question! But we must have this foundation laid before we can see how God can be just in decreeing the death of the nations who opposed Israel in the Old Testament.

So why did God do that? How in the world is He glorified with the death of these people?
Further, did these people deserve to die at the hands of the Israelites? And how is this not contrary to the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”?

God did it because He is glorified when His holiness is proclaimed and upheld. How did these events broadcast His holiness? God does not close His eyes to sin. He is no respecter of persons. Outside of His grace shown in Christ every person who is born a sinner deserves to pay the price for his or her sin. How many of us are born as sinners? All of us (Rom 3:23). So we all deserve destruction.

In His carrying out this sentence against sinners, we must be clear, these people who were killed in the OT were not innocent. In fact, the things that they did against each other, their children, and against God and His people more than makes it plain that they were judged by God for their sin. Over and over He enumerates their sin and tells us why He had them killed.

As He often does throughout history, He used one nation (in this case Israel) to bring judgment upon another nation. Let us not forget that God did the same thing when the Assyrians conquered Israel and they never returned to the land, and the Babylonians took Judah captive for 70 years. God uses nations to accomplish His purposes in bringing judgment and in brining redemption!

Let us not forget that God standing in judgment against these wicked nations prepared the land for the coming of the Messiah. From the time of the establishment of the covenant with Abraham God moved and worked to bring His people to this Promised Land for one objective – to point us to the Incarnation – to make a way to send the Savior.

Does this act of God carrying out justice make Him hateful or inconsistent? Of course not. For Him to allow sin to go without punishment would be out of character. Too often we think that those who are judged are the exception – as if no one should be judged and all should be ushered into heaven without prejudice. But God has a plan. In that plan He will be glorified in saving His people and in judging His enemies. And let us not forget that before we were His people we were His enemies!! (Rom 5:8)

But what about the command not to kill? The commandment is actually a command not to murder. An act of warfare is not murder. Murder is the taking of an “innocent” life. And the penalty for murder is death. When the government, given to uphold the law (Rom 13:3-4), puts a criminal to death they are not murdering him. They are killing him and that killing is justified. So acting on God’s command to kill the enemies of Israel was not an act of murder. It was justice. It was God upholding His holiness through His people.

This reminds us also of the price for sin. The little things we allow in our lives that we know displease God – it is still sin and the wages of sin is still death. So why does God not kill us? Because Christ died for us. Understand though that even while we may be saved, there are still consequences to sin. He disciplines us (Heb 12:5-6). And we may still die as a direct result of our sin. In fact, unless Christ returns, we will all die physically. Why? We are sinners!

If God is so holy and sin so heinous that God is glorified in destroying whole nations of people for their sin then we should be driven to question our own nation, our churches, and our families. How do we live? In a way that demands God’s justice? Or in a way that proclaims the goodness of His grace and His longsuffering mercy? Are we striving to be holy just as He is holy? (1 Peter 1:15-16)

One last thought – we must remember that even when a death is an accident (9from our perspective) it serves to remind us all that unless we repent of our sin and believe Jesus Christ, we will all likewise perish! (Luke 13:1-5) Death is a constant reminder that we are waiting for the finished redemption of our bodies at glorification. Death reminds us how dreadful sin really is. And death illuminates for us the great glory of God and His grace and mercy given to us in Christ Jesus.

If you are interested, as a means of further study, I have preached a few sermons relevant to the questions asked. The first I’d recommend it titled “Repentance or Ruin” and is preached from Mark 10:17-27. You can download or listen for free here.

I also preached a series through the books of Jonah and Nahum and there we see how God deals with the city of Nineveh. Several messages are relevant to nations and their sins, and to God’s dealings with His enemies, so look at the messages available in this series here.

Finally – if my post raises more questions feel free to ask! The more we ask the more we know about how great our God really is!!


Wow, thank you Pastor for that incredible insight! Actually I have been thinking and praying to God for an answer to this question, in fact, I couldn't sleep tonight so I woke up to blog about it. It is interesting that I have come to the same conclusion except I could never express it so clearly and my thoughts are incomplete. My conclusions were, everyone of us deserves death whether it is now or in the future. God is a holy God and he cannot and will not punish those that are completely innocent (no one is), therefore, what he did was just. Everyone of us will answer to God someday for the decisions we make or don't make. The Amorites clearly choose against God in Joshua; they saw that God was with the Israelites and they fought against them. God can and will use both the Godly and the ungodly things of the world to glorify his name and to fullfil his plans and promises.

So those are some of my thoughts. Thanks be to God for his word and for people who studied it. At the same time, it is humbling that God is so vast that our measly little mind cannot understand him completely. It is awesome that he chooses to reveal himself to us.

Monday, April 02, 2007

I can't believe I have never gone through Joshua. I think it is one of those books that I thought I had read since I know the children's story. Anyways, I am reading Joshua right now and I have a really hard time with it. As I am reading, I find it disheartening that God can order Joshua to kill off everyone including children and women in order to fulfill his covenant with the Israelites. It's been really hard for me to pray. I feel anger inside as I try to understand a God who has all power and dominion over the universe and chooses to do as he please for his glory. Can someone please explain to me how we, as Christians, can justify to others why our God commands that we do not murder yet he can orchestrate the whole thing himself? I am at a loss.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Let me give you a tour of the apartment.
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Ben's library
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The Plaque on Ben's wall says
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Ben's Library
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Ben and I love laying here with our windows open on a warm sunny day
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Our Bedroom has sliding doors that lead to the outside
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Looking back I am not sure how we got through the last few years of our lives. Seven years ago, Ben and I entered college; we dated two years later, Ben graduates, Our friends graduate and moved away, Ben started a new job, we got engaged, got married, Ben started another job, Ben's mom died, I graduated, my brother got married and bought a house, his sister got married, Ben's brother moved to college, we moved to Kentucky and started Seminary.

Throughout these series of events God's grace has lifted us. Looking back reminded me that we serve a GOD who is faithful and full of grace. Our GOD knows us when we are despaired, when we are joyful, and when we are weary. He's been with us through many times of trials in our family and in our marriage. His promises are great and his love is eternal.
There is just something weird about meeting new people and starting new relationships. Once again I feel a sense of uncertainty as I seek to know people in a new place at a new time. Yesterday we became members at 3rd Avenue Baptist Church. I am thrilled to be part of this wonderful church. The people are loving and have a mature faith, they are all my around my age, and they can teach me a lot about being a better woman of God. On the car ride home, instead of feeling ecstatic, I was feeling lonely. I don't know why, maybe it's the sense that I have to build something new again; maybe it's because I feel uncertain of my place here, uncertain of my own personality and idiosyncrasies, of knowing my roles at this church. Back at my former church, things were comfortable, I knew people and they knew me. The thing is, I know relationships come with time. I know that I have to give of myself if I want to build intimacy with other people; still, building trust can be hard. It can bring up all the insecurities you have about yourself and your past. I miss my college buddies. I miss having people that truly knows us.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Here is a puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision.

Help me to approach thee
with becoming conception of thy nature, relations and designs.

Thou inhabitets eternity, and
my life is nothing before thee;

Thou dwellest in the highest heaven and this cannot contain thee;
I live in a house of clay.

Thy power is almighty;
I am crushed before the moth.

Thy understanding is infinite;
I know nothing as I ought to know.

Thou canst not behold evil;
I am vile.

In my ignorance, weakness, fears, depressions,
may thy Spirit help my infirmities
with supplies of wisdom, strength and comfort.

Let me faithfully study my character,
be willing to bring it to light,
observe myself in my trials,
judge the reality and degree of my grace,
consider how I have been ensnared or overcome.

Grant that I may never trust my heart,
depend upon any past experiences,
magnify any present resolutions,
but be strong in the grace of Jesus;
that I may know how to obtain relief from a guilty conscience without feeling reconciled to my imperfections.

Sustain me under my trials and improve them to me;
give me grace to rest in thee,
and assure me of deliverance.

May I always combine thy majesty with they mercy,
and connect thy goodness with they greatness.

Then shall my heart always rejoice in praises to thee.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

It is so exciting when God answer prayers directly. First we prayed that Ben would get better from his sickness so he can study for his midterms. One day, walking back from class, Ben miraculously got better; his sinus cleared up, his throat stopped hurting, and his nose stopped running. All this happened right before he needed to study for midterms. The second answered prayer is that I would get the chance to talk to my co-workers about God. I realized that everytime I pray before work, I would have amazing conversations with people about Christ. How awesome is that???

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sorry about not updating you sooner since the last post. Time is passing by so fast and I have no idea where it has gone. I am thankful that we rarely feel bored and lacking in activities although nothing extrodinary has been happening. Ben and I are getting to know people in our church and it's been really fun. We are such relational creatures and we want people to know us so badly. It's interesting that God created us to want to be known, just like God wanted us to know him.

God reminded me lately that while I work to help the family, I am still not head of the home. I was so consumed lately on how to provide for us that I have forgotten Ben is the leader of our home. It was wrong of me to think that I can take over Ben's responsibility. When I was consumed in my thoughts about financial stuff, I forgot that God wanted Ben to lead, he wanted us (women) to do nothing that will take over our husband's job. God reminded me that Ben has to step up and lead. I feel so relieved that Ben has the heart to lead. I feel free to trust that I am not responsible for working, taking care of our kids (when we have some), and making everything work. Growing up my mom was the one who held the family together and I learned to take the same mindset; never did I think that God did not intend for the family to work that way. His role for each member in the family is to create a working order that is ultimately healthy and protective in nature. If men take on the leadership role, then women are more free to take on their roles. I have to be reminded that God has something to teach Ben and I am not to get in the way of his learning.

I have grown so much from reading the book, "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment," by Jeremiah Burroughs. I would even say that this book is essential to every growing Christian. It will help you understand your sin from discontentment and free yourself from the struggles of this world. If you can get through the book, it will enrich your life immensely. Let me quote some of his work.

Page 107 on the burden of prosperity.
"In a Prosperous condition there is the burden of duty. You look only at the sweetness and comfort, the honour and respect that they have who are in a prosperous position, but you must consider the duty that they owe to God. God requires more duty at their hands than at yours. You are ready to be discontented because you have not got such gifts and abilities as others have, but God requires more duty of those who have greater wealth than of you who have not such wealth. Oh, you would fain have the honour, but can you carry the burden of duty? Those who enjoy great wealth and a prosperous condition have a great account to give to God. We are all stewards, and one is a steward to a meaner man, perhaps but to an ordinary knight, another is a steward to a nobleman, an earl; now the steward of the meaner man has not so much as the other under his hand, and shall he be discontented because of this? No, he thinks, I have less, and I will have to give the less account. So your account, in comparison of the minister's and magistrate's, will be nothing; you are to give an account of your own souls and so are they, you are to give an account for your own family and so are they, but you will not have to give account for congregations, and for towns, and cities and countries. You think of princes and kings-Oh, what a glorious position they are in! But what do you think of a king who has to give account for the disorder and wickedness in a kingdom he might possibly have prevented?

Another example of his writing, page 129
You will find a noteworthy story in Plutarch to illustrate this: In the life of Pyrrhus, one Sineus came to him, and would fain have had him desist from the wars, and not war with the Romans. He said to him, "May it please your Majety, it is reported that the Romans are very good men of war, and if it please the gods that we overcome them, what benefit shall we have of that victory?" Pyrrhus answered him, "We shall then straightway conquer all the rest of Italy with ease," "Indeed that is likely which is your Grace speaks," said Sineus, "but when we have won Italy, will our wars end then?" "If the gods were pleased," said Pyrrhus, "that the victory were achieved, the way would then be made open for us to attain great conquests, for who would not
afterwards go into Africa, and so to Carthage?" "But," said Sineus, "when we have everything in our hands what shall we do in the end?" Then Pyrrhus laughing told him again, "We will then be quiet, and take our ease, and have feasts everyday, and be as merry with one another as we possibly can." Said Sineus, "What prevents us now from being as quiet, and merry together, since we enjoy that immediately without further travel and trouble which we would seek for abroad, wich such shedding of blood, and manifest danger? Can you not sit down and be merry now? So a man may think, if I had such a thing, then I would have another, and if I had that, then I should have more; and what if you had got all you desire? Then you would be content. Why? You may be content now without them.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I hope that you will be blessed by it as much as I have.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

There you have it, my first big breakdown that is classically called the "move in depression." My emotions has been building up for several weeks and I couldn't really put a handle on my feelings until last night. We came home from the orientation and Ben had noticed that something wasn't quite right. He kept badgering me until I finally broke down into a pool of tears. What was bothering me was a list of emotions, fears, excitement, dissappointments, and insecurities, that had been building up in me for so long. That, plus the feeling of guilt and responsibility of finding a job, had made me on edge. I felt guilty that God had given me a small responsibilty in life and I couldn't handle it. When I compare my life with the life of some great people, I feel small and insignificant. Why would God bother with me when he had so many that glorifies his name? My life is disorderly, undiciplined, and selfish. I feel the sin bearing down on me, I see my unrepentent arrogant heart. I bow my face to God, confessing that nothing is good in me. He choose me from his mercy and grace. By my God's standard, I am doomed. I need to learn to find forgiveness and accept his grace. I too often measure myself and fall short. I need to look to the cross and not to myself. I need to take Paul's advice and forget what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Lately I have been in a constant state of distress, wondering what I should do about my job situation. I have not heard from the lady I am supposed to work for, and I am not sure I want to take the job anymore. There are other job openings in Louisville where I can work in the healthcare setting, and it's tempting to wait for those opportunities. For the past week, I have been agonizing over the decision. On one hand, we could really use the money from the nanny job, but that's not what I want to do. I'd feel awful if I do get the nanny job and I had to turn her down.

I have a really hard time letting God be in control and trusting him to provide for us. I don't know why I have such a hard time trusting in God. I have the reassurance of salvation, I have a wonderful husband and a loving family, I have what I needed for a warm and wonderful home, yet I am still unsatisfied with this state of my life. It is difficult for me to be at peace. My mind constantly wanders and I am unable to be satisfied. I pray for peace and God's forgiveness for my thoughts and my discontent.

LORD, let my heart be still.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I take back what I said a few days ago about the paint color. I really like it now. I will post some pictures for you guys later so you may see our new apartment.

Recently, I've been creating some simple meals that I really enjoy. Yesterday I spiced up some chicken thighs and grilled it. For today's dinner, we had brats and sour kraut with hot sauce. I lOVED IT!! I think I would still like to try new things from time to time, but not quite as often as I used to. For one thing, simple meals are less expensive and definately less time consuming. I find it quite nice to have spend less time in the kitchen and more time to do other things.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ok, so I know all of you are dying to know what color my wall is. Ready?'s...Hunter GREEN! Actually, when I first picked the color, it looked really beautiful on paper. After I put it on my wall, however, I feel a little nauseated from looking at all the puke in front of me. I am still a little shocked from what I did this morning. So my first pick for a paint color failed. I knew this would happen. I begged Ben to help me paint the walls. I picked the color, and after it went on, I hated it. I don't know what I was thinking except that I wanted to be bold this time and be adventurous. Now I have to learn how to live with it for the next three years...huh..

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ben and I are finally settled in. We have a nice two and a half bedroom apartment, which is a lot more spacious than our first one. Ben tends to be a little possessive of his study. I have to ask when I want to use his desk for writing. Our apartment is nice but a little white, so tomorrow, I am going to paint the apartment. I am so excited to make this place our home for the next three years.

The move in process has been really good. We had the opportunity to explore the city and there is so much to do. Kentucky has many great restaurants, parks, and shopping. The weather will be really nice in a couple of months if you want to come and visit. We LOVE visitors. Ben and I are still in the process of looking for a church. So far, we really enjoyed the ones we've visited.

I think I've found a job. If I get hired, I will be a nanny for two kids on MWF. The pay is really good and it should take care of a large portion of our expenses. Praise God for taking care of our needs.

Ben and I are doing well overall. For the first few days, I was a little sad from missing home. After I learned how to get around, I felt less homesick. We met with our neighbors the other day and they answered many questions that we had.

So that was the moving process. I am sorry we can't update you individually but if you email us, we usually respond. We love you guys and will keep you updated.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Year's Resolution:

1. to study the bible in-depth
2. to be content with where I am and to enjoy each day that God has made
3. to show love and kindness towards people while keeping my own convictions
4. to be fit and energized

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I posted new pictures.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Go Tigers!!! Ben, Dave, Lindsay, Zadok, and I watched the second game in the series and we are so glad they won.

I like being able to share with Ben the love of sports. Baseball is something we love to watch together. I figured that Ben spends so much time watching baseball that I might as well join him. Hey, if I can't beat it, I should join it right? I actually have a good understanding of the game now. For women who can bear sports, this can be quality time with your husband. It really is a good bonding time. I love that Ben and I are finding more things we could enjoy together.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I've been trying to set up xanga several times and I couldn't get it to work so I've decided that blogger is still my favorite webblog despite the fact that everyone uses xanga.

I am not sure what this currently reading, currently listening stuff on xanga is but I've decided to create my own. I am currently reading Pilgrims progress by John Bunyun. I really enjoyed this book. The narrative of the book tells of a man named Christian who felt a heavy burden (sin) and needed to reach the celestrial city in hope of escaping destruction. Reading this book made me feel the urgency to become right with God and to look forward to the Kingdom of Heaven. I w0uld encourage everyone to read this book! Another book that really encouraged me to keep my faithfulness is called "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn. After reading this book, I can't help but long for heaven.

So, I have some news. Ben has been officially accepted to Southern Baptist Seminary in Louiville, KY, and we are moving sometime in January. We had prayed about the decision for a long time and God has reassured us of his will. Over time, I have come to recognize this calling, although at first I was resistant to the thought of seminary. At first I struggled to understand why God would call us to such a holy calling. In my mind, I did not think we were worthy to uphold the word of God and display his holiness. I prayed for his guidance and understanding and he spoke to my heart. Since then, I have learned that God's sovereign plan does not depend on our goodness. He chooses us according to his Grace and not by works of our own. He said in John 15:16, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." I am comforted that God will prepare a way for us. Sometimes, it bothers me to trust that all our needs will be met, but clearly this verse reminds us that God, who appointed us for his work, will give us whatever we need. I am thrilled to be with Ben in a new place. I have been told that life at seminary would be the best time of our life.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Check out new pictures on picasa or click on wanna see pictures link on the right.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I threw a dinner party for Naomi before her wedding
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The Dessert Table
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Monday, September 11, 2006

I Love My Husband
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

This is Henry. I babysit him Posted by Picasa