Changing Someone’s Life

This is an old old draft post but I liked it so am finally posting it. It’s a bit outdated but whatevs.

It’s been a strange week. I’m going through Step 4 in my al-anon recovery process. I’m on the topic of love. It asks, “How have you expressed your love toward others?”

I could barely think of anything. I searched my mind and my heart. I still could not list more than a few things. I told myself, “You are not a loving person. You don’t love anyone.” Sounds crazy, but sounded partly right at the time. I doubted if I could really love someone else… you know, the kind of sacrificial, self-less, unconditional, all-giving love. I also wondered if I am having any real positive impact on those around me.

So today, someone that I don’t know came up to me and told me that they went to a meeting. They said that I talked about unconditional love at that meeting, and that that meeting changed their life.

So yeah, that happened.

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Sisters

I have a sister. She is 12.5 months older than me. We don’t talk much. Actually, we don’t talk at all. For the past 7 years, we have only talked a few times. I can count them in one hand.

Whenever ppl talk about sisterhood, and the bond that only sisters have,  I cringe a little inside. I berate myself for not being that sister to my sister. I then immediately justify myself to myself and tell myself that it’s all her fault for being such a b*tch. I’m sure, deep inside, she is not one. But she sure has acted like one in certain circumstances in the past.

Last night, I had dinner with three women friends from my small group. It was the first one and we plan on having it monthly.

It fed my soul.

It fed my soul.

I never felt like that with a group of women before.

The conversation never stopped. The food was fabulous. We talked about everything from breastfeeding to claustrophobia to backpacking across Europe and composting. I felt like one of the girls in Sex and the City. One of the four. (No, we did not talk about sex.)

I am so thankful to my “sisters” for last night. I ended up staying up until midnight to finish a work project but it was worth every minute. Every. Minute.

mood: grateful

Ponderings

Learned recently that someone I know passed away.

This person… I was full of judgement towards this person. I barely had one short conversation with this person but I judged them based on their looks and the behavior that I saw. What I didn’t know was this person’s story. This person had had more than their fair share of life’s troubles and tribulations. This person had major health issues, that I couldn’t tell by looking. Full of judgement, was I. Towards this person that I was called to love.

Maybe I am being too harsh on myself? But one of my words for the year was “not judging.” That year, I started to become aware of how much I judge people. Before that year, I really thought I wasn’t all that judgmental. I’m thankful that God only reveals my sinfulness in little bits… so that it’s not too overwhelming.

I have told myself that if my father or mother died, that I would not be too affected. This death has made me reconsider. We don’t have a great relationship, my father and mother and I. I am OK with it. I have learned not to go to the hardware store, expecting candy. But maybe I’ve gone too far in the other direction. Maybe I’ve put up walls instead of boundaries. Maybe I’ve hardened my heart towards them just a tad bit too much. Maybe I can start by being open… and letting my heart grow soft again.

This praise song has been on my mind. I can’t seem to get it out. Have you ever heard it? It’s old school I can’t seem to find a good version on YouTube but here are the lyrics.

 

Face to Face by Mark Altrogge

Jesus, I love you. For when I was blind and lost.

You shed for all your enemies, your blood upon the cross.

Because you have loved me, now I can love you to.

Your love flows deep into my heart and I send it back to you.

And Jesus, our love will only grow much deeper.

Sustained from above by your overflowing grace.

And Jesus, our love will only grow much sweeter.

And someday we shall be together, face to face.

 

Truly, because God has loved me, now I can love him too…

2013 – First Post

Hello 2013.

Hello blog.

It’s been a while.

I got a letter from Compassion that my sponsored child will be graduating from the program this year. I am very sad.

I am happy that she has made it thus far. She’s going to college and on the right track… she seemed to have a bit of a burden to provide for her family once she graduates though. They give an option for us to stay in touch if we mutually want to… and I am pretty sure she will want to. I hope she will…

Took the kiddos to Disneyland over Christmas break. Did a bunch of other activities as well… like the USS Hornet in Alameda.

IMG_1072

They liked it. AJ kept on pushing all the buttons and I had to carry him down most of the steep stairs… although, towards the end, he wanted to do it “All by myself.”

I’ve been thinking about my One Word for 2013 for the past few days and I am leaning towards Embrace. Or Enough. Embrase will remind me to live in the moment and to embrace whatever is in front of me at that moment. Enough will remind me that I have enough. That I am enough. That God gives me enough. I am still really liking this way of doing resolutions.

2012’s One Word was humility. Boy, I learned a lot of lessons about that. Mostly about how sinful I am. I scare my kids with my anger sometimes. I scare myself too. I am on step 10 in al-anon so I’m trying promptly admit it when I am wrong. First pick-up from school in 2013 started with, “I’m sorry for… do you forgive me?” Of course, my Christian forgave me without hesitation. Children have such big hearts. No bitterness. No resentment.

Christmas season was a little bit insane for my etsy shop. I totally did not expect that. I raised almost $1000 for Compassion. I shall be better prepared this year!

 

 

Yay air freshener.

So, I go to Al-anon. There is a meeting on Sundays that I like going to sometimes. They have a room that kids can play in, with a TV and video, and videos! And toys. It’s right next to the meeting room, so it’s kind of awesome. Sometimes, other people bring kids too. But the room, it has an awful, awful smell. Like someone vomited in there. Or the room has B.O. (body odor). The room has really really bad BO.

Today, I grabbed my bottle of air freshener on the way to the meeting because I had both kids in tow and didn’t want them to have to smell that smell the whole time. It’s a huge bottle of Fabreeze. I got it for free a long time ago, because I blog over at Kimchi Mamas and sometimes, people like to give bloggers free crap.

When I got into the room, I sprayed like 20 squirts of the air freshener. I hoped it would do the trick. I popped in a video and the kids were content. About 10 minutes into the meeting, my older son comes out and tells me that his stomach hurts and that his throat feels funny. He proceeds to vomit all over the (thank God) vinyl floor. It starts to stink really really bad. Way worse than inside that room. Someone thankfully brings me a whole bunch of napkins. I clean up the vomit (it’s a LOT) and am SO glad that I have the air freshener with me because I spray the heck out of that room. It doesn’t smell like vomit anymore and we can have the meeting in relative peace.

I have no idea why today, of all days, I decided to bring Fabreeze to my meeting. But I am SO glad that I did because it would have been sooooooooooooo gross (more gross than it already was) if everyone had to sit through the entire meeting with the stink of vomit vapors filling the room.

Thank you God.

One Word Theme for the Year

Last year, my word for the year was “not-judging.” That was the year I found Al-anon and I learned a whole lot about not judging in al-anon meetings. I learned that I have a whole lot of judgement towards others. A WHOLE lot. Every time I criticize someone, I am judging them and thinking that I am better than them. I try to remind myself that everyone is trying to do the best they can and that no one needs to be reminded how screwed up they are. We all are. Screwed up that is. I have especially a hard time not judging my husband. I think I know him so well… but the truth is that I don’t know what he is thinking all the time. I don’t know all of the experiences he’s had… and on top of that, he is a different person. So yeah, no judging husband either.

This year, my word for the year was love. I have to be honest, even after a year of thinking about this word, I don’t know much about love. Most of the time, I don’t know what it means to be loved, or to love someone else. I know that I am loved. And I know that I love others… but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I told my kids that love is hugs and kisses… and I think that captures the gist of it.

I am wondering what I should choose for as my theme word for 2012. I’ve been thinking about humility. That would be a good one. Goes well with not-judging, does it? And with LOVE! Maybe I will get some more insights into what my word should be in the next couple of weeks.

 

=)

Back from a mini vacay

Family took a little vacation to SoCal this past weekend. We had lots of fun but I am kind of tired now. I’m so glad that the cleaners are coming tomorrow.

We had lunch with my dad when we got there, and then dinner with him right before coming back. I’m not sure if having dinner with him is a good idea anymore. At least during lunch, he drinks but doesn’t get belligerent. During dinner, he got pretty faded and started nagging me. I hate when he nags me. Mostly because it’s the same stuff over and over again… just like drunks do.

One thing he said kind of hurt my feelings. He said if I don’t teach my kids Korean, don’t even bother bringing them to see him anymore. I know he was drunk but it doesn’t really make me feel better to know this. Anyway, I have been trying recently to let my children see their grandfather more… but maybe that’s not such a good idea. I mean, unless he gets sober, what really is the point? To make my dad feel less lonely? I doubt a few hours of face time with his kids will do that. And if he really wants, he can come up here anytime.

Anyway, I have very mixed feelings about all this right now.. but I just wanted to write it all down.

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