Last week’s tumultuous weather really dragged me down… (winter storm from last week? watch for the upcoming blog post on it!) Is there such thing as emotional jet lag? Cuz since I returned from Asia, I have been jumping through one hurdle after another…
So I interrupt all this funk to share my excitement in being nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award! I’m a former xangan for over a decade so certainly not new to the blogging community.. but after migrating to WP I definitely felt like a small fish in a giant pond. This award reminds me that perhaps we are more connected than we think.. =)
A big thank you to HongKongFong for the nomination. She’s a talented photographer and blogger who captures the beauty in the everyday – in her life and all the colors, cultures, and cuisines that compose Hong Kong. (She’s also a fellow oboist! YEA oboes!)
7 random things about myself…
1) I love stationary. Stickers, stamps, journals, and pens, especially. (Muiji pens, how I love Muiji pens!)
2) One of my favorite snacks of all time (in addition to Japanese Kit Kats) are Flamin’ Hot Cheetos con Limon. (You never had them??!!) Some of my Spanish speaking students introduced them to me. They’d stain their fingers, inhale through their teeth (the sound you make when your mouth is ON FIYAH), then ask ‘Maestra? Puedo tomar agua?’ (Teacher? Can I drink water?) dash to the water fountain, drink, then come back and eat more. Now I understood why they’re so addictive… If you like spicy, you must try them!
3) A few years ago I thought I was destined to become a humanitarian aid worker. I participated in a humanitarian training program where we role-played that we were workers at a refugee camp. I learned a lot, met some amazing, inspiring people, and was deeply challenged about how we use our skills, time, and expertise to care for others in great need. When the earthquake in Haiti happened, I really had wanted to go with some of my coworkers, but I was already committed to Cambodia at the time. Maybe some day…
4) I enjoy Chinese tea. When I drink oolong (or my fav, ti kun yang), it feels like I have been carried away onto a mountain top, breathing in the aroma of the earth, tasting its subtle sweetness, savoring each moment in tranquility. I love how it connects people, cultures, generations, and how it’s steeped, then sipped, gradually, over a long meal (unlike coffee which has a fast-paced go-go-go culture in America.)
5) I never thought I’d become a nurse, because I didn’t think I was smart enough. No one ever pushed me or encouraged me; I didn’t think I was cut out for it, didn’t think I possessed all the strong qualities it required. It wasn’t until later on, some friends and family affirmed my decision to be a nurse. (So if you are around kids who don’t have the confidence to pursue their dream.. push them! mentor them! encourage them! and if you aren’t around any kids…you need to go find some! there are tons of children from refugee parents like myself, who came from disadvantaged backgrounds and need a mentor who believes in them.. and they need to hear it.)
6) Community is deeply important to me.
“Love is the overflow of joy in God which gladly meets the needs of others.”
– John Piper
If I truly love my community, then I would go to them and meet them where they are. When they rejoice, I rejoice alongside them. When they mourn, I mourn. When they seek help, I answer. It’s definitely something that takes time, patience, and understanding, to become integrated, and committed to a community over time. But when you fall into the place where God has purposed for you… everything just makes sense
7) Here’s a glimpse of my community. It’s in the ghetto, but it’s where it’s at… our church brings kids out (of their homes, or the streets) to a place where they feel safe, protected, and nourished. We help them with their schoolwork, teach them music, dance, even how to read and write in Khmer, so that they can see there is more to life than well..thug life.
Here, I accompany the youth choir as they sing Dona Nobis Pacem (Latin for, “Grant us Peace”):
~ ~ ~
Now I’d like to nominate a few other bloggers who totally deserve this same award. (I could only think of 5 for now…)
1) Esther and Jacob – Beautiful photos and travel tips, served with gratitude and authenticity. But more importantly, their hearts are gold – they care for the forgotten, and launch projects like Heart Philippines, a creative way to help support disaster relief in the Philippines. (They did the same thing for Heart Japan, post Japan earthquake).
2) Hope Engaged– Katie writes about her adventures and her work in the community (from caring for girls in Nepal, to caring for kids in ‘da hood), and does so with such optimism and hope.
3) Between Worlds– a blog that cuts to the core of the things that matter, she writes often about topics that are too hard to talk about. like racism. issues in the church. or marriage. or work. or immigration and resettlement. Difficult stuff, but expressed so eloquently and thoughtfully.
4) Shift– Jess shares how life is ‘shifting’…through poems, travel stories, and life wisdom. elegantly and beautifully.
5) A Beetle with Earrings – theinnerzone is a prolific writer. Her work is compelling, haunting, alluring.. it completely captivates you and leaves you wanting to read more. I wish she’d just write a book already.. =)
Alas.. it’s time to sleep.. go to work.. then work some more.. and oh yes, is it nearly Christmas? I’ll have to work on a Christmas post too. Lots of writing to catch up on, stay tuned.