Sunday, December 29, 2013

Oregon Coast

There are times I wish I didn't live in my head so much.  Like, when I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Beauty all around me and although I appreciated it, I don't think it really sunk in.  There are people who are a lot more connected to their surroundings than I am, and it affects them more than it affects me.  When I am in the company of someone like that, who are touched emotionally by what they see, I wonder what I'm missing. Do I really know what it is that I'm beholding?

Which worries me when I travel.  I'm planning a few trips in 2014, and I'm afraid that I will be there but not really be there. It's happened to me before.  And it is really hard to describe.  So, in preparation, I'm reading about the history of the places I will visit--it's a lot to take in.  I have to work to be "present" it seems.

Spiritually, there are dangers like this.  We look but don't really see.  We hear but don't really listen.  Jesus appeared, He dwelt among us and we didn't even notice.  He created all things that ever existed, and He became one of us and we didn't comprehend. 

"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.  For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18
I need God to open my eyes so that I can really see Him and open my ears so that I will listen to His voice, and open my heart that I would take in His truth.  I want to experience His glory and be more like him, one small degree after another.

I don't want to miss out on a thing.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

He is With Us

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
 For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me int he presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Psalm 23

Monday, December 02, 2013

A Sacred Journey

Once upon a time, I responded to my church's "Year of the Bible" challenge with a reading schedule and memorization program. I've done this before, in two years with a regular reading plan.  I've also read the whole Bible on my own without a schedule or a set goal in mind. I love to read the Bible, only without a deadline or structure. The Church's Bible reading plan was a new one for me, with a different reading everyday in a different genre of the Bible--Law, History, Poetry, Prophecy, Psalms, The Gospels and The Epistles. And a deadline.  So, being open to new things, I gave it a whirl.

Within weeks, I was in the weeds.  I valiantly kept trying, despite losing "The Plan" which began to look like "The Matrix" with my checkmarks in one column in the grid getting ahead of schedule opposed to the various levels of progress in the rest.  Sometimes, I read ahead because I simply loved the particular book I was in at the time.  Sometimes I lagged behind because the content was hard to absorb, so I wanted to slow down instead of just rushing through it.

At the year's deadline, I was discouraged, because I was close to finishing by a few months.  I knew if I buckled down I could make it give or take a few weeks.  But I didn't want to do it for the sake of accomplishment.  Or pushing through just to say I did it.  In the end, I did finish within a year and eight months without breaking a sweat.  And it was worth it.  It accomplished what I needed to grow in my walk with the Lord.  And I'm ready to do it again, only with clearer vision of my motives.

Spiritually, I had a more panoramic view of God's work and purpose through His Word.  I saw connections where I didn't notice them before. The prophecies from the Old Testament linked tighter to the New Testament in my mind.   I saw God's mercy and kindness as well as His justice and holiness through His law and commands, and His faithfulness in His promises.  This particular structure helped me even though I often struggled with it.  My rebellious side likes to buck the systematic approach to everything, but systems are sometimes necessary and beneficial.  My phlegmatic nature is in wont of more discipline.  I needed this more than I realized. 

And I'm hungry for more.

This time around, I will definitely give more priority to reading everyday and sticking to the schedule.  The reason is that the stuff that was harder to absorb before has become more familiar, which will continue to build every time I go through it.  My motive is not to "get it" all at once.  I simply want to take this long journey, noting the landscape of God's plan and admiring the view.  I want to journal as I explore the terrain, drawing a map of the year long trip.  I don't want to just wander aimlessly (as I tend to do).  If I do this every year, I would have a steadily increasing record of various landmarks even in well worn pathways.  I'm taking the long way home, and I am not traveling alone.  I have a guide and a companion.  My Shepard, my Lord.  And I'm taking this trip to learn from Him.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Pining for Summer Haiku

I Miss You

 Lazy sun,
Soothing warmth,
Dappled green,
Brilliance of life.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Princess Likelike died when she was 36.  She was the second in line to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawai'i.  The cause of death is a mystery, it was said that she stopped eating and wasted away.  Like her older siblings, David Kalakaua and Liliokilani, she was very musical. I think she wrote one of the most romantic song I've ever heard, Ku'u Ipo I Ka He'e Pu'e One. 

Ku'u Ipo I Ka He'e Pu'e One
   by Miriam Kapili Kekāuluohi Likelike (1851–1887)

Kuʻu ipo i ka heʻe puʻe one My sweetheart in the rippling hills of sand
Me ke kai nehe i ka ʻiliʻili With the sea rustling the pebbles
Nipo aku i laila ka manaʻo There, the memory is impassioned
Ua kiliʻopu māua i ka nahele In the forest where we delighted
Hui: Chorus:
Eiā la e maliu mai Here, please listen
Eiā ko aloha i ʻaneʻi Here, your lover is here.
Hiki mai ana i ka pō nei He came last night
Ua kiliʻopu māua i ka nahele We delighted in the forest

Ka ʻowē nenehe a ke kai
The gentle rustle of the sea
Hone ana i ka piko waiʻolu Softly in the pleasant center
I laila au la ʻike Where I looked
Kiliʻopu māua i ka nahele We delighted in the forest

Hiki ʻē mai ana ka makani
The wind came first
Ua hala ʻē aku e ka Puʻulena The Puʻulena wind passed by
Ua lose kou chance e ke hoa You've lost your chance, oh friend
Ua kiliʻopu māua i ka nahele We delighted in the forest

Ku'u Ipo i ke He'e Pu'e One performed by Colla Voce. Jace Saplan director

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

About this Blog

At Huntington Library in Los Angeles, California next to a favorite Mary Cassatt painting, Breakfast in Bed.

I haven't blogged for awhile.  Not for lack for something to say, or even time to say it.  I'm not sure why I'm doing it anymore.

A friend some time ago described a blog as a journal.  I told him I thought of it as a letter.  The recipients of the letter were mostly the girls I used to work with and/or had fellowship with as partners in Christ.  It was kind of well received for a few years but then the girls graduated or moved on.  The blogs they wrote and I read have also come to their ends. The mini-blogging community we enjoyed exists no longer.

Nowadays, I move in circles that don't have a lot of bloggers or readers of blogs.  Internationals compose the major circle for the last few years, and most of them are not big blogging fans.  Some of the girls started their own blogs about food, which was interesting from their Asian point of view, but their class loads picked up and the blogs were pushed to the outer margins of their lives.  Which I can relate to.

I also used this blog to write a story for the 11 year old to 13 year old age group for girls.  I've decided since then that I need to hang out with this age group of girls more often.  Some of my nieces and neighborhood kids fit in this group, and so I've had some time with them, but not enough.  Getting serious with this endeavor requires research, which promises to be fun.  So after putting this project on the backburner for awhile, I've decided to leave it there a little longer and be more intentional about the fun research I need to do.  It might be good for me, too.

And I've changed.  I'm keeping my cards closer to my chest these days.  There have been griefs that I've born lately and disappointments that I've had struggles with, and so when there is mostly negatives and fewer positives, it's harder to share. I don't believe I have to put up a front that I'm always happy yet I could easily get in that mode where complaining sucks all the energy out of me--energy that I need to solve the problem or pray about it or talk about it to a close friend.  Not all you guys, sorry.

So there you have it.  I'm going to do fun research getting to know pre-teen girls and maybe get involved with some ministry with them.  In the meantime, I will blog once a week about the hope I have in Christ.  See you later.
A pre-teen niece with my sister, Amy.  One of many nieces and nephews  I want to get to know better! 

Another niece!  In Canada, my husband's brother's daughter.  She's wearing a hat I bought for her.

Better get to work on the research, they won't stay this young much longer. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

It is Well

This is the story behind my favorite hymn, "It is Well". When I first learned it in college, the words brought me to a place of trusting in God, hope in the Gospel and a deep comfort to my soul. I love this song, and if you haven't heard it before, I hope you do, too.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Rejected by Men

 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

                                                    ~Isaiah 53:3-4 ESV

I first read this when I was 19, and I knew that this was about Jesus, written before He appeared in Palestine.   I struggled with the fear of rejection at that time--wanting acceptance from my college professors, my roommate, my family and my friends.  But particularly from men.  It came from deep within my soul.  But when I read that Jesus was a man of sorrows and was rejected by men, it gave me a sweet comfort that no other idea could.  When I thought about it, that Jesus chose to lay down His life for me, even while facing being despised and rejection not just by men, but also God, I started a life of utter amazement in the Gospel.

He knows how I feel.  He knows my griefs and sorrows, because He bore and carried them.  He is intimately acquainted with all my ways.  Because of Him, I can face tomorrow.