This past year, I surrendered the reigns of control over my time.
Through the long nights, aching arms, tired feet, weary but hopeful faces of my dance students and my patients, there I truly begin to understand…
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” -Tagore
My top 3 nursing stories:
3. Sun, Moon, and Stars – on illiteracy
2. Exposed Ankles – on an immigrant’s struggle
1. Keep on Dancin’ – on perspectives and purpose
Honorable mention: Highfives and Heartache– on sacrifice and ebola
Top 3 characteristics I learned about God
3. God sustains.
January 18, 2014:
“Life is a complete mess right now; I feel as though I’m walking in a storm. Lord, the winds have whipped me back and forth, it is cold, feeling like I will go numb from the bitterness of others who tear me down. Lord, save me! I will say though, that God You remain wonderful and it’s truly evident that You are real and at work in my life.”
2. God protects; He is sovereign.
March 11, 2014:
“Ba called me. He said, ‘My ICD [defibrillator/pacemaker] shocked me.’ Ba described how he went for a jog and fell on the ground.
The whole event, Ba being alone while jogging, him calling me first instead of 911, the burden of not being there during a medical emergency… it’s frightening. Horribly frightening.I was so relieved Ba was discharged from the hospital, but it doesn’t change his prognosis. I must and need to accept that, the uncertainty of our future here on earth. God help me to trust in You no matter how gray or uncertain the future.”
1. God has a vision, a plan for me.
August 23, 214:
“You can see far greater than my eyes can see- You have big dreams for me; I’ve been challenged in so many ways recently…”
Random 3 photos of treasured memories:
3. Delight – After bites of macarons, cupcakes, cucumber sandwiches and fondue, we elegantly sipped our royal afternoon tea (such as the Organic Countess of Seville), laughed, giggled, and shed happy tears at my sister’s bridal shower.
2. Dance – A quiet moment behind the curtain, I stood beside my Khmer folk dance students in eager anticipation before they embraced the stage and performed at City Hall, before the Mayor, the community, and their families.
1. Awe – Inside St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, the light shone through the ceiling and reflected the glory of God. The choir’s angelic voices engulfed the wide halls and its open spaces, like a flood of God’s love pouring out upon His people.
Bonus photo: Wonder. Also in Rome, we stumbled upon a child playing with bubbles near the Spanish Steps. His curiosity, wonder, and playfulness was infectious.
Top 3 personal stories:
3. Upset Skies – my mom shares about life during the Khmer Rouge
2. Music from the Mortar – savoring memories of cooking, food, and family
1. You Owe the World – on the community I serve, its struggles and dreams
Top 3 films/dramas I enjoyed (not new films, just ones I watched this year):
3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Ang Lee – I’ve seen this before, but rewatched it. My father-in-law taught me that the film title is actually based on the Chinese proverb, “卧虎藏龙”. (Who do you think is the real hidden dragon?)
2. The Perfect Storm by Wolfgang Peterson – Watching this film, I developed a better appreciation for the sacrifices fishermen make daily as they risk their lives at sea.
1. King 2 Hearts (2012) – a fictitious Korean tv drama about a South Korean prince married to a North Korean woman. I like how they used the marriage to parallel how it could potentially unify and develop peace between the 2 nations. As dramatic and unrealistic as it seems, it glimmered with hope and leads the viewer to envision what the road to peace could look like.
3 books I read
3. Real Life by Jason Choung
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
1. The Fruitful Life by Jerry Bridges
3 new things I did in 2014:
3. Joined the Yeah Write! community – I began submitting some of my posts on Yeah Write! and was welcomed with encouragement and great feedback. One of my posts (It’s Not About Chivalry) was even chosen as an editor’s pick! Plus, it connected me to other aspiring writers; reading their posts has been refreshing and inspiring.
2. Learned how to jong kben – Kben is a traditional style of dress in Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos, that originated several centuries ago, where you twist a piece of silk fabric to form a skirt like pant. It is a form of dress worn by royalty and classical dancers. I never learned how to jong kben until this year; it’s not as easy as it looks!
1. Bought a house – now we have a place to truly call our own! Though it brings so much work, headaches, and labor, inviting our family and extended family over has been precious and sweet.
3 random awesome memories:
3. One of my dance students had stopped coming to practice because his mom thought practice was interfering with his schoolwork. I explained to her how dance teaches him commitment and discipline, and his time at church and dance actually helps his schoolwork. When we had our big show, I found her in the audience, (she originally said she couldn’t attend) and she smiled, “please continue teaching my son.” I was so humbled and honored to have gained her trust.
2. At the beginning of the year I was really worried because of my dad’s heart failure. By the end of the year, he repeated a test and we were blessed to learn that his heart function had greatly improved. (This type of improvement is incredibly rare.) Praise be to God.
1. For my mom’s 60th birthday, I flew home to surprise her. When she came home from work, she totally didn’t expect to see me there. “EH?! When did you arrive?!” The smile and shock on her face was priceless; replaying the scene in my mind always makes me laugh.
2. Read 1 book per month. I was definitely a better writer when I was a more avid reader! I’m going to start with Tim Keller’s Prayer. Anyone else want to join?
1. Write at least 30 minutes a day. I failed at this one last year too… hopefully will make it happen this year. =)
To those of you who’ve read this far, PROPS! =D I always enjoy reminiscing over the year (check out my 2013 review), and hope you have enjoyed this too. Thanks for your readership and friendship along the way!