Why Japan?

February 17, 2012… after giving away everything but my car, I said good-bye to to these two favorites of mine…

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He said, “Go.

So I went.

And it proved to be beyond colorful.

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Everywhere I turned was a scene right off of a postcard.

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And He gave me a wonderful opportunity working on cutting edge technology in a super hip office while also filling the void of leaving my dog!

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Within a month, it was clear that the position was not a good fit, but some amazing connections were established while a key re-connection was made resulting in an inter-continental friendship, which began to flourish via Skype.

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And then, I was offered a great job at this place…

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Values I could easily stand behind…

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But, He had other plans…

I thought I would be planting roots in Colorado, but it turned out to be a much needed watering hole.

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And a launching pad to a continent I had never been with the opportunity to make more beautiful connections…

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And another key re-connection.

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But the deepest connection of all…

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My Father’s love for me sunk into my core.

I experienced His delight in me like never before in Mozambique… and I’ll never be the same.

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I know I can’t live one second without Him, so when it was clear He wanted me to go to Thailand, I went.

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And it was in Bangkok that the desire to live overseas began to burn inside of me. So within a month, my car was packed all over again.

And Colorado bid me farewell with this…

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Surprised by His love, He led me forth, breaking open the way into a beautiful broad place! I’m rescued! All because He delights in me! Psalm 18:19
And I received a warm welcome back to Arizona…

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And an even warmer welcome into the Valley of the Sun.

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And in less than a month, I will journey onward from the Valley of the Sun to the Land of the Rising Sun…

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When you let go of all that you ever thought and all that you had, you open yourself up to all that you are and receive more than you ever thought was possible.

Trust me… better yet, trust Him… and brace yourself for the ride of your life…

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

In the eye of the Beholder

I had such a rich experience in Bangkok. And I’m pretty sure I’m in the midst of a post-Bkk depression…

And as the blues lift, I plan to write more about my journey… but for now, I want to share an unexpected gift I received during my time there. A photo therapy session from a new, beautiful and precious… and insanely talented friend. Though, the photos speak for themselves…

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And this is what I wrote in response to her work:

Fearfully and wonderfully made. Yes, my soul knows this well.

I have been on an incredible journey over the last year. Lies have been exposed and the truth has set me free.

Growing up as an Asian-American, I did a better job of embracing the identity of the world around me instead of the identity within. Having friends who had blonde hair and blue eyes, and who the boys always seemed to gravitate towards, fed the lie that I wasn’t pretty enough, nor was I ever going to be…

Instances of the world around me rejecting my identity through racial slurs and even well-meaning comments made by friends didn’t help my cause.

And within my family, I’m the “smart” one. Second in birth order to the “beautiful” one.

Beauty runs skin deep. Yes. But there is freedom and healing in embracing all that you were created to be… inside and out.

I am embracing me. I am beautiful. I am smart. I have a heart that beats with deep compassion.

But above all, I am loved in spite of my beauty, intelligence and compassion. And this, my soul is beginning to know so well.

Please click here to hear Lucia’s heart and see all the photos. I am so stinking blessed.

My insanely beautiful and talented sister from another mister.

The joy of a sandwich

As I get caught up in doubt, anxiety, and fear… it’s just like my Heavenly Father to pour out His grace on me and bless me in every way imaginable.

When I doubted that I would receive the financial support for my trip and missions school in Mozambique, within four days, the amount I was lacking was fulfilled!!!

Big sigh… and really?

But, OF COURSE!!!! Oh me of little faith!!!

The checks I received and words of encouragement that came with them blessed my heart in ways I cannot even put into words. I’m just humbled, so very humbled by God’s love for me through the people He has placed in my life.

And while I will return to Colorado on December 8, it’s unclear how long I will be here, so I want to make sure I make the best of the time I have in this great state.

This past weekend I climbed my first 14er – a mountain that is 14,000 or more feet high and Colorado boasts 58 of these peaks in six different ranges – Mount Bierstadt 14,065ft.

The climb was tough, but I was so grateful to have a dear friend to keep me going!  At the beginning of the hike, she casually stated, “We’ve got this, we’ve so got this.” And she continued to encourage me along the way, as did many others we passed!

Sarah and I basked in the beauty and vastness of God’s creation the entire day, while also sharing the parallels of our hike and faith. Good stuff and great times.

And just when I thought the summit was in sight and I gave everything I had to get to it, I collapsed on this boulder when I realized I still had a little further to go… poor pathetic me!!!

I saw the following quote after the fact that seemed so fitting for this picture: The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens. Don’t give up.

Though exhausted and feeling defeated, I pressed on and was soon sitting on the mountain top enjoying an egg salad sandwich. And life in that moment could not have been better. My profound words to Sarah were, “I’m sooooooooo happy right now eating this sandwich and sitting on top of the world!!!”

I love Jesus so much. No doubt all things are from Him through Him and to Him.

So as I am completely overwhelmed by the wonder and amazement of His love and provision…

And His creation and glory…

I don’t EVER want to take anything in this life for granted… I want to be in awe of Him in all things… to experience the fullness of life He promised…

So an egg salad sandwich enjoyed in His presence with gratefulness makes me the most blessed of all.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36

My Hubs.

All this new lingo I’m learning! perf = perfect adorbs=adorable. In recent workplace conversation, the acronyms “btw and p.s.” were often used. I really need to get hip to the scene. But this morning, I confess, I like hubs=husband. And come to think of it, has this been around for awhile?? Of course, with my status, I just haven’t had much use for it so it’s new for me. But for some reason, as of lately, I’ve been using it often in text messages… referencing the ‘hubs’ of my friends.

This week, I helped my friend, Jules, since her hubs was out of town for work. She has a precious 3-week old peanut with the fine name of Shepard Brooks. And then there’s my little buddy, Joshua River (fabulous, strong names, huh?)

Joshua is 21 months and has been having difficulty as of lately sleeping through the night, so I cared for him during the wee hours, while Jules nursed Shepard throughout the night.

And after three nights of that, I am spent!! And I didn’t even do that much!!! Lord, help me when my time comes!

Jules’ hubs returned home last night and so did I. And now this morning, I am feeling tired. And with that tiredness, oftentimes, comes self-pity. boooooo. Why don’t I have a job? What am I doing here? Should I go back to Arizona? Where am I going to live come July? Why am I still single? When do I get to have a family? And the best, what did I do to deserve this????

Yet, in His perfect mercy and love He ministered to me this morning. I opened Facebook and saw this image created by my dear, precious, special friend:

And I remember a conversation with a friend earlier this week. She reminded me, “I’m spoken for.”

And this scripture has been on my heart for the last week or so:

For your Maker is your husband–the LORD Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. -Isaiah 54:5

I have not had much traction on the job front. Yet, I’ve seen this time as a perfect opportunity to volunteer. And if you’ve read my very first blog post, Ideal Job, I believe God is giving me the desires of my heart. Because that is so like Him. And that is exactly what I deserve.

Because, yes, He is my Husband. And while I don’t know the answers and reasons for all the questions that swirled through my brain during my moment of self-pity an hour or so ago, I do know this: He is my source for all things under the sun. And this I can rest in, this I can be certain of.

It’s the little things in life

Second to the mountains, one of my most favorite things about Colorado are the 8 oz. servings of coffee I can order in most coffee shops. Not only is it the perfect amount for me, but they’re just so darn cute!! I thought it was most fitting to capture the size in comparison to one of Joshua’s sippy cups! (Joshua is the precious son of my friend Julie, who I’ve been staying with since I moved here.)

Truly, I just light up at the sight and sip of these little things every time!

And of course, I light up at the sight of this little one every time! I’ll miss seeing his little face each day!

Joshua – about to be a big brother any day!!

PS. I am moving to a place in Denver today. More to come on that!
PSS. I know I still need to fill you in on the details of my job… stay tuned!