Sunday, January 25, 2015

understanding myself

Whenever I tell people that I'm shy they don't believe me. Maybe it's because I'm usually laughing maniacally and love small talk and squealing about random things. Yea, I guess those things don't translate to "shy." Ha ha.

And I'm not sure if I'm the only one that's struggled with figuring out if I'm extroverted or introverted. That whole Myers-Brigg thing tells me that I'm somewhere in between, but mainly extroverted. In truth, I always feel more energized after talking with a friend or being around people, ergo, yes, that seems correct. But some days, talking to people is like going to the gym: It's always a battle to get there, but when you're done you feel better.

Some friends call me the super introvert because I like to be independent and block out days in my schedule for "me-time." I say it's to re-charge, but I think there is something else going on, too.
Some days I really dread talking to people. I act busy so that I can avoid small talk. I keep my head down. In these moments I think, See! I am shy!

But I'm realizing more and more, it's not shyness. I was looking at my Facebook feed this morning and I saw someone posted an article about outgoing introverts. I read it and thought, okay, yea, I'm not an introvert. I love small talk too much.

So I started a Google search about shy extroverts ("What am I?!?!?"). And then for some reason I did a search for "depressed extroverts." 

I found an article that I honestly think God was leading me to. It was the first search result and the piece was written by a Christian woman. As I was reading it I kept thinking that we were very very similar. She was so eloquent in how she described her experience with depression and I really wanted to share it. 

This is the part of the article where she talks about regular thoughts that go through her mind when she gets depressed. Source:
I know a few people in my life who live with depression. At first I didn't really understand it, because they seem fine, or I even thought that they just weren't trying hard enough. And for those thoughts, I am so sorry.

It's a real thing! It makes you feel powerless and so so so tired. When I fall into an episode, I feel like my body is made of lead. It's not all the time, but it comes and goes in waves. Depending on the outside stressors of my life, it can be mild to severe, although you might not be able to tell. When it happens, it generally takes me much longer to gear up for the simplest things. I look for distractions. Lately, I've been running from God. And yet, even though I'm sorry that I ran, I am very glad He stayed with me through it all.

Through each valley, I've been lucky to have friends and family and my small group to just be there for me. I rarely if ever put a name to these depression episodes, because, like the author in the article, you kind of want to think that you're not like everyone else:

"Part of my embarrassment comes from the fact that it seems like everyone suffers from some sort of anxiety or depression these days and I've always prided myself on not being like everyone else. If that sounds really is."

Some of my friends "get it" but they don't really get it. I've been yelled at by some people or told that I'm just being weak. I understand the concern and appreciate the pep talks, but words like that made me want to sink deeper into denial. And that's the wrong way to go. To deal with this, you have to face it head on and take action. If you deny that there's anything to face, how can you face it?

I super duper recommend this article to everyone. For those who have ever been depressed, it gives a voice to your struggles. For everyone else, I think it might help you understand another person's story.

[2 Corinthians 1:3-4] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

As with other hardships, I will gladly take up this cross so that I can comfort others who struggle with it, too. You are loved. You are beautiful. You're not less than human because you struggle with depression. And to God through Jesus Christ, you are perfect.

All my love,

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Japanese Dating Phrases - as taught by Haruma Miura

Whether you're learning Japanese or just want to get the lingo of your favorite sho-comi or dorama, Japanese dating phrases are good to know. If you're not yet familiar with Haruma Miura, he's a very popular actor in Japan (and my current super fave!). He'd be a great teacher for these expressions as many of his roles have him spouting romantic phrases. So, without further ado, Haruma-sensei, take it away!

1) Will you go out with me?
“Tsuki atte kudasai” (formal) --> “Please go out with me” … like English, the phrase can also mean “Can you come out/go out with me (to someplace)?”

*from "Kimi ni Todoke"

In this movie, he uses another way of saying the phrase: “Ore to tsukiatte kuru?”

Unfortunately, she takes it literally. *she’s checking her watch… ahaha!! Poor Haruma-kun…

2) Will you marry me?
“Kekkon shite kudasai” --> “Please marry me.”

*subtitles by, from "Last Cinderella"

"Ore to kekkon shitakunai?” (Haruma really likes to use “ore” which is a typically masculine and very informal way of saying “I”)

Ne, Haruma-kun…. You’re asking me, right?? *o*

3) Please stay by my side. 
"Tonari ni ite kudasai" --> "Please stay by my side." Basically a superfrickin' romantic way of asking someone to be with you. (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee)

*subtitles by, from "The Hours of My Life"

Haruma-kun says: "Ore no tonari ni ite kudasai." (Again with the "ore,", haha. Kawaiiiii!)

Kyaaa, mouuuu, Haruma-kun. Mechya mechya romantic, da you ne?! :) We can all learn a love lesson from this guy! Sigh~~ Yoshi! Arigatou, Haruma-sensei! And until next time, minna-san!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I typically avoid reading old journals. I don’t know why. Actually, that’s a lie. It’s because when I read about past experiences, I basically relive them, and most of the time, it makes me want to crawl into a hole. Thoughts like “I said THAT?!” “I did THAT?!” I thought THAT was cool?!?!?!?!” Sometimes it’s funny, but mainly mortifying.

But as I was settling down in my old room for the Thanksgiving stay at my parents’, I saw my diary from high school… I told myself it’d be fun to just read the first entry. Then I sat there for an hour reliving parts of my sophomore, junior, and senior year, and even into the summer after graduation. My writing was enthusiastic (so many "!!!!!!"!) and… hilarious. I used to write “it was so kewlies,” “I dint have to go to skul,” and “this is a secret, don’t tell!” Ha ha ha!!!

Omiglob! This was written TWELVE years ago!!!!!!!!
The very end of the journal went into the summer after I graduated high school. I came upon an entry where I first talked about my dad's stroke. There were details that I had forgotten that made me relive moments of despair. But the thing that stuck out to me the most was how thankful I was. From what I remember, the months following this event were wrought with strife and battles against hopelessness. But, somehow, at the onset I had been just completely grateful that my dad had survived. Doctors had actually told us that the stroke should have killed him. They even used the word “miracle.”

God is so good to us, and over the years, my gratefulness sort of dulled. Sometimes when I hang out with my dad I forget how lucky I am to still have him next to me. The journal also had entries that reminded me how good my mother was to me as I went through my rebellious adolescent stage. How my sister always made time for me, and often invited me over to her place when I was feeling overwhelmed from studying and wanting to escape home. And even how my brother-in-law was a true source of comfort and help that fateful summer. Bittersweet memories, but overall, stories that make me feel super duper blessed. I think I shall give my FamiLee extra big hugs and kisses tomorrow (but only after I get my drumstick).

And although it was still painful and embarrassing to read through that diary (“kewlies”??! … KILLMENOW), it also reminded me of everything I’ve overcome by God’s grace. Even while in the thick of hardship, I guess there is light from both ends of the tunnel.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And thank You, God, for your ever-present goodness! :)

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." [Romans 5:3-5]

Monday, June 30, 2014

Online Dating for a Christian Girl, Part 2


I actually meant to write the second installment a week later, but life happened. Left my job, went to Paris, got a boyfriend, started my new job, all that jazz. And now, I'm back!
So, as advertised, this blog post will have some funny anecdotes and advice for Christian Guys With No Game (CGWNG).

Let me get this out there: Christian women who are dating online are definitely looking for a man who truly loves Jesus and walks with the Lord. But, the buck doesn't stop there.

So, I want to write this post to hopefully help some Christian brothers who are looking for love, but may be lacking know-how in online dating.

Let me introduce you to some CGWNGs.

1. Tunnel-vision Tony

Ding! You got a new message in your online dating inbox. Now, men, this is your initial chance to really gain the lady's interest. Make the most of it. I always read my messages to see what the dude had to say.

Tunnel-vision Tony is someone who I've encountered a few times. His entire profile is all about loving Jesus, which is great, but he sends me a message all about himself. No questions, just a big brick of text. 
"Hi, I'm Blahblah. I love Jesus and see that you do, too! We must be meant to be. Let me tell you about myself: adfj;ksjdfaskjdfjsdflkjsdlkfmdkkfjsdkf. I want a Christian woman. I want this. I want that. You seem like you fit what I want." The end.

Whether it's true or not, it just looks like you copied and pasted that message to any lady you found via the "Christian" filter in Advanced Search. 

My boyfriend actually got me, hook-line-and-sinker from his first message (don't tell him). He told me a little about himself and weaved in questions for me, that obviously showed that he read my profile and actually cared about what I wrote. He mentioned our shared love and fear of the Lord, but didn't make it seem like that fact alone meant that we were meant for each other. It was a simple, well-thought out message that could definitely not have been Ctrl+Ved, and with no grammatical errors. Hubba hubba.

Before, I introduce the next CGWNG, let me say that left and right I hear Christian guys say "I only date for marriage."
But I think this phrase idea gets so heavily misconstrued, that brothers start to excuse certain behaviors in the name of Dating For Marriage. IMHO, dating for marriage means that you don't just date whoever the heck lands up on your doorstep. You don't waste your time chasing the wind, you want something solid that can eventually turn into something serious later. You're picky, but hopefully don't people as incarnations of your future spouse laundry list.

2. Business Bob
Business Bob knows what he wants. He wants to date someone for 1 year, get married and then live the dream of having a house and 2.5 kids. What he needs to ask you before he can consider you as the mother of his children is:
"What's your 5 year plan?" (Does it fit with my vision?)
"How many other people have you dated?" (How much baggage do you have? Any exes I should be wary about?)
"How do you feel about kids?" (HAVE MY BABIES)

(Parentheses indicate what he's really asking, ha ha)

And Business Bob gets down to business. He has no qualms asking a girl these questions within the first 30 minutes of meeting her in-person.

Some chicks dig it (most do not).

My best gal pal S says that this shouldn't be a big no-no since this is the online dating scene and you both know that you're looking and don't want to waste time with someone who doesn't want what you want. This reasoning makes sense, but I'm just saying that, as a girl, it's just kind of scary to get into that kind of conversation when you first meet. I want to find out what your laugh sounds like, not how many kids you want us to have together.

3. Whiny Will
Whiny Will is usually past 30 and on your first date he will lament about how all of his friends are in relationships, married or already having kids. He will look at you with hopeful eyes that say: "Please jump up and down and say that you are in the same boat."

One guy actually told me this before we even got the menu to order for lunch. He literally said: "I know it's early, but... I want kids. I WANT IT." o_o

I get your feelings, Whiny Will, I'm looking for luv, too (that's why I'm on the dating site!). But, yea... Don't whine about how all your friends are getting married and having kids. It kind of feels like you just want to get a girlfriend so that you can join your friends, not because you actually like the girl.

Later, "I WANT IT" guy asked me if I changed my nephew's diapers and nodded approvingly when I said that I did. (Way to make me feel like I'm just a huge walking ovary!)

4. Eager Edgar
Oh, Eager Edgar. There is no question that he is interested. Which is nice, for a change. I've been on the sad end of more than a couple of unintentional Ambiguous Alans who ambivalently pursued some weird amorphous relationship-type thingie only to pull disappearing acts whenever convenient.
However, Eager Edgar is like Ambiguous Alan's polar opposite. Like, South Pole.
Eager Edgar didn't really do anything wrong. He just wears his heart on his sleeve... and doesn't read the mood. His favorite thing to do is to ask for a second date in the middle of the first date, without really thinking how his date feels.

I've been asked out on a second date in the middle of a first date that was really not going well. But I wonder if that was his trump card. And it kind of worked, because I was put on the spot and couldn't say 'no.' In my defense, I was in his car while he was driving and my choices were: 1) cringe and say 'yes,' 2) say 'no' and feel unsafe while in an enclosed moving space that was under his control, or 3) say nothing and jump out of the moving vehicle.

That's not all. And, I don't mean to make fun, and it was slightly flattering, but the guy asked me for the second date THREE times during the first date, and then text-confirmed with me right after we parted...

Eagerness can be cute. Over the top alacrity, not so much.

Calmeth downeth, Eager Edgar. (Or at least wait until the end of the date to ask.)

**Also, just a note, if a girl is interested, she won't make you initiate everything. After a couple days of not hearing from you, if a girl likes you, she will most definitely contact you.

And remember, these are just general guidelines heavily influenced by my own (hilarious and uncomfortable) experiences.

If it's meant to be, it'll happen! For realsies, There is a time for everything, including a time for learning. Trust in the Lord-- He's got it all it in His hands. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Online Dating for a Christian Girl, Part 1

Hello! Long time no write... mea culpa! I've been kind of avoiding this blog because I had major writer's block!
However, I am back, because I have a couple of friends who have requested that I write about my experience online dating. I think as a Christian woman looking for a Christian man on a dating site, it's not easy. I mean, you always have to weed out the weirdies and the creepies, but on top of that trying to discern who has legit faith? ::THROWING MY HANDS UP:: It's pretty darn hard.

Here are a couple of (REAL) messages that I received. (Note: My dating profile actually says "I'm serious about my faith, please only message me if you are a serious Christian.")

1) Do you believe a person can be Christian and be into BDSM?


2) I think you're really cute but I'm an Athiest. Is there wiggle room?
me: Sadly no, but best of luck!
him: And if I was a Christian..?
me: I'd be very happy for you!
him: And then we could date?
me: In principle, yes...
him: OH! I LOVE IN PRINCIPLE! Tell me what I need to do. Even if it's a long road, I'm a speed walker. ;)

This guy also stated in his profile that he loves virgins... 

3) Hi, I am not a Christian but I have a PhD in philosophy, so I understand the system of beliefs.


To be fair, these guys at least acknowledged something about faith. At least. -____-

Aside from the Non-Christian Who Still Wants to Try, Jesus-lovin' ladies need to keep a good head on their shoulders for Christian Guys With No Game. Let's just say I've gone on my share of dates with CGWNGs. They are/seem/might be solid, but don't know how to date. Now, my pastor told me that character should be weighed above etiquette, so don't just nix a dude because he committed a dating faux pas. Nix him because he is a smooth-talking faker or emotionally unavailable, not because he wore your least favorite cologne.

I have a fun bunch of stories and advice for CGWNGs... and that will be in part 2.

Anyways, yea, it's a long road. But, my advice to the single sisters and brothers out there is to just keep on keeping on. For every 20 funny stories, there is 1 fairy tale. Or as my wise friend S says: It only takes one. :) Then the rest is history!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

blessed assurance

Life's events can force you to re-evaluate your beliefs and afford you an opportunity to renew/deepen your faith. Which, in my opinion, is always a good thing. It's good to remind yourself of why you believe in God and assess how it plays into your life. A fresh shot of perspective can do wonders- even if it doesn't come in the most gentle way.

The most recent event that rocked my life was the loss of my grandpa. I love him and miss him very much, and the event also made me face death one more time.

A dear friend of mine recently confided in me that she is afraid of death and the mystery of it all; "Is this it?"

For me, as a Christian, I know this is not "it," and that I am not afraid of death. Dying is something I don't like to think about it, but I'm sure of my salvation so it's not the scariest thing in the world to me.

I decided to put together a collection/poem-ish of recent verses in my Bible readings that have been a great comfort to me while dealing with the recent loss. The verses were a great reminder to me of my living hope in Christ for eternal life. Hopefully it can encourage you, give you food for thought, and/or show you how truly wonderful it is to be saved in Jesus Christ our Lord.

This is from John 14:27; the verse continues:
"I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil

For you will not leave my soul among the dead
or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 

So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 
We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. 
Death no longer has any power over him. 
When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. 
But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 

And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

God created this world and sent His Son to us. When Christ came he overcame death- he will never die again. (Ee, so cool!) And I know that my faith in him will grant me eternal life, so I am not afraid. Yay!

Praise God!

*I have all of the verse passages written down, so if you want to know where a certain verse is from and Google search isn't helping, just message me or leave a Comment! :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

my one and only harabuhji

It's been a couple of days since we received the news, but I wrote the bulk of the post right after I heard... And today is his funeral. I really wish I could be there, but need to be resigned to the fact that it just wasn't possible for different reasons. It's been hard for me to share this with many people- in fact, I feel awkward bringing it up at all. But, I would like to thank God and my family and friends for their hugs, prayers and overwhelming love and support. You have all been wonderful. 

God is so good.
[On the left] A super sweet & thoughtful sympathy card from J.
[On the right] Beautiful orchids from K that show me I'm loved.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

[2 Corinthians 1:3-5] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.


When I was born, my paternal grandfather had already passed away. So, I've really only ever had one person who fit the title "grandpa" or in Korean "할아버지" (harabuhji).

His name was 안심원 (An Shim Won) and our family lost that person today.

Someone asked me if the loss was unexpected, and I can't say it was, because his health had been failing during the past few years. So much so that each and every one of my family members had gone to Korea to visit him within the past 2 years. My visit was something I will never forget.

He had gotten so thin, but he was still the same old grandpa, still holding his utensils with his pinkies up. He scolded me a little for having flown all the way to Korea by myself to see him, but was smiling a little bit. I think he secretly liked that I was stubborn and did my own thing.
When I said 'goodbye' to him, I remember he looked so sad and said "You're leaving already? You came and went, just like a dream."

I think the same could be said of his presence in my life. But, I thank God for each and every one of those moments with him. Soli Deo Gloria.

진짜 보고싶어요, 할아버지. 고이 잠드소서.

Dear 할아버지,

Even more than for my parents, I wanted to do well in my studies so that I could tell you about my grades and projects and which university I got into. I think it was because ever since I was a kid, you would always tell me how important it was to study and how you hoped that I would go to Harvard. (You later told me that UCLA is just as good. ;) I think it's because you were a teacher and it was a natural part of who you were to tell young people to dream big and work hard. Thank you.

I remember how much you loved to take long walks and go for hikes. You would walk for hours to get drinking water from the mountains for you and grandma every other day, before your health waned. Unni went with you once- and I wish I had gone, too! I remember how you would always walk with your hands behind your back, with your lips set in a line and a baseball cap on your salt and pepper hair.

One of my funnier memories of you, was when you visited our home in California and really loved the pop-up birthday card I made for dad. You tried to take it with you!! Ha ha ha!! Even when I made you your own, you said you liked his better. Silly, grandpa. And you really loved eating pistachios, reading the newspaper and writing in your journal (and telling me to write in mine, lol). I miss trying to tickle you while you read the morning paper.

I miss holding your hands and bombarding you with kisses while you pretended to not like it. I miss your Japanese lessons to Unni (where I'd listen in and write everything down on a ghetto notepad I made). Not many people knew that you were a teacher during the Japanese occupation and that you were forced to learn the language and then teach in that language. I think not many people knew because you were so strong and didn't let it faze you- you just saw it as another opportunity to learn. (And you were so good at it! Jouzu desu!)

Thank you for your lovingkindness, your wisdom and for always cheering me on to do my best, in your own way. I miss you more than words can say.

할아버지, 너무 너무 너무 너무 너무 사랑해요. 영원히.