From Tragedy to Triumph (2013, in Review)

2013 Year in Review

My Highlights from the Past Year…

2013! It was a difficult year for the nation as a whole, and especially for Boston. Following an unexpected terror attack on Marathon day, the heartache within our own city.. it was intense…palpable.

But oh, how far we’ve come! All across the news, you’ll find journalists recapping the year’s events. Here, my own personal year in review…

My top 3 nursing stories:

3. What Does it Take? 

2. In Your Arms

1. In Winter’s Grasp

Top 3 characteristics I learned about God (some lessons have to be learned and relearned often)

3. God is constant and unchanging. When I am overwhelmed by constant strife and unseen obstacles, the One whom I can trust and depend upon is God.

2. How He loves 

1. He is with us. During the day of and days following the marathon bombings, there was much fear, uncertainty, and trembling in the city. In those times, I meditated upon the knowledge that God never abandons us, especially when we are in fear.

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

-Isaiah 41:10

Random 3 photos of treasured memories:




(bonus photo: discipline)

3. Determination (and discipline)- My sister and I began teaching folk dance this year. With newbie middle schoolers and highschoolers given only 3 months to learn the flexibility, rhythm, and skill of Khmer dance, it was definitely a challenge. But all the clumsy stumbles, bruised ankles, splintered hands, and frustrated tears were worth it- they performed a successful show, and were invited to perform again.

Watching my students become confident, steadfast, and perseverant brings such delight. I am so proud of them!


THE snow storm of 2013.

2. The snow storm of 2013 – Now I truly understand the metaphor “the storms of life” !  Walking, fighting, trudging through nature’s wrath of wind, snow, sleet, ice…it is not easy.  Even my patients have given me the nickname, “wind blows and you fall down…” 

But where else can you find snowboarders gliding down snow covered cobblestoned streets?! (And beside buried parked cars too.)

long distance friendships

It’s raining but we have one another! NYC in July

1.  Long distance friendships- some of my closest friends live far away. This past year I was blessed to have mini reunions (ATL, NYC, SoCal, Htown) and even attend a few weddings. Whether it is a video chat, a quick email, or handwritten letter, they have shouldered, carried, and lifted me up in countless ways. I’m so thankful for them.

Top 3 personal stories:

3. Dancing to a Different Tune – on overcoming challenges. finding one’s own beat. and dancing my heart out.

2. Sifting Sorrow – the emotional and tense days after the Marathon bombings.

1. Wish I Didn’t Know – facing the reality that parents don’t live forever.

(Honorable mention: What Mom Taught Me )

Top 3 films I enjoyed (not new films, just ones I watched this year, and all you can find on Netflix):

3. 200 Pounds Beauty– directed by Young-wha Kim. A satirical, comical film on the beauty/plastic industry world in Korea (and worldwide)

2. Hugo – directed by Martin Scorsese. An inspiring film about imagination, dreams, and the history of film. 

1. Somewhere Between – directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton. A tearjerking documentary about identity, history, and reconciliation, that follows the lives of 4 Chinese girls adopted by American families. 

(Honorable mention goes to Gaksital, aka Bridal Mask, a Korean historical tv drama. One of my favorite dramas of ALL time…)

Top 3 books I read:

3. Good Prose by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd

2. The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges

1. Desiring God by John Piper

3 new things I did in 2014:

3. Attended a writing group.  Learned to be more creative through freewrite. Wrote more poems. And was deeply inspired by other awesome writers.

2. Cooked authentic Italian food. Now I know the difference between freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and the prepackaged stuff in a bottle. comparison!

1. Started this WordPress blog! (and said goodbye to my decade old xanga). Praise God for new friendships and connections with other bloggers.

(Honorable Mention: Attended a World Series Championship Parade. Go Sox!)

3 random awesome memories:

3. Visited The Great Wall of China! (watch out for an upcoming blog post!)

2. My sister got engaged! Whoo! And my sister in law graduated from grad school. So thankful to share in their life milestones.

1. All the times spent with our church youth – dancing. praying. apple picking. ice skating. performing. counseling, encouraging one another. learning to battle life’s many struggles, but with wisdom and joy through Christ.

3 things I hope to do in 2013:

3. get more sleep (at least 7 hrs!) I failed at this one last year.

2. learn a new language? I met someone who speaks: English, Khmer, Spanish, French, AND mandarin. (Is there a word for that… pentalingual?!) She’s got me beat by 2 languages. I did speak French in college, but when you don’t use it, you lose it. Plus I think it’s time to be serious about learning Chinese. Now which dialect should I learn…

1. spend at least 30 minutes a day writing. daily!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my 2013 recap! Let’s continue moving forward and embrace the new year.

For all the hidden challenges and joys we have yet to encounter…let’s face it with conviction and courage. =)


7 thoughts on “From Tragedy to Triumph (2013, in Review)

  1. Really enjoyed this blog esp the 3 lists. Great reminder about God’s constant love for us. I need to start writing so I can keep track of things in my life!

    BTW – I’m surprise you like 200 Pounds Beauty. David and I didn’t like it. Have you seen City Hunter? Might be just as good as Bridal Mask! David really likes City Hunter.

    • really?! uhh.. David should watch Bridal Mask and then tell me what he thinks! I really liked Bridal Mask because it was a historical drama, and it’s theme is more symbolic than merely a good plot with suspense and action… i would tell you more but i don’t want to give it away, you should just watch it. but be prepared to be addicted.. =P

      I liked 200 Pounds Beauty because it so accurately criticizes and mocks society as a whole, at how we value appearance and superficiality over real talent, character, and genuineness. although i didn’t like the ending, i like the message it delivers.

      yes girl you should start writing! =D START TODAY. =)

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