Tuesday, June 29, 2010

a very not-deep post. about time.

It's a blogging day. ;0)

This post is going to be entirely girly and not well-thought out, very not-deep and rather silly. Are you ready for this?

I've never been that much of a shopper. 98% of my clothes up until the age of... 17? 19? have been given to me or occasionally from a thrift store. Which actually has always been fun. We'd get huge garbage bags of clothes from various sources which my sister and I would voraciously rip into with all the joy and wild desire of Christmas.

At one point I needed a black skirt, really wanted one, and knew exACTly what kind I wanted. So I asked God for it and sure enough, in a garbage bag a few months later, there was the very skirt. Two similar ones, in fact.

Whatever desire I possessed for shopping was further destroyed when I, for the first and last time, shopped on Black Friday. For 10 hours. In a city were there are beautiful beaches. Oh the insanity!!
It was fun to hang out with friends, but I gained no love for lines or florescent lights. They give me migraines.

BUT very occasionally, if you can kind of afford it (or if you've already blown your budget and figure, 'what's another $20 or $30 bucks? no good, people. no good), shopping is fun. I went to Plato's Closet and got a pretty dress and necklace and earrings and chatted with other shoppers.

It's fun... clothing stores are kind of like modern day harems where women congregate and do girly things and chat about all things girly. Without the whole concubine thing.

Advice about color and style is readily given and received, and women lament the size of their feet or thighs in sympathetic (and also lying) company.
All this has made me realize that your frame of mind is critical when shopping. If you're having a crappy day, don't you cross the threshold of a store and think that trying on skinny jeans is gonna make it better. ARE you insane??

You need to go in like a queen, on the search for that lucky piece of clothing that will reveal just how gorgeous that body of yours really is. um... but not too much.
That's my shopping philosophy, anyway.

Women are so interesting when they're in herds. :)
Like at Wisdom, it is a rare bird that can buy a slice of apple pie without saying she shouldn't, asking if she should, and saying that at least half if is for her husband. I've become quite an expert on womankind from 30 to 90 from working there... it's pretty fascinating, endearing, and just sometimes a little bit scary.
Now I'm not one to be down on women. Not at all! They're a wonderful breed, and have many lovely qualities.
But I can empathize with the men who are scared off by a group of them. The noise that emanates remarkably resembles hyenas.

I just hope that as I grow older:

~My wrinkles will be laugh, not crying or frown, lines.

~I will be filled with grace, patience, and compliments for the people serving me. I get so many little compliments from middle-aged women. It's kind of sweet. I think they think I'm 18.
I vacillate from looking 18 at Wisdom to (hopefully) looking 25 or 26 when I teach. The transformation? Lipstick, a skirt, and sometimes heels. And eyeshadow.

~If I'm going to get a dessert, I'm not going to apologize for it.

~I'll wear pretty things and cool jewelry.

~I will exercise. And eat good food that includes, but is NOT limited to, salads.

~I will have amazing things to talk about and only stay the most beautiful things about my family and kids and husband.

~I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER get botox.


I've always liked tigers. Partly because I am one (born in the year of the tiger, according to Chinese traditions. There's a 12 year cycle: my sister's a monkey, brother's a dragon (
very auspicious), Mom's a dog and Dad's a snake. We're a very interesting family!

My mom even had a dream about a tiger right before I was born, and I've always felt connected to the beautiful tiger.

However, little girl tigers did not always get the respect we deserve. There's a strong cultural bias (less so now) against girl tigers where I grew up, because supposedly they are headstrong, independent and hard to marry off. We even have a picture of baby me next to an orphanage in Singapore specifically for girls abandoned in the year of the tiger.
However, the Chinese zodiac animals held more cultural sway in Taiwan. For instance, my mother had literally the last bed in the hospital when she delivered my brother the dragon--everyone wanted to have a baby boy in that year.

See the blurb below:
The Gate of Hope
(taken from hyacinthus's blog: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=227971)

At this small gate of the former Convent of Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ), many babies were abandoned in baskets to be picked by the Sisters of the Convent. This was the origin of the Home for Abandoned Babies.

For over 100 years, the orphanage was home to children from poor or broken families as well as unwanted babies. The orphanage took in many Chinese baby girls born in the year of tiger - "tiger girls" - because of the strong superstitious belief then, that they would bring bad luck to their families.

In 1988, the Mother Superior noted that this practice was stopped as there was a marked change in this superstitious belief.

Last edited by hyacinthus; August 26th, 2005 at 05:34 PM.

Sad, no? Now the building that this door is connected to (Chijmes) is a national heritage site, a gorgeous chapel that hosts everything from musicals to revival services. It was a little out of the way of where we lived in Singapore (as if anything was ever THAT far away!), but I went there a handful of times.

I've had, and am having, to sift through what to take and leave from all the different cultures in which I've lived. I don't want to hold on to negative beliefs, but also want to recognize how they've affected me. Also, I strongly believe that God redeems cultures.

SO I like that the tiger has incredible strength, but has no desire to show off. She's very protective of those she loves, and nurtures her cubs. She's also a deadly dangerous hunter. Knows how to relax. Lazily graceful, powerfully beautiful.

Good traits. I'm ok being a tiger. Still not my favorite animal, but a very good one. :) Nice job, God. And aren't tiger cubs absolutely adorable? I can't wait to cuddle one in heaven. Yes, I do believe there'll be animals in heaven.

Friday, June 25, 2010

all this beauty

there's so much beauty still on this tattered earth.

isn't that incredible?

purify my heart so that I never have to look away....

I've sung that. to Jesus. But maybe I don't mean it in the same way as the seraphim and the elders... maybe I mean that as I LIVE and enjoy life, purify my heart so that I never look away... wherever I look.

Whether shopping or baking or traveling or crying or talking or whatever... I'm looking into Jesus' eyes.


I've met revivalists who have never gazed at the moon. And artists who don't know why the F they're creating.



For the earth will be filled with the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
~Habakkuk 2:14

It's the knowledge of the glory of God that's GOING to cover the earth.

His Glory is already there.

The earth is the LORD'S and everything in it, the earth and all who live in it. And the Spirit was hovering over the waters.

Imagine knowing the glory of God... and then discovering that He had knit your culture and tribe and tongue together from the beginning. Imagine seeing Love tenderly brush out the snarls that the devil tried to twist in. For God is not a God who abandons.

for God so loved the world

... do we? i've almost been trained to hate it.
whoops. how did that slip in?

Let's stop fragmenting and start reclaiming holy ground.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

make something good

They are gorgeous and smell like new creation.

Plumerias are everywhere in Singapore, white and purple and sweet pink.

Not surprisingly, remembering their fragrance reminded me of a song--

I wanted to make something sweet
The blood inside the maple tree
The sunlight trapped inside the wood
Make something good

I wanted to make something strong
An organ pipe in a cathedral
That stays in tune through a thousand blooms
Make something good

It's gonna take a long, long time
But we're gonna make something so fine

(Laura Veirs, "Make Something Good")

Being creators is weighty... but its heaviness pulls us up high.

We get to create as God creates. We get to be in the ministry of reconciliation, raise the dead with God.

The forever process of becoming holy as He's holy is treacherously unfair

we (lifted up on the shoulders of creating, of other brave creators) see that there are just so many more cool things we get to do if we're holy.
We won't get in the way as much anymore. Pride won't push us away from God. We'll get to stay close and actually pick up an instrument and join the orchestra. Sing with the morning stars, shout for joy with the angels, heal the nations...

It's like we've jumped completely into the ocean of God's love, and after hours of stubbornly smacking our faces into waves, we can ride them. Life's a lot easier when we've just accepted that we're dead and Christ lives in us instead.

We get to pour ourselves out as God pours in.

Love will fall to the earth like a crashing wave
(Toby Mac, "City On Our Knees")
--and we'll be part of it!

I'm very very very much not there yet. But God's kingdom is breaking into the gates of hell all over the earth and heaven just smells so sweet.

The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (KJV)

Holiness gives us the eyes to see heaven, smell it, absolutely bathe in it.