Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stuck in the car in traffic... a great opportunity to bust out the camera!

for silly boards...

and random signs...

why not a bulldozer?

my pops

and my sister busting butt in capoeira!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why I love my grandma

Why I love California

The back of my dad's car was a perfect little cave to sit in while I watched the sun set over the ocean...

And it sure was a beautiful view!

Monday, November 15, 2010


This weekend was blast from the past. Growing up in the Jews for Jesus community meant that I got to go to an annual family camp called Ingathering. Each year for 4 days, a bunch of Jews for Jesus people go out to the gorgeous Santa Cruz mountains and have a time of worship, fellowship, and in good ol' Jewish style, noshing (that means eating). I haven't been since high school so when my dad invited me to join him for the camp this weekend, I jumped at the opportunity. It was definitly a trip. I got to reconnect with some people I hadn't seen in over 10 years, and I got to meet new people who richly blessed me with sharing part of their life stories. I've begun to see how the Lord has changed me over the past year. Coming out of that depression, spending half a year in my own solitude, it left me much more comfortable with spending time alone. I find myself more willing to listen to people, less needing to react to comments that I don't agree with. Don't get me wrong, I am still quite argumentative in general. But as I heard people talk, battles I would run to fight in the past, I can see the Lord filling me with grace to sit through it and listen. And I am learning to hear beyond the small points I don't agree with. And I find myself really blessed by what people share with me.
Anyways, it was fun. I heard stories from grandparents. I encouraged some college students. I even got to play with some babies. It was a sweet welcome home.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Some goodbye photos from Korea

My amazing friend Betsy. We went out with James, Jonathan, and Chris for some beer as a celebration of my finishing my job and Jonathan starting his.

My last night in Korea, out with a bunch of friends. Here we have Jeff and Joanna- two of my favorites!

My "husband" Chris with a pretty mirror I gave him. This photo makes me giggle...
At my goodbye party, everyone playing a game... but not me... :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Top Ten reverse culture shocks

I've been in the states for almost 24 hours now. I've cried on and off for the past 48 hours. I feel like this huge welt of sadness is sitting under a very thin verneer of "ok"ness. So whenever people ask me "How are you doing" or "How was Korea?" they scratch a hole and I can feel tears well up in my eyes.
Anyways, the last 24 hours have been a shock to the system, so thought I would share with you some of the fun reverse culture shock I've been experiencing.

In the last 24 hours, these have been my biggest shocks:
10. How open and spacious the skyline is.
9. How empty the streets are
8. On one block I passed a young black woman, a latino couple, and an old asian man.
7. People keep making eye contact with me
6. I’ve had to stop myself from saying “annyeonghikaseyo” and “kamsahamnida”
5. Everyone around me is speaking English or Spanish
4. I can buy all the most awesome food all the time!!!
3. I don’t know how to pack a purse for the day. What am I supposed to carry in my wallet? I don’t need my tmoney card or my ARC? I do need my American driver’s license? Weird.
2. I don’t know how to dress. It’s sunny, but it’s cold. It’s not snowing… and it’s not a monsoon…. What am I supposed to wear?
1. Why does no one reek of kimchi???

Leaving Korea (a long debrief)

Yesterday marked another big transition in my life. I moved away from Korea. Those of you faithful readers can attest to my consistent mixed feelings toward the country. Those confusing feelings were only heightened as I left. When I first arrived in Korea, I was grateful to be in a country full of strangers. I relished my time away from any semblance of reality. I just wanted to be alone and Korea was the perfect place for that. And God used that place to heal me from some major pains and to draw me close to Him. By January, I was feeling a little more ready to face the world. And it was at that time that God led me to Covenant Church. My first Sunday there was like a breath of sweet fresh air. I knew that I had found my “home” in Korea. Sure enough, things moved quickly from there. I found myself delving deep into relationships with people there. And even thought I had spent the last 6 months avoiding all relationships, I loved it.
The church was growing. When I first came, there were maybe 30 of us. Then 40. Then 50. By summer, we were filling out the sanctuary with almost 70 people each week. My social butterflyness was welcomed and the church made me the official welcomer. I joined a small group and was eventually asked to be colead it with the leader Chris, who would become one of my closest brothers. The pastor’s wife approached me and asked if I would want to start an accountability group with her and a few other women. Of course. After about a month, she handed the leadership of the group over to me. This group would eventually give birth to a bigger idea of how women in the church could be discipled. In that group I got to know deeply a woman named Betsy. She is a few years younger than me, but full of wisdom and compassion. She and her husband James moved to Korea in February to teach and my friendship with them is one of the sweetest parts of my life in Korea. My roots were running deep in the community there. Every newcomer was welcomed by me, and I found the Lord using my social skills to help build a community at Covenant.
I had found a church that let me serve to my full capacity. So many churches would say that they wanted people like me, people jumped at the bit to serve. But logistically, there were too many hoops to jump through and too much bureaucracy to overcome. Many pastors, especially of church plants, hold the reigns of their church tightly. They struggle with micromanagement and have a hard time letting people run along in ministry. But Pastor Jae had no such issue. Covenant was too small for hoops, and Jae was too lax to squash people’s desires in ministry. Anyone who wanted to serve in Covenant, as long as their vision fit in Covenant’s mission to be a gospel centered church in the city, were given blessing to move ahead. So when I realized the need for a class to help women understand how to read the Old Testament, I was given an immediate green light. This was once again, my dream come true. We ended up meeting for 6 Sundays, covering various topics under the heading of Biblical Theology for Women: How to read the Old Testament. I saw the Old Testament come to life for women who had avoided it in fear of the confusion it could lead to. I saw Jesus’ story of redemption grow deeper in the hearts of the women. And I saw the guys get jealous. It was a dream come true.
My heart was planted deep in the soil of Covenant. And when the time came to say goodbye, it hit me like a truck. As Jae brought me up to the front of the church in my last Sunday service, he said, “All of you know her, there isn’t anyone in this room who hasn’t been served by her. She has made relationships here as if she would be here for 10 years, not 10 months.” And then it was time to say goodbye. It felt like I was a plant being uprooted. Each person I had to say goodbye to was a root that was being pulled out. Some of the roots were shallow and didn’t hurt that bad. But some of them were deep, deeper than I had imagined.
My last day in Korea, my last day with Covenant, was one full of tears. It started off dry, but as soon as I hit communion, the tears started. And they didn’t stop. The height of the tears came when it was time to say goodbye to those closest to me. Jonathan, Chris, Betsy. I couldn’t do it. I told Jonathan, through tear soaked sobs that I didn’t know how to end our friendship. He told me that it wasn’t over. But his words didn’t comfort me. I was just sad.
I left Korea surprised. I didn’t go to Korea to make friends. I actually thought I would be able to go through the whole year without friends. I knew I would make some shallow friends, but I didn’t expect or even want the depth that I found in Korea.
So leaving, crying. Not sure how to stop it, of even if I wanted to stop it. My heart swells with gratitude when I think about Korea. I love that the Lord is in control. I love that I can trust Him. I love that I know I am resting in the palm of His great and powerful hand. That no harm comes to me, only mercy. So when I cry, they are not tears of sadness, but tears of fullness.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hellos and Goodbyes

I realize I haven't written on here for over a month. As I have mentioned in the past, during times of transition in life, or any intense life action, I can't bring myself to blog. These times are usually too intense to write a post that resembles any reality of my life.
I am leaving Korea in 18 days. I knew this time would come. I spent most of the year though, thinking that I would be rejoicing, anticipating, and relishing this upcoming departure. But as my time in Korea is coming to an end, I instead find myself sad. For those of you who knew me when I left Chile, this is nothing like that. My sadness over leaving Chile was more of a heart wretching sadness. It felt much like a break up. This isn't near that. I still don't love living here. I still feel like a fish out of water in Korean culture. But it is my home. It has been my home for over a year. And it has been a place of healing for me. Coming here alone, and leaving here alone, I can look back and see the Lord's faithfulness to me in bringing me here. He brought me here and let me walk through the darkest time of my life. He brought me here and planted me in a community where I found deep relationships, gospel centered community, and a chance to serve with all my heart.
I feel guilty that I am sad. I have told so many of you back home that I am anxious to leave Korea. I have spent the year ready to leave, and now that the time has come, I'm sad. Not sad enough to stay. But I am realizing how deeply the Lord has been planting me here. When I think about the fact that all the peices of my life, all the details, all the people, that all these things are about to disappear... I feel sad. I am not ready to say goodbye. But my lack of readiness doesn't mean I should stay longer. I will never be ready to say goodbye to some of the people here. Thankfully, with most of those people, this isn't quite goodbye. We worship the Lord Jesus, we anticipate a great reunion.
And so these last few weeks, as I am approaching the end of my time here, I know that there is joy somewhere in my heart about returning home. I know there is excitement about heading to Chile, but all I can see and feel is sadness here and now.
(PS- I dont write this with any intention of being comforted, nor even seeking words of comfort. I see this as a blessing. I am sad because God has done a good thing here. If I weren't at all affected by leaving I would doubt that I had really learned to see His work in my life here. So while you are welcome to offer words of consolation, I am in no hurry to move away from the sadness that I feel.)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Teachers Beware

The title of this post doesn't refer to the dangers of teaching children. No, I am refering to the dangers when teaching the Bible. James 3 says, "Let not many of you become teachers, my brothers, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment". Basically, live up to what you preach. Thank God we preach grace and mercy, not our own perfection.
Still, I am reminded of this warning as I face a night of disappointment. Yep. Today was just one of those days where the reality of singleness hit harder than usual. I was struggling through this, praying that God would meet me in this moment. That's when I got home and read an email from a guy asking if I would be interested in setting up his friend with mine. My heart sunk. His friend was one of those guys that you meet and are just so blown away by their love for the Lord. And you hope somewhere in your heart that you get a guy like that someday. It's not that I was so madly in love with this guy, but it was just a reminder that this one isn't for me. Just like all the rest. Not for me. Or so it feels.
It's not a coincidence that I am feeling this way tonight. In about 16 hours I am going to stand before some women and tell them that their theology affects their lives. I am going to tell them that they have to cling to God and His promises because life hits us hard sometimes. I am going to tell them that dealing with things like discontentment, shame, and disappointment are all theological issues. So as I sat at my desk, reading the email, watching some misplaced hopes wash down the drain, I cried out to the Lord. I begged Him to give me faith that He truly is working things out in my life. My future may or may not involve a husband. My hope is not in some perceived ideal of domestic bliss. My hope is in Him and Him alone. I don't write these things easily. They bring tears to my eyes. "Have faith" is not an easy answer. In fact, in some ways it is much harder than doing the dirty work. It is more of a daily struggle to cling to this reality- the reality that God is faithful and good and in control.
So come tomorrow, when I stand before the women in my church and proclaim to them the Lord's faithfulness, I come not as a professional or a perfect example. I come as one who spent a night clinging to the hope that is found in the arms of a sweet savior.

Friday, September 03, 2010

let's go!

So a quick piece of good news... (btw- sorry for the ridiculously long posts recently. It's like binging and purging. I don't write for a week and then I get it all out in a long post!)
My boss decided to give us an extra day off for the upcoming Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving). So that gives us a total 6 days off (including the weekend) so I'm gonna head on down to Thailand for a little vacation! Yep. Random you think? Well, out of every country in Asia, Thailand is one of the only ones I really want to see. I didn't have a huge desire to see Japan or China, but LOVED spending that time with my parents. So now, given the chance to do anything for those 6 days, Im heading down to southeast Asia. My brother is in Singapore and I'm hoping he can join me in Thailand for a few days (I think it's gonna happen!). Somehow this turned into the summer with random trips around Asia with various family members. Now I just need a trip with my sister.

So.. stay tuned... Sept 18-24 is gonna be heart of lippy, Thai-style!

A quick hello...

Hi friends,
Thanks for coming back again and again even when I take a week to post anything. The previous post was quite dramatic and I have good news, things have calmed down a bit since then. No more emotional breakdown at work (at least I'm not the one having them!)
I've made it to Friday night and I actually found myself breathing a prayer of relief as I walked into my apartment after a long day at work. Thank you Lord for sustaining me this week.
I spend most of my time thinking that I am the one who sustains me. I think that I have so much energy and I can spend it on certain things. But this week was a testimony of the foolishness of such thoughts. I couldn't have gone through this week were not I sustained every moment by God's grace. This week was a fairly normal week at work- a hectic frenzy of joy and frustration all mixed in with whining and laughing.
But in addition to my normal teaching schedule, I have been blessed beyond measure to teach a 6 week course on biblical theology for women. Of course, this is at my church, not SEA. But the excitement in me that has arisen in sharing with my sisters the amazing tools I learned in seminary has actually brought me to tears. This is what I live for! So I began to work on the course (a wonderful mix of Carolyn Custis James, Graeme Goldsworthy, and Doug Green). It has given me a wonderful excuse to listen to some lectures by John Loftness and read Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church (thanks Howard!)
I knew that I was gonna get attacked this week. Have you ever noticed any time you are doing something for God how suddenly life turns sour. Things just go wrong and fall apart? WEll, I was expecting it and asked for prayer, and I felt the protection of God around me this week. I was able to have grace for people who hurt me when everything in me wanted to just sit in anger. I was able to be patient with kids that would normally evoke impatience in me. I was able to multi-task even more than normal this week. I felt the waves crashing around me and I didn't drown. All of that was God's grace on me. And I knew it. I watched before my eyes as the Lord sustained me.
One of the ways I felt the attacks this week was in nightmares. Literally in one of them satan was trying to kill me. I was filled with fear and trying to escape. He was crushing me at one point and in my dream it was making me need to throw up. I woke up gagging, grateful that there wasn't any real vomit to deal with. I woke up in the middle of the night a lot this week. Most of the nights I laid in bed trying to fall back asleep, and unable to for hours. It was so discouraging, but I also knew whose name to call upon in my fear. And I knew that it was Him sustaining me.
So tonight, Friday night, I am staying in and listening to some awesome lectures on Biblical Theology while I bake some cookies by candlelight. I won't call it a date with Jesus, but it's about as close as you get.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tears and fears at work

(warning this is a long one, but there is some good news at the end.)

I have mentioned in the past that my kids tend to cry. Korean boys seem especially vulnerable to this tendency.
But today it was my turn. Yes, for the first time in my 11 months working at my school, I burst into tears today. It was a combination of many things. First, it is just one of those "a little more sensitive than normal" days. Also, it's the fourth and final week of intensives. This means I work a solid 9 hours a day tuesday to thursday, and mondays and fridays are a nice long 11.5 hour day. It's just a little too much. Also, last night I had a nightmare involving some of my students. In my dream, they were out of control and my boss was getting mad at me for not being able to control them.
So all that led into today. I was toward the end of my 9 hour Wednesday and it was time to teach the class that had been starring in my dream last night. I was a little tense about it since really this class generally IS out of control. So when the most troublesome kid decided to be really rude to another girl while she was giving a presentation I came up behind him and slapped in on the arm. It wasn't hard. But I've never hit a child before. In fact, I am VERY much against corporal punishment in schools. I won't comment on spanking since that is in the relm of the home and I am not a parent. But I am a teacher and I am VERY against hitting children. So I was shocked and disgusted with myself for slapping the kid. (Again, it wasn't very hard and it really was more to get his attention than to hurt him, but it still was harder than I am ok with.) The kid of course lives in a culture where it is normal for teachers to really hit children, and he is a very naughty kid, so he wasn't surprised or moved at all when I hit him. But I was. I left class for the five minute break and wandered into the teacher's room to get more copies and collect myself. I was still in shock over what I had done.
That's when the counselor asked to talk to me privately. She said she had been talking to the parents of the class that I was to teach next and they were concerned. No, they didn't hear that I hit a kid. That they would be fine with since that is normal here. No, they had heard from their kids some concerning stories from my classroom. Evidently, at some point in time, a girl's paper had fallen on the floor, presumably under the table in between the girl and me. I had moved it toward her with my foot for her to pick it up. That hurt the girl's feelings. Also, another girl got hurt when I wouldn't let her borrow my pencils or markers. Now the story there. The girl tells me she has been sick with a fever and throwing up. I ask her if it was in the past or if she was still sick. She tells me she thinks she still has a fever. I tell her that she needs to go home. She doesn't want to and the counselor tells me that she will stay in the class, that she isn't sick anymore. In my American mind, if you have a fever, you are contagious. So I, not being able to kick her out of my class, at least want her to stay away from my pencils so I don't get sick. Well, I hurt her feelings.
So the mom's, who are all really tight with each other and talk a lot, expressed their concern with my teaching. As the counselor is telling me this, I break down in tears. The counselor was shocked that I was so serious about the criticism, she really didnt think it was a big deal. But in that moment (and even now as I type) the news was too much to take. I really enjoy the class with the girls whose mother complained. I thought we had fun. But knowing that they are going to take everything I do under criticism makes me bitter. There are some teachers who don't care about how much the students enjoy learning. But I do. I really try to make my class as fun and creative and educational as possible. Which means I put tons more energy into my classes. So here I am wiping myself out each day, and the parents are complaining. It took me a few minutes to get my eyes unpuffy so I could go to class. I handed out the test the kids were supposed to take and stood over by the window, trying to put on enough make up to cover the red eyes. But I kept feeling the tears poking their ugly heads back up. So I made my way over to my purse and pulled out my bible. I knew exactly where to read. Ps 16.

"The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasent places; indeed I have a beautiful inheritance.
I have set the Lord before me, because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken." (v.5,6,8)

So I read those verses over and over. I was shaken. But I claimed the truth that my identity and value are hidden in Christ. That I can love these kids and serve these kids as a teacher through His power, and not through my own. I prayed and begged God to give me grace and mercy as I faced this time. And He was gracious.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Becka's Pancakes

I made some yummy pancakes this morning and I thought I would share them with you. Well, not really share, but at least show off the yumminess.
Want the recipe? Too bad. It doesn't exist! Naw, I don't really like to follow recipes and it's hard to really follow recipes here since there are no measuring cups or anything (it's really because I am too impatient to measure stuff!)
So I can tell you what I added up, and maybe if youre feeling adventurous, you can throw the stuff together and make your own version of my pancakes.
What to use:
some flour (but not much, maybe half a cup)
some oatmeal (another half a cup or so)
some museli (don't even try to ask where I found this stuff here, or how much it cost)
a little brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
a dash of baking powder and baking soda
a tiny bit of vanilla extract (thanks Ashlee for sending that over!!!)
and finally, add how ever much milk you need to make the pancake mix the right consistency)
Put some batter on the pan and cut little pieces of pancakes on top of it. They will sink into your pancakes and get warm and mushy. De-lic-ious!
que disfruta!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

doubts and fears

I felt a tinge of doubt today.
I went out to explore a part of Seoul that I haven't been to yet. It's the neighborhood near Ehwa Women's University and from everything I've heard about it, I knew I would like it.
So I set out for the hour long trip out there around 4pm, hoping to escape the worst of the afternoon heat. It was still pretty hot outside when I arrived but it was such a pleasent day with so many people out and about that I nearly forgot about the oppressive heat.
As I walked around the neighborhood, I was filled with a soft sadness that I will be leaving this place in 10 weeks. The truth is that I have found parts of Korea that I love and I will mourn losing them when I leave.
That made me think (and don't get upset grandma!) that maybe I would be happier staying in Korea. Won't I miss those parts of Korea when I am in Chile? Won't I miss the coffee culture? The way they have lot's of cheap places to get cutesy stuff? Won't I miss the food?
A hint of doubt slowly crept into my mind. I walked along the streets, thinking about all of it. All the places I have lived and loved. All the reasons I have loved the places. The feelings I have gotten as I walked down streets and the sadness I have faced as I left places. I soon put words to the fear that growing in my heart. I was afraid that I would never be truly happy anywhere. No matter where I go, I will have things about other places that I love and miss. I will miss the diversity of New York, the coffee culture of Korea, the weather of San Francisco, and so many things about life Chile. I feared that I would never find the perfect place to live.
And then I realized, I won't.
I won't ever find the PERFECT place to live because the truth is that I love so many different places for different reasons and that is a blessing. AND... all places are affected by sin and literally, there is no perfect place.
So I asked God (finally) what I was supposed to do with all this. How could I know that He was bringing me to Chile when I had such torn feelings about everywhere?
God doesn't call us to live in perfect places. Certainly, that idea can't be matched with anything in the Gospel, but He puts us places to be a part of His work in the world to proclaim His glory among all people.
So God asked me (kinda, in His special way), "Where am I putting you for the great purpose of living a life for my glory? Where will you live to be a part of what I am doing among the people?"
And I knew that the answer, at least for now is Chile. They might totally lack a coffeehouse culture, but I am not moving there so Chile can serve me. When I think about Chile, I want to be a part of what God is doing there. I want to be a part of the church planting that's going on. A part of reaching the Bellas Artes neighborhood with the amazing news of a loving and gracious God who desires restoration. The Lord may take me somewhere else, but for now I walk forward toward Chile, excited that He has led me thus far. There will be parts of me that get homesick for New York, San Francisco, and even Korea. But in the end, my home is hidden in Him. And so is my joy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


There are some people in life that you just know are special. People who have made such a difference in your life that you couldn't imagine how you would have survived various seasons of life without this person. Michelle was that person for me throughout seminary. Our two years in seminary together taught us the necessity of preaching the Gospel to each other each day, literally. We met on the porch of Machen Building at Westminster Seminary and a beautiful friendship bloomed into what now can only be described as a sisterhood. We have laughed together, cried together, and lived together. We kick each other's butts when we are being stupid and we love to cuddle on the couch and watch movies together.
So I'd like to take a chance to say CONGRATS to this wonderful woman on her recent engagement. As the two of us have walked along a long path of broken hearts and crushes dreams in the world of romance, I rejoice now with my friend. Her fiance, Ernest is an awesome guy (I've met him on skype briefly, but I have it on good authority!) and I am SO excited that she gets to share her life with him. May they grow in grace as they learn to love and serve each other as God calls them to. And may their marriage be a testimony to all those around them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Student Sweetness

There are many approaches to teaching. I was raised with the attitude that learning was fun and over the years as I have developed my teaching style, I've tried to keep that attitude at the forefront. I know I'm not supposed to have favorites as a teacher, but I do. I have many favorite students, there are honestly some great kids in some of my classes.

But one of my classes in particular is full of wonderful students. The class is called C3 and it's a group of girls, all around 6th grade. They are just great girls. In that class, there are a few girls that stand out, and there is one girl who I have to admit, were I to choose a favorite, she would be it. Her name is Jennifer Lee. She is just an awesome kid. She works hard, is self motivated, never puts others down but encourages the other girls to do well. She's wonderful.

So today in class I mentioned that most teachers are only here for one year. She raised her hand and asked if I was going to stay for only one year. I told her yes, that I would be leaving in November. I noticed her face drop and I thought it wasn't a big deal, so I moved the conversation along. I looked back at her a minute later and her eyes were red and puffy. She was crying! I almost laughed- it was SO sweet! I teach her sister Vivian as well and I know that I am their favorite teacher (or at least they tell me so) but this was really precious.

I love these C3 girls so much! I wish I could take them with me. Actually, I wish I could be their youth group leader and talk to them about real issues instead of worrying about their grammar. I try to get deep with them, well as deep as you can get with 12 year old girls. We've covered issues in our debate class like plastic surgery on minors, self esteem, and respect. I tease them and joke with them. We often find ourselves rolling (some of them literally out of their seats on the floor) with laughter.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Earlier this week it was Chris' birthday. He turned the big 30 and Jonathan and I decided to throw a little surprise party together. It took a ton more energy and time to do it than I expected, but in the end, I loved making my dear friend's brithday a memorable one.

Betsy and I cooked and cooked and then experimented with some more cooking (which FAILED horribly!)

Some of our cooking tools

We let Chris decorate his own cake...

and eat some of the frosting...

and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be an awesome mom for 8 year old boys.

And now some photos from the rest of the party...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

a "heart" update in Korea

I guess it's time for a little "heart" update. The truth is, there isn't much to tell. I feel my desire to get married getting stronger and yet more controlled as I get older. I know, I'm not that old yet. I'm 27. But as my mom so graciously pointed out to me recently, that was the age she was when she got married. Thanks mom.
It's interesting being a single woman here in Korea. It seems like most younger girls have boyfriends, and the older girls are desperate for one. Unlike the states where there is a valid "singles" culture, there is none here. It is really awkward if you don't have a significant other. People will often ask you why. People will speculate about what's wrong with you. And then they will offer to set you up on a blind date. Going on blind dates, so-ghe-ting as they call it, is one of the most popular ways to meet potential boyfriends. There is a cultural expectation here that women get married by the time they are 30 (remember that I am 28 in Korea). So some of my students, upon learning my age, remind me that I need to be working on finding a husband. I think some of them have given up hope on me.
I haven't exactly given up hope. Like I said, my desire has become less of a blaring siren, and more of a dull drumming of hope that someday those desires will be met. Sometimes I catch myself watching cute couples in the park or on the subway, and I feel a little jolt of sadness. Why can't I have that? And I have to remind myself that I wouldn't want that here in Korea. I'm not staying here so that kind of relationship would just bring problems and sure heartbreak.
But more than the logistical justification for being single now, I have a reason for being in this place in this season. God has me here. I have to trust that He has control over this situation. I have to trust that He is working out His good and perfect will in my life. That no minute is wasted. If I ever marry, it will be in His timing. He could have brought me a husband much sooner, but He hasn't. He desires me to be single in this time. So I praise Him for that. I don't feel praise, but I know that I praise Him. He has never left me and He has never taken me somewhere without giving me the grace to be there. He has proved faithful before, and my hope is rested in His unfailing faithfulness in the future.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Getting personal with Luther

Sorry for the lack of posting. I am in the heart of intensives which is like the being in a deep dark pit of screaming children and crazy curriculums. Mondays and Fridays I end up at work for about 12 hours and Tuesday to Thursdays round out to a "normal" 8 or 9 hours each. Basically, Im pretty exhausted most of the time. But in the madness of the time, I get to realize some things about myself. One of the best realizations has been in the relm of theological nerdiness. I don't want to go into details, but I have come to the conclusion that I might have some personal issues with Luther. Yes, the issues may have begun in dry academic theology, but I being too much of a girl have to go and take it personally. The feelings are similar to those I might feel toward a girl in my social group who slighted me. Only, this is a guy from hundreds of years ago, and the slighting was all theology.
Luther went to great places theological places, and he led the way in some wonderful theological insights. But there is stuff that Luther said and did that bother me. The most ridiculous thing of it all is not the stuff that I don't like about Luther, but that I, being a complete and total nerd, actually care enough to be truly bothered by it all. My issues with the guy came to a head today when I was reading through his introduction to Galatians. My small group is going to be discussing it this week and I was getting some prep work done for leading the discussion. As I was reading, I felt resentment building in my chest. Don't get me wrong, the things he wrote in this introduction are good. But I have this hidden resentment, from knowing too much about the various controversies that went on around him. And that leaves me here, stuck somewhere between the high academics of historical theology at Westminster Seminary, and my natural tendency toward teenage emotionalism.
Sorry for the boring post. I'll try to be more consistent in posting, and I'll try to be just a tad less of a dork in life in general.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Japan in photos

downtown Kyoto

at a shrine, with beautiful lanterns

the deer in Nara loved my mom and followed her

this is my favorite dollar store in Korea evidently is also in Japan

we stumbled upon an amazing cemetary, it was quite serene and seemingly reverent, that is, until I found this one grave with some not so reverent gifts left for the dead

next to a HUGE pagoda

My mom taking photos of flowers

a beautiful stream along the philosopher's walk in Kyoto

Is kissing the dragon sacreligious? tehehe.

My beautiful mom with her green tea ice cream

My breakfast on the flight- YUM!