Is It Your Place to Tell?

“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”  Proverbs 21:23

Gossip.  We know it is bad, but we do it anyway.  Each time we tell the story to someone different, it changes.  It becomes the game “telephone” in real life.  Unfortunately, someone or many are hurt in the process by lies and rumors. 

Many years ago, I began a job a few months after graduating from college.  I worked in an office that had seventy plus employees.  Right before  I started at my new job, my father gave me wise advice.  He said, “stay away from gossip.”  My father worked in a similar place, where there were a lot of employees.  He told me, you can say one thing to someone on one end of the office and run as fast as you could to the other side of the building and that piece of gossip is already there.  I wish I listened to my father.  Sadly, one has to learn the hard way.

My daughter has had a tumultuous “friendship” with a classmate.  One day my daughter mentioned to her other friend when we were in the car about how upset this other student has made her.  I chimed in, saying it has been rough for my daughter and sadly nothing has changed.  We stated facts, not gossip.  Unfortunately, the friend in the car, told this student we were speaking badly about her and her family.  None of that was true.  Then the student in question started bad-mouthing my daughter and blocked her from her phone, all because of gossip.  Read the room (or car). If people you speak to like to gossip, be careful what you say around them.

Another time, I was the subject of gossip.  After I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I were excited to tell people.  We told family members first.  As I started to dial my sister in law, I received a phone call from her.  She stated how happy she was for us.  My husband and I told the news of my pregnancy, for the first time only 10 minutes beforehand.  I understand people were excited.  However, telling that news for my husband and me to tell.  The plan was to only have one child.  And now, we didn’t have the opportunity to say it ourselves.  As excited one is to share the good news, always ask the person if you can share it.  If they say no, be that friend who is trustworthy.

Imagine a world without gossip.  There would be no celebrity garbage news.  People could ask directly to the source and get the right answer.  Non-existent details would not come out.  People would not get hurt.  Painful secrets, would not have to be news for others to dish out.  

Gossip hurts.  Gossip can be deadly.  It is like a drug, don’t be the dealer or a user.  

Lesson Learned: Be a trustworthy friend and do not be the dealer of gossip.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for gossip.  Holy Spirit give me discernment when to share information.  Convict me when I want to talk about someone to others. May my words be encouraging and uplifting.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

When the Healing Takes Time

God can heal in an instant or the healing takes place over a period of time.

Jesus had the power to miraculously heal. However, in this passage, he chose to heal this blind man in stages. He showed us, healing may take time.

I’ve been dealing with anxiety most of my life. I wanted to be healed instantly so the suffering would stop.

I’ve been active on a journey for 7 years to overcome anxiety. I am better now than I was 7 years ago and even 1 year ago.

If you are on a journey of healing, physical or emotional, please do not be discouraged when the healing takes time. Let your faith grow when you see the changes. If you are better for even a little, relish in the fact you are better. God is good. And good things are to come.

Don’t Cheapen Yourself!

I saw this Instagram post from @thefemalewarhol. This quote shot me right through the heart.

Many times when we feel lonely, we devalue our worth to be noticed. This can happen with a romantic interest, at work, with friends, or in a family dynamic. Friend, it isn’t worth it.

May your eyes open and see your value today. May your heart open up to know that you deserve better.

Word Quality

The quality of words spoken today varies. There are words of encouragement and criticism. Words can be life-changing. “You’ve got the job!” “I’m sorry for what I have done.” “You’ve got cancer.” “Will you marry me?” “You’re fat, why don’t you lose weight?” “You’re amazing!”

Criticism specifically, is a difficult one. I read in a devotional this morning by Lysa Terkeurst, about criticism. While it hurts to hear something critical, you must gauge the criticism if it is meant to help or hurt you. I also consider the source of the criticism. If it comes from someone who truly loves you, then you can take an inventory of yourself and see if it is logical. But, if the criticism comes from a social media post from some random person, then keep scrolling.

May your day be filled with words of healing and strength.

Five Years of Anointed Courage!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Online shopping has become a way of life during Covid-19. I prefer to go to a store and see the product I need. But many times, we can only find the products online. I had a return to make to Amazon. I went to my local shipping store to send back a package.

There was a clerk who was by herself, managing the store. She tried her best, but you could tell she was new and having some trouble. The owner happens to walk in a few minutes after and jumped in to complete my transaction. She patiently walked the new employee through the steps.

The transaction finished. The new employee apologized to me and said she only started two weeks ago. I told her that she did great and that one day, soon work will be automatic for her. The look on her face was priceless. She thanked me for the comment and said it meant a lot for me to say. Sadly, the customer base in our town wreaks of entitlement and rudeness. I think she was relieved I wasn’t mad at her.

That time inside the shipping store got me thinking, whenever we start something new, most times, it is a beginner level. We fail, make mistakes, and wonder when things will get better. Today marks the 5th anniversary of me starting this blog. I started with no prior knowledge of writing a blog or managing a WordPress site. I did not know anything about advertising or social media marketing. Sadly, my confidence level was quite low. I felt like the clerk at the shipping store regarding my ability to write and blog.

God spoke to me at the beginning of this journey, that five years was the amount of time God wanted me to write before I would see any results. I wish I had an epiphany today, but nothing yet. I don’t know why God put that number in my heart. Maybe it was to only write for five years, or something big would happen after five years, I still do not know.

What I do know is this has been a growing process for me, and I have learned a lot. I may not be where I wanted to be, as far as success goes. But I know that I didn’t give up, even though I desired to quit many times. And I only had one anonymous hater who thought I only cared about making money for the church. The funny thing is I don’t have any church affiliated with my blog. While I wish I had a book deal or thousands in my audience base, I do not. The truth is, I have a handful of people who like my posts or will message me that my blog helped them that day. As simple as that may be, that makes my heart full.

While the future is still unknown for this blog, as I long as I have something to write, I will continue to do that. The dream of being a writer is still there, and I will work towards it no matter how long it takes to achieve it.

My hope for all is what God presses upon your heart to become a reality for you!
Thank you for reading!

Lesson Learned: If God places a dream in your heart, tend to it and watch it grow.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me the courage to begin this journey. Thank you for blessing my blog. Direct my path. Forgive me when I doubt your plan. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Neutrality Does Not Bring Forth Change

The last few days, feelings of sadness, despair, hopelessness, and anger have been ruminating in my soul. I have not found the right words to describe my feelings. But, I cannot wait for the right or politically correct words anymore. Racism needs to end now. Police brutality needs to end now. The violence needs to end now. Justice for George Floyd and all those who died at the hands of an oppressor.

I used to dream of living in Switzerland. Ever since I saw the movie musical, “The Sound of Music” and saw the Von Trapp Family escape the Nazi controlled Austria into Switzerland, I thought, being neutral seems like the way to go. No war meant, no innocent lives lost, no soldiers lost, death and destruction would be eluded. However, if the voice that spoke out against injustice would remain ignored, there would have been no advancement in society. If you remain quiet, you will not be heard and change cannot occur.

I’m half Korean and half Ashkenazi Jewish (according to the genetic tests), born in Los Angeles. I’ve been called a mail-order bride from a white person, who I thought was my friend. They said they were joking, but I wasn’t laughing. People asking me if my parents got together because my father was in the Army and he rescued her from her country (no, they met in Marina del Rey at a dance club in the 1970s). A couple of male co-workers, who sexually harassed me, saying I’m their Asian fantasy (and no, I wasn’t dressed inappropriately or showed any interest in them).

And because I am bi-racial, I get confused for other races, like Hispanic. About twelve years ago, I was pulled over for a burned-out brake light and then harassed by the local Sheriff for 20 minutes, accusing me of having drugs because I had a similar vehicle of the apparent drug dealer. And there were no drugs in my car because I don’t do the drugs. I was compliant and answered all of his questions, but he continued to scream at me. I shook because I felt scared. After all, I didn’t know where this would lead. He was so angry and accusatory without just cause. When he realized I wasn’t the Hispanic person he was looking for, he said I was free to go. I sat in my car thinking, “Is this what a black person or other minorities goes through daily?”

The debates on why things are happening right now are endless. There are blanket judgments formed against the protestors, where they are being lumped into the actions of the looters. Now is not the time to distract from the systemic issue, racism from powerful entities. You can go back hundreds of years, on how America was stolen from the Native Americans, how slaves-African and Asian built this country, and where Hispanics continue to do the work Americans don’t want to do for way less money. The violence against them is ingrained into generations. You cannot expect the oppression against them to produce peace. Once their voices have been heard and change has become final, then peace will be produced. It starts with you voicing your outrage, creating change in government by your vote, and most importantly-what you teach the next generation.

No matter your religious belief, it starts with you and me. In my opinion, I do believe Jesus is the answer to all of this. If we imitate Jesus, love one another, and allow God to change our hearts, we can help complete the necessary change. I hope everyone who encounters a true follower of Christ will see Jesus in us.

If you are a Christian and people don’t know this about you, examine your life. Look within yourself and ask if you contribute to the problem. Do you listen to the wrong voice that keeps racism alive? What do you support and promote? Do you think and react like that woman who wanted to call the police and falsely accuse, Christian Cooper, a black man of harassing her, just because he asked her to put her dog on a leash in an area where dogs were supposed to be on a leash? It is time to stop pointing fingers, judging one another, and start creating the right kind of change. Seek forgiveness from our Heavenly Father.

The world feels like a chapter in Revelations right now. If you can see all the things that have come to light in the past several years in the world-human trafficking, climate change, sexual harassment, gender inequality, police brutality, racism, and this pandemic of Covid-19 (to name a few). We can learn from every single one of these problems, things need to change or we will fall deeper into evil.

May we find hope our hope in Jesus Christ and help to create the healing necessary for one another. Pray for the world.


Lesson Learned: Neutrality never solved problems.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, may the peace that surpasses all understanding flood Earth right now. Let the violence end right now. Heal the hearts of the broken. Change the hearts of those that cause the issues. Protect the innocent and let your justice be served. For all of those who lost their business due to looting, redeem their losses. Open the ears and hearts of the complacent government leaders to bring forth change. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

Take a Moment to See How Far You’ve Come

A couple of months ago, I bit down on a Werther’s Original Chewy Caramel and my entire dental bridge came out. At that moment, my mind became anxious and started to run with the scenarios of major dental work and cost. And for those who know me well, know how much I hate dental work. 

But then, a sense of peace came over me and I said, “I can get through this, no matter what. God is good and He made me well.”

In the 24 hours before my appointment,  every time my mind went to an anxious state, I repeated it.  I saw the dentist and he re-cemented the bridge back on. He said it may come out again, but it won’t be anything drastic to fix.

I bring all this up because if this happened even a year ago, I would have had several panic attacks and insomnia. The worry would have affected my mood. Physically,  I would have had heartburn or an I.B.S attack.  A total, hot mess.

I encourage anyone suffering from anxiety and depression, if you actively work at self-care/therapy, things do change. You may not notice a change right away, but one day something that used to upset or worry you, just won’t anymore.  Some things may feel uncomfortable but livable.

Keep up the work and remain faithful. You deserve to be well!


Speaking Up

Credit:IG@morganharpernichols

“Children are meant to be seen, not heard.”

“Women need to stay quiet and look pretty.”

“You don’t want to ruffle any feathers, so keep quiet.”

“No one will believe you, so why start something you can’t stop?”

I follow the amazing poet, Morgan Harper Nichols on Instagram. She has a way with words. I feel comforted and validated from her poetry.  This particular post about speaking up, stirred up many emotions in me.

How many times have we been told to be quiet? Even though we have a real need and yet society tells us to shut up.

Sure, there are many “powerful” figures in our lives who tweet, speak, yell, post, upload, and/or spew their empty, yet annoying, demeaning, or hurtful words. They feel the power they stole gives them the right to spew, but suppress the hurting.

But, please do not give up! Speak truth.

When there is an injustice or your morals have been crushed please speak out, even if it scares you.

You may save a life or even your own.

Self-Discovery in Quarantine

My faith was shaken today. I cursed at God. I told Him, I don’t want to believe in Him anymore. More unpleasant words flew out of my mouth, and tears streamed down my cheeks.  

Yesterday, my husband and I got into an argument on our walk with the dog. I saw huge amounts of dog poop on the grass for anyone to step in. I said, “these irresponsible, f-ing people piss me off!” He got upset with me and said I have been complaining about everything. I call my husband, “the great compartmentalizer.” He can leave work at work and home life at home. All areas of my life bleed into one another.

I asked him what he wanted from me. He said, I want to come home without hearing you and our daughter argue (our daughter is 12, almost 13 years old-easier said than done) and for all of us to go on a family walk willingly. Maybe that isn’t too much to ask, but when I am angry, and in pain, I don’t feel capable.  

I came inside after our walk and Googled, “why do I complain too much?” And this article came up. One of the steps said to be less judgmental. I thought, “well, I don’t judge.” Well, I admit it now, I do(a lot!), and we all do it! When I stay in that mindset of negativity and only seeing the bad in everything, how can I ever see anything good?

The world has seen a lot of change in the past few months. We all have had to re-arrange our lives. In some way, we all have had to grieve something. A lost job, canceled events, no school, even losing a loved one. Traumas we have dealt with in our lives somehow found a way back. My trauma is an eating disorder.

Every morning during this quarantine, I have stepped on the scale. Ounces gained became pounds, which turned into binding shame. Those voices of negativity and hatred are in my head again. I want the ground to swallow me up. I don’t look down at anyone the way I look down at myself. The pain is deep and vast.

So today, after I cast my anger at God, I asked for forgiveness. I prayed for God to reveal Himself to me in my daily bible reading. I went to my Bible app, and the reading consisted of Job Chapters 1 and 2, Luke 6, and Revelations 4. Job 1 and 2 dealt with his life in utter turmoil and pain, yet he never cursed God. Luke 6 explained judging others, amongst other important things. And Revelations 4 ended with verse 11, “worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and your will they existed and were created.” God delivered me answers to my pleas. Also, today is our trash pick up day, and the scale found its way into the trash bin.

I have years of experience in thinking in a negative way, which developed neural pathways of negativity. It hasn’t been beneficial to me. The good news is, neural pathways can change. My therapist said two things to me that helped me today—the first piece of advice, the brain changes in increments, not all at once. So, do not expect negative behaviors to go away after you decide to change. And second, when you do catch yourself reacting negatively, you can say, here is the new way I can handle it.

Everyone is affected by this COVID-19. May the virus be eradicated, and we find real meaning in our lives. Until then, be gentle with yourselves!

Lesson Learned: I see God cares for me, and neural pathways aren’t permanent.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I believe for the complete eradication of COVID-19 in the name of Jesus. I pray for healing and restoration for everyone who has become a victim of it. I pray for the loved one who lost a family member to COVID-19. I pray for comfort and peace during their mourning. Protect the first responders and hospital staff who are treating patients every day. Father God, I lift every person with mental illness and who are in abusive situations during this quarantine. Make a way Lord, for clarity or a way out. Thank you, Jehovah Shalom. Give provision to those who have lost work and revive this economy. Forgive us, Lord, for not trusting in you. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

A Prayer to Pray

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. Keep praying for the complete stoppage and eradication of Covid-19.
I saw this prayer to cover one’s immune system.  Sometimes we do not know what to say because we are tired and in despair. But there is hope and healing through our Heavenly Father!

“My immune system grows stronger day by day.  I speak life to my immune system.  I forbid confusion in my immune system.  The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me and quickens my immune system with the life and wisdom of God, which guards the life and health of my body. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”
-Charles Capps, “God’s Creative Power for Healing”