Monday, June 29, 2009

that new feeling...

Remember when something is new, everything about it is... amazing!  You could sit all day and be with it. You love the smell, you love to watch/play with it. You just can't take your eyes away or your hands off of the new item.  Eventually the "newness" wares off and you either forget about the item, use it from time to time, or something even more magical happens... you cherish the item forever and ever as a keepsake item.

For some reason this morning i was thinking about Jon and Kate (+ their 8!) and wondering about marriage.  It is like a new toy when you are a child. You get it, you love it and then you forget that it even exists.  This paper that we all sign saying that we are legally together forever.  Forever is a really long time considering how we are all brought up in our childhood.

Think about all of the toys we give our children. Each holiday (Starting with Easter, then birthday's, then Halloween, then Christmas and in between there are even more tiny gifts) you give your child a gift.  They love this NEW item. They play with it for the day, maybe a week, if you are lucky they never let it leave their side for about a month! But eventually they are given a NEW gift and the older "new" gift gets left in the dust.

Parents are the creators of all things glorious in a child's life. They give them life, they give them shelter, they give them knowledge, but they also give them crap!  

If you follow my blog you know i gave up a lot to move to California.  It was easier than i thought but it was really hard for Claire to give up the toys that she loved.  Which brings me back to my point of sticking it out (yeah, it's up there in the mess of what i wrote somewhere lol).  I think i did something good, but part of me is wondering if i did something bad... horrible even when i told my child that her things were just that "things" and it didn't really matter to keep on to them in life.  

Before i ramble on any further, i just want to say... cherish every single thing you have, be it something new to love or someone new to love or just loving life.

a tiny piece of you...

i feel like a ticket,

that's never been used.
a piece of paper,
that you lose.
a wonderful melody,
that you let die.
a beautiful flower,
that you walk on by.

what am i to you?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

a nagging need for God, in all things...

"God creates and activates a nagging dissatisfaction in every person 

for an excellent reason - a need that only He can meet" 

Breaking Free - by Beth Moore 

Is this why i feel this dissatisfaction for so many things in my life? because i have a void that only God can fill? 

I continuously seek out perfection in many areas of my life, but so many times i come up lacking. I view myself as deeply imperfect. Compliments on any level i can not take, because i never see myself as good enough to accept a compliment. Never will i measure up to the level of perfection that i deem worthy of a compliment - always room for improvement. Often times i give up because i seek such a perfection in the things that i do.  Many times it is only the criticism that i hear, and i close off the compliments.

The tree in the photo above is imperfect. it is ugly and a little bit scary. But it still grew proud and strong. it does not care what the outside world thinks or even says about it. it will continue to grow bigger and stronger until one day man cuts it down. i often times feel like this tree.  i feel like i grow in areas of my life, and then someone will cut me down to size and make me feel less than human. it is not until i let someone interfere in who i am or who i want to become that i tear myself down and see my imperfections for what they are... my imperfections.  

God created us in an imperfect way so that we could strive to become more than what we are in our life.  Seek out becoming better people, more human in our nature.  To be human is to love, is to be kind, is to be better than what we are... I am learning to open up more, to love more each day i am here in my new life.  It is a challenge every day to see my new life as less then perfect. i have found the ugly in so many things... it is time to seek out the perfection.  I am hoping that God will lend me a hand in seeing what i need to see, and to help me become what i need to become.

leaning over and learning to overcome fears...

i am always one to follow rules... ALL of the rules!
i do not pee in public for a reason, not that i would... but geesh, it's a rule people!

So today when i disobeyed the signs saying "no parking at ANY time" to pull over to take this photo... 
my heart was racing, i was so afraid that i would be caught and hauled off to jail for taking a photo.

obviously nothing happened; and in fact several people pulled over in front of me to do the same thing.  They were much quicker than i was about jumping out of their car running up to the edge, snapping a photo and then racing back onto the road.  i stood there, i lingered just a bit and i took a few photos. After a moment i was not afraid of the rules posted right above my head.  But i was afraid of the heights of where i was standing.  i have a terrible fear of heights! 

But today, i stood close to the edge, and i took my photos. 
it felt good.

Friday, June 19, 2009

click your heals Dorothy... or click a button...

The real world is not so easy my darling.

Two thoughts about video games.

1. Cooking games. Do not let your children play these games.  Claire loves cooking games.  She loves making/creating elaborate meals and desserts.  She often calls me over to view what she has created.  I am often impressed by her "cooking" skills, and i've even wished i could eat the creation right off of the screen it looked so yummy!  Recently I have been trying to teach her how to cook.  I've been letting her peel.  I've been letting her cut. I've been letting her measure.  I've been letting her do anything that i think a 9 year old can handle.  I am learning very quickly that she is losing interest in learning how to cook.  

You see, cooking (real cooking) takes time.  You can not wash, peel, cut up, dice, smash, season, marinate, etc. the food in the span of 30 seconds like you can on a cooking game.  You can not turn on the stove/oven/grill and it be ready to boil/bake within an instance.  Some meals can take hours to prepare.  Sure you can cut corners and purchase things already ready, but that is not what i am teaching her.  Real cooking means real work in the kitchen.

Today we prepared a BOX meal. Rice and vermicelli. You put in some butter, wait for it to melt a bit, and then you pour in the rice mixture.  You stir it around a bit and wait for it to turn brown. This is where i lost her.  She got bored with stirring it and said, "i'll be right back." and the next thing i know Michael is standing next to me cooking her meal.  I was preparing my Thai food left-overs and making more asian noodles to really care at that moment.  But darn it! I do care. I refuse to let her grow up never learning to cook.  It is frustrating these video games they play. What happened to Pacman?  Most of these games make the real world seem easy.  It creates a false illusion of how things really are in the world.  Yet they mass produce them and sell them as something to simulate reality.  Sorry to tell you kids, life is not as easy as clicking a button!

2. I have become a "game" player.  Well, not really. They have these silly little games on Facebook where you grow a farm or take care of a pet.  Today i noticed something that had been there all along, but never caught my attention.  "Go Home" It's just that simple. If you are lost, if you are somewhere you do not want to be, or even if you are some where you want to be but you just want to go home... click a button!  It's the same in the Wizard of Oz. "just click your heals Dorothy..." 

Um, yes... excuse me, i'd like to go home now! Can i click my heals? No, that won't work. Can i click a button? No, i'm pretty sure i'd still be here. It will take planning and packing and saving... and more planning and more packing and more saving of money and ah!! Yes, returning back home will not happen for quite some time.  But wouldn't it be nice if you could just click a button or a pair of ugly red shoes and return from where you came from?

Today i actually packed up things i had already unpacked. Yes, it sounds strange. We have no where to put anything. So i had a pile of picture frames in one corner... another pile had photo albums... another pile had random cards and pictures that were hanging on a pin wall.  I keep unpacking and making piles only to realize i have no where to put things yet.  Michael keeps saying, "don't get comfortable here... we won't be staying."  i do not even bother with putting holes in the walls since we'll only need to fix them all later.  So today i looked around at all of my loose piles of nick-nack's and what's-its and i made the choice to stop looking at the mess and just pack it all back up again.  

This made me both a little happy and a little sad.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

lost in the words...

I can not say that i have ever known that feeling of being totally lost in the language.  Having never been to another country, i am oblivious to that feeling.  But i am learning so much living in California. This area is 55% Asian 15% Hispanic 15% Indian (India) and only 7% Caucasian and a mix of other races making up the other percentage points.  Just by walking around each day i feel an odd sense of not belonging...

Hanjin (as seen in image above) is my brothers wife of almost 2 years.  She is super sweet and very quiet.  Each time she speaks to me, i try so hard to understand her.  I am not sure if it is that she is not speaking loud enough to be heard clearly, or if i am so-very-not use to translating the broken English spoken by a person not native to America... but there is a lot being lost in translation.

Today we went on an adventure alone with her.  It was i am sure the first of many to come.  She needed to go to the market, which seemed innocent enough of a trip.  I told my brother, "no problem, we can take her while you get some work done."  In the end i realized we were taking her to a Korean/Japanese/Asian market.  

I had been told before that this was an amazing place with lots of foreign goods.  The market itself was very neat, lots of normal foods, and many strange things that Americans probably would never eat (dried squid on a stick anyone?).  I love the Thai noodles that they make in the Thai restaurants but i can never find them in  a normal grocery store.  I was excited at the prospect of locating them in this store.  The asian noodle isle was huge!  Of course everything on the package was written in asian (which exact language i can not be sure), and of course Hanjin tried to communicate to me what kind of noodles i should buy.  I ended up with two different kinds because part of me was overwhelmed by the choices, and another part of me just wanted to satisfy her speaking to me saying, "you buy this one, no?" So i finally just said, "yes, i will buy this one" to a set of noodles.  Only to locate the ones i think i want (?) a few rows down.  I didn't have the heart to put the other set of noodles back on the shelf.  And i was kind of worried i would end up with dried anchovies if i grabbed the wrong item on the shelf. ;-) (ps- these WERE purchase by Hanjin)

The ride home was as quiet as the ride there.  I kept trying at talking to her about things, but i think she was just as unsure of having a conversation with me as much as i was with her.  We sat silently listening to the Juno soundtrack while Claire enjoyed her Asian doughnut and milk in the backseat.  This adventure was quite the learning lesson for me.  One day i wish to venture beyond our borders and see the world.  I only hope i can communicate on a level to where i do not feel like an outsider even when i am with family.  I really think i want to learn Korean now to make her life easier around us... not to mention being able to buy lots and lots of good noodles!