12.26.2011

Winter Warmth

Today was quite like every other day since the break began. My uncle, aunt and I went to the mall for Boxing Day while my cousin brother chilled in the apartment. Two hours later, we picked up my cousin brother for a Vietnamese lunch in a car that was now filled with shopping bags. Haw haw haw. Right after lunch, we thought about what to cook for dinner and hit the supermarket for the missing ingredients. The first thing my rad uncle did was pick up a family-sized bag of chips and dump it into the cart. Then, he went on to fill the cart with a tub of cookies and cream ice-cream. I was a happy child.

Dinner turned out to be the highlight of the day again. My aunt demonstrated her excellent chicken-chopping skills and asked her son and me to follow suit. The chicken pieces became interesting shapes and sizes when she handed the knife over to us. It was a painful sight. But boy was it fun! With the wonderful supervision of my aunt and the careful cooking of my cousin, the food served was unbelievably good! They have certainly got a fan in me.

Tomorrow, I will be going for a four-day conference in the hopes of taking a few more steps forward in my journey with the Man Upstairs. I know He will not disappoint. He is Awesome like that.

T -  5 days 'til the new year...and new battles. Time to flail. And claim victory in Christ.

"You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head." - Psalm 139:5

12.25.2011

The Golden Year

It is Christmas! The weather has been insanely marvelous ever since my relatives arrived last week and today is no exception. As I sit here on the toasty floor of my room, mulling over what Jesus is and listening to good music, all I can think about is how the year has been (as I am wont to do this time of the year...or, uh, most other times of the year).

2011 has been the most eventful year for me yet -by a very long mile. It started off with deliberate disobedience to God followed by immediate redemption by this same God. To plunge right into rock-bottom and to be made whole again just as quickly, the love of God had finally hit me left, right and center. The ugly times did not last, but the trying times did. Recognizing for the very first time who my horses and chariots of fire were, my lenses had never been clearer as I saw God's mighty hands take hold of my garbage, perform a little magic and hand me back gold. I cried, I grieved, I healed, I laughed, I danced, I read, I flew, I cooked, I learned, I grew, I fell in love with the Man Upstairs. It was quite a semester -definitely a tale for my future kids one day over a hearty meal of nasi lemak.

The ensuing months were too much of a blessing. God gave me the extraordinary opportunity to set foot on a few continents on planet Earth...with the Greats in my life...doing the most spectacular things. As if all that hadn't been enough to blow my socks off, God also saw to it that my cousin sister and I got to realize our ten-year-old dream of scaling a pretty bridge. My cup-eth had overflow-eth with tea-eth. This chapter of my life will always read like a fairytale in my book. The crazy love of my Author overwhelms me.

And finally, we reach part three of three in 2011. The semester which ended not too long ago had been painfully challenging -both academically and emotionally. I bade goodbye to two precious friends, had my pride necessarily thrown out the window, wrestled with my loony mind, got well acquainted with my f-f-f-flaws, realized that dreams change and lived in misery 75.28% of the time. Oy. Amidst all that, little life-changing moments like experiencing the sheer faithfulness of Christ and catching a glimpse of God's heart kept my spirits soaring high. 

I concede with great shame (and bang my keyboard as I type this) that I had never had to seek help with understanding class material since a mutant lizard landed on me back when I was sixteen...and thus, always thought that I could handle things well on my own. This semester, God decided to spice my life up a little by vividly showing me that no, I cannot handle things well on my own...at all. It was a novel feeling to have to bring every single assignment, homework, quiz and exam before God but I pray I never stop doing this until the day I leave school. It was also a novel feeling to be so over the moon each time I could answer a question correctly. Every accomplished homework called for a little dance party (inside my mind). And God carried me from victory to victory throughout the semester despite my burgeoning fears and doubts. He is as real as real gets.

Looking back at how the semester had unfolded, I come back to the present moment and see that I am still standing at a crossroad. It perplexes me how God has seen me through so much and never withheld His best from me...and yet I find it pretty t-u-p-h to forge on despite knowing that He has got my back with my future. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten things figured out. But I am trying. He has got my back in this, too.

It has been a year of the worst of times and the best of times; a year of fulfilled dreams and changing dreams; a year of joy and more joy. 2011 has been wild. May 2012 not be so. Gulp.

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." -Philippians 1:6