This Was A Hard One to Write…

Usually I begin these posts with some quips or some banter… but today I find I want to keep it slightly heartfelt.

Divorce.

What does that word mean to you? Maybe your parents? Yourself, even? Well… before now, it was always a far-off concept. A notion that I admittedly didn’t have any first-hand experience with, and it’s something that I never thought I would.

But now, at 33 years of age, I find that it’s my new reality.

But how do you explain divorce to people? I mean, it’s such a deeply personal life experience and yet you have to explain it over and over again, as if to justify your deeply personal reasons with all who wonder, those who judge your decisions based off of masqueraded social media posts, those who disagree with the institution itself, or even yourself and your own qualms with it all. You have to constantly relive it with every repetition of reasons.

And better yet, how do you explain a divorce that ends amicably?

I mean, it wasn’t always amicable — hence the actual fact that I’m actually getting a divorce, but that we, through a ridiculous amount of thought, growth, self-exploration, sadness, anger, and prayer have decided that we are truly and genuinely better as friends?

Because we are.

What he did for me was immeasurable. He was the cause of a lot of healing for me regarding men and my past experiences with them. He was the cause of a ton (and I mean, a TON) of laughter. He was someone I fell for so deeply and so quickly, that the idea of my writing this blarg post almost 6 years later seemed impossible at the time. He loved me genuinely despite my MANY faults, quirks, and lets face it – baggage.

And he gave me the greatest gift I’ve ever known. The kid that I never wanted, but can’t imagine my life without.

Divorce is not always amicable. And I’d be lying if we didn’t go through all of the muck to get to this point. But I don’t hate him. I never could hate him! He and I – two people from two completely different cultures, races, countries, and family situations… we simply just couldn’t make it work. And I don’t know how else to say it.

It didn’t work.

Do I have regrets? Of course. Do I regret marrying my best friend? No. Will we do everything in our power, despite geography and language differences, to make sure our daughter knows EXACTLY who she is (a bi-cultural, bi-lingual, bi-racial gloriously divine human)? Yes.

She is loved. She is like, actually pretty lucky. And she has a really remarkable family dynamic to write a college entrance essay about.

 

So, yeah… we didn’t make it. We didn’t reach our till death do we part.

And that’s okay.

 

 

My Koromo Moment

Yeah… I know. It’s been a hot second since I posted. And by hot second, I mean a year. So, you know what that means?…

An introspective, inward-thinking, outward-speaking, not-really-life-altering word vomit?

You betcha!

Part 1 of 357: Stop Ragging On Yourself

I was going to start with “becoming more body positive” but that seemed too heavy a subject to begin with after a year. See what I did there? Great. I’ve still got it, baby!

Let’s start easy — resolutions suck. They don’t work. You never achieve your goal. But that doesn’t stop the proverbial masses from attempting to stick to them every January. Now, I didn’t really make a resolution, but I did make myself a promise — That I wouldn’t rag on myself as much. As you can imagine, I too, suck at keeping this promise.

I’m a perfectionist. If I don’t add up (in my own mind mostly) I beat the ever loving crap out of myself and literally worry about it for days, months, and even years until I die. That’s bleak. I’m aware…

As someone who suffers from anxiety, perfectionism, and some happy little OCD tendencies sprinkled on top, I can honestly tell you that I am my own worst enemy. If I don’t do as good of a job at something as I expect I will, I die. I literally die. Literally, meaning figuratively. (Dramatics necessary for my point to be made.)

The main thing I do when this happens is continuously think about all the things I did wrong, or stupidly, and then I tell myself that I am wrong and stupid. Good God… I’m wrong a lot. And I don’t always make smart decisions. But I am not stupid. Lazy… sometimes (my weekend Netflix binges). Tired… constantly. (I’m a single-Mom to a 4-year old. You do the math). Perfect… rarely. AND THAT’S OK!!! I am smart. I am worthy of praise and love. AND for the love of ALL THINGS HOLY, I am… amazing. Like, genuinely amazing.

Call me Koromo from Queer Eye, but I’m over the constant failure replays in my head. I just want to be the best me and try my best. Accept what I cannot do. Pursue more for myself. And at the end of the day tell myself that I did it! – I woke up, got dressed, got my kid fed and dressed, got our sleepy butts to work and school, gave my very best at work, got to a choir practice or got her to tee-ball practice, visited family, tried to write as much of a script as time would allow, ate delicious food (all the food…nom nom), fed and cared for my daughter, reminded her that her bi-cultural and bi-racial identity is amazing and beautiful, loved her, and more importantly LOVED MYSELF.

I did that. Not anyone else. I did.

(Truth – 8-10 years ago, I never would have thought any of this possible. I was so depressed and angry that I couldn’t even get out of bed some days. So… I’m a genuine success story in that right!)

And so, I remind you to do the same. Tell yourself that you did it. And that you are amazing!!!

Also, a glass of wine helps.

So, be kind to yourself. Please? And if you are kind to yourself, it’s easier to be kind to others. That’s part B… the harder part – for next time.

As always, I’m writing from struggle myself. This is real life, kiddos. Real life.

You know what else is real life?… Lorna Doone Cookies! Have you ever had them? I just discovered them and it’s UNREAL how good they are.

The end.

 

 

 

Feminism… Is Perfectly Alright.

So…I may be insightful today. Or I may not… I guess it’s essentially up to you, the reader. So let me rephrase with I WANT to be insightful today.

“Feminism.”

Dun, dun, dun.

Yes, I know. I’m tackling this. Those of you who say “yay,” continue on. Those of you who say “nay,” continue on…because you are actually the people I’m writing to today. So try to relax and open up your mind for once, alright?

I’ve been working on about 4 different scripts (2 feature films and 2 pilot TV series’) over the last 2 months preparing for contest season. I have written, re-written, edited, moved around, and cut and pasted so many times that I feel like my head will explode. But, as I rework so much of the dialogue, I find I struggle with one major thing. “Why are my lead female characters afraid to say or admit that they are worthy?” As most characters are extensions of their creators, I found my female characters were “strong” but not 100% confident in their own skin. This is not okay to me. Not anymore. So, I’m readjusting and re-writing dialogue that better reflects what it means to be a woman in 2018. (This is not to dismiss struggle, or reality of everyday women. Every story has struggle. I mean, at the heart of the characters. Why are they by the end of the story still somewhat weak? This is what I’m addressing.)

So…here we are now. Looking at what it means to be a woman in 2018…from the viewpoint of someone who grew up in a conservative Christian home. And why there’s such a rift between the two worlds.

Ahem…bear with me. This could make some folks uncomfortable.

Growing up how I did (and if you also come from this world you will recognize the concept), we are taught that by being a woman, our identities are almost always found in that of being wives and mothers. Cool. On the surface, there’s not much wrong with that. I am a wife and I am a mom. It’s not always easy, but I also enjoy it.

But there is a very, very, tiny thin line between having your own identity and LOSING it for the sake of your family.

I was always so uncomfortable calling myself a feminist. I couldn’t quite get to the point where I’d say, “Yeah. Totally. I am one!” And why is that? Probably because of all of this.

But I can, believe or not, be a feminist…and believe in God. “What?” You say? It’s true. Feminism is so much more than pink vagina hats and the right to abort. But most conservatives can’t actually get past that point. Anger, disregard, righteous superiority…all these things blind a lot of Christians and they go on with their lives unwilling to see anything else.

But you have to see everything else.

God made me a woman. What does that entail? Boobs…cool. Smaller feet…also cool. But God also made me with my own mind, desires, talents, dreams, fears…identity! MY OWN IDENTITY! I am a wife and mom, but that is NOT all I am. I am so much more! I do not and refuse to ignore all that I am and want and hope for, for the sake of being what some would say is the ideal family woman. Gosh, we are taught from infancy, in church, to obey. To honor. To sacrifice. But honoring is not ignoring yourself. It’s not losing yourself. You can’t lose yourself! Because once you do, you are hollow. You’re a shell. And life is so much more beautiful and meaningful to be spent as a body with nothing inside of it.

So, why was I uncomfortable saying I’m a feminist? Because in 2018, being a feminist, to most, means disregarding faith. “You can’t be both.” But it doesn’t, and you sure as heck can.

God created men…and God created women. Equal. Both with gifts and talents. Both with dreams and aspirations. Both with hope.

Feminism is NOT a sin. And modern feminism is not just about equal pay or the right for birth control…it’s a celebration that women from all walks of life DESERVE to be seen. To be heard. To pursue their own dreams. To be successful, and not have to feel guilty or apologize for it.

And for the love of all…..for men to stop squashing our dreams. Blowing out the lights that ignite from within. To stop being so condescending and feeble, that you are so threatened by a woman who speaks her mind. (Ding, ding, ding. That’s it.) It’s fear. Fear of losing control. Believe or not, men can be strong and capable and have a strong and capable woman by his side. If you allow her to be, you’d be shocked at how well-matched you really are. Where you lack, she picks up the slack. (And visa versa.) I feel like that’s what marriage was intended to be. Ammiright? No? Silence? Bueller?

Carrying on…

One of the things I hate hearing most these days are women who say, “I have no time to do anything for myself.” It breaks my heart and it’s a total freaking LIE. You are not a slave to your family. You are a human being. And human beings need self-care. Love yourself first, then you can more easily love your family. No ifs. No buts. No excuses.

Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is essential to feeling happy, loved, and strong. So go get that manicure and don’t let anyone, especially yourself, tell you it’s frivolous. If it makes you feel awesome, then do it.

We are not just our husband’s wives. We are not just our children’s moms. One of the things I hate most about Korean culture is that once you become a mom, your life essentially stops. In Korean, they don’t even call you by your name anymore…they call you your child’s mom. “Soomin’s Oma!” That’s my name here.  I adore my kid. She is the best thing that ever happened to me. But I have a name. And it’s not “Lily’s mom.”

Back in college, (I went to a small, private, Christian college) I took so many ministry classes with so many guys who did half the work I did. All the guy’s in my class got ministry jobs after graduation. All the girls either got married or… I don’t even know. Because no one talks about it! I was pre-wife. All women were there. And that disgusting pressure to get married after graduation forced me to get prematurely engaged to a monster who stole so much from me that I sometimes still have trouble breathing and escaping the memories. He stole from me my innocence, and he stole from me my mind. Healing has taken a long, long time. And a decade later, I’m still a slave to the thoughts that he planted. That I was worthless, lucky to be chosen by a good-looking and Godly man.

(Side note: Want to know what really is a sin? Not feminism. But “Christian” men who prey on insecure women. That’s a sin.)

We are individuals, ladies and gentleman. And strong, capable women are not to be feared or loathed…but respected.

My buddy told me, “feminism can become twisted. But it’s not anti-man. It’s anti-hate.”

I love that.

I don’t hate men. I obviously don’t care for some of them. But I don’t hate them. Men are not unimportant. But neither are women. I am important. If I wasn’t, God wouldn’t have taken the time to create me…and give me a hope and a future.

So get your heads out of your butts, people. Grow up. Learn something. Stop hating. Stop whining. Stop complaining. Be open to new things. And love yourselves. Please. I’m begging you.

Oh, and for the record. I am so unbelievably strong and capable. I am talented, focused, and driven. I believe God created me to be incredible. I love Him, I love myself, and I love my family. I’m a wife and a mom. I am a woman.

I am a feminist.

Dribble Drabble

I can’t be the only writer who still finds the value of writing everything out by hand before typing it, right?

It’s tedious, sure. It’s haphazard at times, yes. And I can’t even read most of what I wrote when transferring it to my computer because I either wrote it half asleep in in the dark or on the toilet. (Don’t judge me, You nasties all play with your phones on the pot.)

But, it’s worth it.

I currently have about 7 full or half-full notebooks around my house that are current works in progress, and about 10 others in a box of older stuff gone by the wayside. (For now, or for forever. Who knows.)

Sure, most of these screenplays, TV episodes, manuscripts, jokes, sketches haven’t gone past scribbles on a page or half-finished scripts in my documents folder…YET…but with every illegible word or unrealized project, I am content.

At one point in my life all I could see or do was music. It was what excited me. But, I woke up a few years back and realized it wasn’t what I truly wanted. (So what if it was a little later in life as most when they figure this stuff out.) Sure, I went from one penniless dream to another, but I’m at least happy with where I am for a change.

I’ve struggled with purpose and focus for most of my life, and now at 32 years old, my identity and confidence stem from when I’m scribbling stupid dialogue between characters who are subconscious extension’s of myself. It’s like therapy…but free!

Angry? Write an argument scene. Depressed? Write a scenario when someone cries it out. Confused? Make your protagonist do some soul-searching but ultimately find peace with a major decision.

I love being a creator. Being someone with imagination and whimsy. We can all use more whimsy in our lives.

Let me end with this bit of inspiration. Don’t let life, duty, or people take your desires from you. Ignore all the drabble from people who don’t want the best for you. You do what fulfills you and makes you wake up every morning. If you do that, everything else in your life will line up for you. I truly believe that. There’s power in purpose.

So, this blarg post was a bit serious. It’s just something from my heart. I needed to write it out.

You do you, boo.

This Will Get Dirty – Keep Reading.

I haven’t deserted you, I promise. But it’s been one heck of a month – again. But here’s a blarg about nothing to tie you over until my next emotional outburst.

So, like, until tomorrow or something.

I’m going home (from Korea – where I live, to America – where I’m from) for the summer with my daughter and i’m like, super duper stoked.

Do people still say “stoked?”

Basically, it’s gonna be lit? On point? On fleek?

Punch me in the face?

I’m going to spend an unholy amount of time and money at Target. Go to Starbucks and order drinks in English. (Unless accidental Korean comes out – which is known to happen.) Spend some quality time in my parents’ pool, getting my tan on (no more pasty whiteness, Korea. You and your obsession with whiteness, I swear You’re more white than me…and I’M WHITE!) There are also plans to annoy my mom with my being in her likeness, accidentally bowing at people, and possibly forgetting where I am and trying to use Korean coins to pay for stuff.

How exciting does that all sound???? Because it is.

I really do do all of those things when I go back home. And I just said “do do.”

Speaking of do do, the thing I enjoy most about going home is toilet paper in public restrooms and flushing. (You heard me — flushing. Most Koreans still think it’s 1920 and that modern pipes cannot hold toilet paper…so they don’t flush it. They throw it in a trash can next to the toilet. There are LITERALLY signs in bathrooms that say “don’t flush the toilet paper, throw it next to you.” You heard me. You grossed out yet? You’re welcome.) (*Also, side note…apparently there’s a new law in place outlawing this? Please GOD let it be true! **Also, also…another side note…I never follow the rules. I don’t care where I am, or if the sign is well made – mama’s gonna flush it. Flush it reaaallll good.)

Man. How good was this blarg? I mean, seriously.

AND I don’t hate Korea. I dislike it a lot of the time. Mostly because I feel stuck here most days. But, don’t get me wrong. Korea is excellent at many things.

I just love home more. Sorry, Korea. Not sorry.

PEACE OUT! See you in August.

 

 

P.S. Oh, and i’ll miss my husband. Figured i’d add that for the people who will comment and say, “Won’t you miss your husband?” I’m not a total jerk, people. Sheesh.

“Calling” or that thing you do.

I’ve been looking into the word “calling” a little more deeply these days. It’s one of those “trigger” words for a lot of Christians, whether good or bad. As a teenager and into my college years, it was my hope. My future. My calling was who I WAS — My identity. I was a worship leader, would train to do so professionally, and would probably be as big of a deal as Darlene Zschech.

If you don’t know that reference, then you were most likely not as cool of a kid as I was.

I’m also being sarcastic. Follow along, eh?

Younger me found solace in the “calling” that “God had placed on my life.” For those who are not fluent in church-speak, that basically means that God wants you to do a certain thing, more often a profession, and do it as a good Christian. Not all are called to extravagant lifestyles. Honestly, most are called to do the mundane — but should do them willingly, happily, and to feel fulfilled doing so as it is what you are passionate about. (Easier said than done…of course.)

When I was 7 or 8, I felt “called” to the Ministry. That’s young, I know…but when you grow up as I did, this is kind of your “right of passage.” Jewish children have Bar Mitzvahs. For the Catholics, it’s Confirmation. But for the average Evangelical Christian kid, it’s “calling.” Unlike the others, there’s really no set time or place. I mean, it’s not a class you can take and wham bam, here’s your calling, ma’am!

However, this concept, word, topic is like, the only thing you hear about at youth group or conferences and conventions until adulthood. Being a Pastors kid, there’s sort of this unspoken idea that at some point in your life, you will be involved in Ministry like your parent. We were no different. Big bro would be a Youth Pastor, i’d be a Worship Leader, and our little sister would… do who knows what because she was always so odd that I think we would have been happy if she just remained alive long enough to get a job! I mean, I said there are certain expectations…but not every kid gets the bug! (And my sister will probably outshine us all in her own way! Gotta respect her for that!)

Anyways, as a Worship Leader, I would lead the Music Ministry for a church or make albums, travel to sold out stadiums, and write songs to make people pee their pants they’re so good. Or…work so stinkin’ hard training and try to impress everyone and prove how talented I am that I would get burnt out before I even reached 23 years old, hate it, quit it, vow to never do it again, and then quit church all together because what do THOSE IDIOTS KNOW, ANYWAYS?! (*Takes a deep breath.*)

Ok…so that’s just me. It’s not everyone. And it’s probably not you. But you get my point. Calling…is tricky.

Calling to ministry is high. It’s high stress, high demand, high pressure, and now all of a sudden cool. Like, that’s not fair. In my day, there were only a few good worship albums and bands out there, now there’s like 7,000 legit bands and albums pop up like weeds in every orifice of time and space. I wanted to do this job before it was popular. When wearing that long suit coat and singing “My Redeemer Lives” all while getting that Darlene vocal riff just right was looked at as lame. Ok, THAT was lame, maybe. But now it’s cool to be in the worship game! Maybe had I stayed in, i’d be a big deal right now.

Or maybe not.

I’ll never know.

Because knowing your calling and keeping it are very different things, folks. Hear me out.

We’ve all heard that God can use those who are unqualified, or who do not want to be used. It’s possible that God can use the worst of sinners to do His work. Because — love. He loves us unconditionally. But that doesn’t mean that we get a free pass on a lasting calling just because He loves us. God loved me through my darkest times and when I denied Him for years, He still never let me go. But what he did do was strip me of my calling. Think of it like a child throwing a temper tantrum because they want to play on the iPad. You won’t give the child the iPad just because they want it. And they may be an expert iPad-er and could solve world hunger using that stupid tablet. If the child acts out, you take the object away. Not punishment —discipline. They are wildly different. God does not punish people, He disciplines them. My denying of Him and my calling caused Him to have no choice but to take it away. I was throwing a tantrum…a BIG one.

(And I should also mention that I feel, too, that God could reinstate callings, too. I don’t know how Biblical this all is…so forgive me. But I don’t think it impossible for God, who loves and has plans for you, couldn’t re-issue a calling when the recipient is more willing. I mean, why not? Anything is possible, right?!?)

Ok. Back to the point. He didn’t just say “sorry” and washed His hands of me. What He did then was wait patiently, blessing me constantly, and waiting for me to acknowledge those blessings as gifts from Him. In this time, new passions were formed and God created new opportunities. In this “gap” period, I made a ton of mistakes, grew up a lot, learned more about God, and realized now that my story didn’t end 10 years ago, but that it’s just now beginning.

God promised me a lot as a child, and those promises still hold true. I genuinely believe that. Do I still love to sing and lead worship? Yes. Am I physically unable to do so professionally? Yes. For the most part. Do I blame God? No. Because my actions had reactions. God loved me enough to discipline me and then give me something new to pursue. He didn’t leave me high and dry. He gave me something else to fulfill me.

Now, currently I’m still teaching English. I hate teaching. I loathe it. (With every fiber of my being.) But at this point in time, I don’t have much choice. Life, for now, has me here, but what I’m learning through this is how to speak to all different types of people from all walks of life and cultures. I’m learning how to communicate. I’m learning perseverance, patience, kindness, strength, and so many others things.

However…

I have a calling on my life. (Of which I’m not currently, fully aware of.) Will I have to do this (teach) forever? No. Because God did not call me to be an English teacher in South Korea. That much I know is true. But He did give me this season to cultivate and grow…but my future still holds a lot more.

I love to write. I love to talk. I love to sing. I love to write about music! I love to still study music! I love making people laugh. I love writing comedy. I love so many awesome, and different things.

So, how do all of these things work together for the good? How do I mix different passions together to make one career? I have no idea. Yet! Me and God have been having some meaningful conversation about it. I’ll figure it out once God is ready for me to. For now, I just have to have peace knowing that even if my first calling doesn’t still stand, that God will still hold true to His promise. That I will do some sort of ministry…I will encourage others with my story…and I will do great things. I may not know exactly where, when, or how yet. But i’m super pumped to find out. I feel like a kid again. (Minus the unhealthy obsession with the D-Zschech.)

Bring it on, Big Dude. 

 

Hashiwhat-now?

So, since my previous blarg post about my recent life, I’ve had some people asking about the disease I mentioned. I mentioned that I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease last year, but I totally left it there. Pretty vague, I guess.

In the interest of some, but not everyone (as most of you don’t care, and that’s TOTES ok), here is a little blip about what I “have.”

The mayo clinic says this,

“Hashimoto’s disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, which produces hormones that coordinate many of your body’s functions.

Inflammation from Hashimoto’s disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, often leads to an under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). It primarily affects middle-aged women but also can occur in men and women of any age and in children.”

First thought is “ouch.” “Middle-aged women?” Is that me now? Yikes.

Second thought it this is SUPER VAGUE. I spent this past year researching and looking into it, and applying what I learned to my own personal experience. What I know now is not much more than when I started, because the truth is, it’s different for everyone. Some people can take the little pill daily and go about their merry way. Some people (like myself) have more side-effects from the pill than pro’s. Some people manage, for others it’s debilitating. And for almost all…it fluctuates between both.

At first, taking my magic pill helped. It regulated my moods, kept my pain at bay, and I was managing nicely. But around Fall of 2016 the pill started doing more harm than good. I was losing hair at a rapid rate, I gained 40 pounds in 2 months and ate next to nothing (because my stomach was all kinds of irritated and bloated), and I was having trouble moving, thinking, and speaking. Now, I won’t blame the pill because a lot of this is due to the actual disease. But the pill definitely doesn’t always help. (But the risk of not taking it is also a little high. But, I made the conscious decision to stop.)

So, as mentioned above, Hashimoto’s is a pre-curser to hypothyroidism, but it is VERY much it’s own entity entirely. For me and most, it has been debilitating. It causes the body to reject the thyroid hormones and it controls everything from your ability and mobility, pain, body and skin, emotions, hand movement, and even memory loss. It was at its worse when I couldn’t remember how to spell simple words while I was trying to teach. Or how to drive home. Or where I was sometimes! Also when my rage was so unfounded that I felt like I was outside of my body, watching my tirade, and trying to get my own attention but couldn’t stop it.

It’s been rough and I’m not sugarcoating it…the worst part has been my vocal chords. On my thyroid they have found a few masses. Non-cancerous, thank God, but one is sitting very near to my voice box and is causing my voice to be weak. I’ve always had some trouble with hoarseness and raspiness, but it is very difficult to sing nowadays. I have good days and bad, but most of the time I sound “sick” or “hoarse” but i’m feeling fine. It doesn’t help that I’m a teacher and literally talk for a living.

So, if singing isn’t in the cards for me, and playing piano hurts my hands and I get really horrible cramps…writing is the next best thing. Writing about music. Writing about things that make me laugh. And writing these stupid blargs that most people don’t care about. I’m ok with that. Pray for me on this journey.

And for the record, I hate when people say things like “pray for me on this journey.” It’s LITERALLY THE WORST.

But, prayers are welcomed if you like. Whatevs.

And finally, I’m not writing this to whine. I’m only informing those who asked. At the same time, i’m scared and sad about it, too. There are days that it’s hard to pick up my daughter, let alone play with her. Or i’m so exhausted and in pain that I don’t even want to do anything, especially having to teach a bunch of constantly sick, totally miserable kids how to speak a language they don’t care about! I’m not complaining, per se…i’m just talking about it. I don’t want pity. It is what it is. I have to rise above it and do my best. I have to…if not for me, but for my family.

Don’t be a dingus: A lesson in accepting help when you need it.

Ok, here’s the shocker of the CENTURY. I’m really pig-headed. WHAAAATT?

Actually, my list of flaws include: pride, stubbornness, and the inability to accept help. (hyper-independence?)

It’s truly a miracle that I got married. Seriously. My husband is a saint. Saint Yona. The patron saint of patience, kindness, and obscure Bon Jovi references.

So, in this era of “new me,” i’ve been continually asking God to provide my families needs. I mentioned in the previous blarg that He has done that in SPADES over the last month or so, and let me continue this cycle by letting you in on my week.

As stated, I HATE asking people for help. I don’t even like getting gifts (my love language is GIVING gifts, not receiving them. Receiving from others, aside from my family because i’m only human, makes me feel icky.) One thing God has continually shown me, though, is that I need to receive this help joyfully and acknowledge that these are from HIM. Ok. I get it. I need help. Serious help! In my actual “need,” and also letting my walls come down that block my blessings. And yes, you can block your own blessings. I’ve been blocking mine for a decade. (See: my list of flaws. Pride, being the biggest blocker.)

So, here I was this week…as in week’s past, wondering how the heck we’d survive. My car has had the check engine light on for weeks and been stalling out for over a month. Needed to take it in…BUT WHO HAS THE MONEY FOR THAT? Not I, said the fly. Yona’s and my cars were on E on Tuesday…it takes $200 (200,000 won) to fill both of our gas tanks. (We both drive 2 hours to and back from work every day.) It was also our “Korean wedding” anniversary on Wednesday (that I completely forgot about…I mean, we have 3 anniversary’s). So Tuesday…no gas. Wednesday morning, I prayed and prayed for gas money. Wednesday afternoon Yona calls and says, “Oma (my mother-in-law) wants us to fill our gas tanks and go to dinner for our anniversary gift. She gave me her credit card.”

I’m. Not. Kidding.

What a specific thing!?! Fill your gas tanks?!? You serious, Clarke?

Then that ping of pride comes in. I love my MIL (mother-in-law) very, very much. She is a totally awesome woman. But my pride and hyper-independence HATES accepting help from her. She’s always willing to give it, but it’s a hard pill to swallow for me. (I mean, she already gave us part of her house!) But I accepted. And I cried. Because it was in that moment that I knew God has provided my exact need. Plus, Lily got McDonald’s for dinner and she hadn’t had that in a month. That girl loves McDonald’s more than The Wiggles…and she reallllllllyy loves The Wiggles. (Yeah, I know. We’re so romantic. Anniversary dinner at McDonald’s.)

So Thursday comes around and my car is just at the point of no return. Yona and I bite the bullet, borrow some money, and go to the car shop. Sure enough, we’re standing there and my MIL just HAPPENS to drive by the exact place we are at and see us. She gets out of her car…and hands her credit card to the car shop owner. “I’m paying,” she said. I look at Yona and he looks at me. We both just sort of collect our jaws from the ground and accept the gift. AGAIN.

Have I mentioned that my MIL is kinda awesome?

And I want to publicly acknowledge her, not to embarrass her, but that she was the person God sent this week to provide for our needs. She was just doing what God wanted her to do. She probably doesn’t even know it, either. — That I had prayed for these specific things and she was the answer to our prayer.

And last but not least, and this one is like, totally hilarious. On Wednesday when I was praying for gas and such, I had 5,000 won ($5) in my wallet. For whatever reason, I felt I should buy coffee for my co-workers with this money. The corner market had cold coffee 2+1. (That’s Korea’s way of saying buy 2, get 1 free.) So I have one boss and 2 coworkers. (We have a conundrum. 2+1 costs $5 and that was all I had.)(Also, in this scenario, one coffee is mine. I’m being nice… but i’m not perfect.) SO, I see our driver (one of those coworkers) as I’m driving in and he had a coffee in his hand. So I thought, “Whew! Great! Don’t need to worry about him!” 2+1 is perfect again! So I bought coffee for my 2 remaining coworkers and myself. Fast forward to today– Friday in Korea. And just now, with 3,000 won ($3) in my wallet, I really wanted coffee. A latte at the coffee shop in our building is 2,500 won ($2.50). So I go in, and I see our driver. The one I DIDN’T buy coffee for. He says, “What do you want? I’ll buy it for you.” This guy, who didn’t even get any of my 2+1 kindness, bought my coffee.

Folks. You can’t make this stuff up.

Also, I hate sounding churchy. I’m not preaching at you. And I hate the over-used “It’s God thing.” But listen…there’s something to say for being obedient, trusting God, and knowing that even when you can’t afford gas in your car…someone or something will provide. It’s simple.

Don’t be a dingus. Accept the gift. Accept the help.

 

 

How I became more positive. And it’s definitely a miracle.

Anyone who knows me…or has merely met me for 5 minutes, knows that I tend to be pretty negative. I’m the glass-half-empty chick who makes people laugh but then depresses them a minute later. Yeah, yeah. I get it. I admit it. It’s my biggest flaw. (Aside from being too beautiful. It’s a toss up.)

So, in an attempt to turn my frown upside down…I give you a blarg post about the positives that have happened these past few months. The list is short. The bad outweighed the good…but I choose not to dwell on those. 1) You likely don’t care and 2) I’m trying out a new “me.” At the moment it’s ill-fitting and makes me feel awkward. It’s also probably pink. I hate pink.

Here goes…

At New Years I promised myself a lot of things and I genuinely believed that 2017 would be better than 2016. I mean, it had to. 2016 was literally the realm of satan himself. (This is me being positive. I swear.) But, quickly into January, I realized that it all wouldn’t be as planned. I was weaker than I’d ever been physically. (I have Hashimoto’s Disease and it’s taken its toll.) I’d been at the lowest point emotionally than I’ve been in years (going back to before I moved to Korea.) And I was the worst version of myself spiritually, to top it all off. The one saving grace I held onto all these years was that even when I lost faith in the church and struggled with my faith in God, I never “lost” it completely. Until recently.

So a little over a month ago, I hit the low of lows. The basement of my existence. I didn’t even think i’d survive the night. This is a bold statement, but it’s a true one. I was a thin thread away from just giving up entirely. I thought Lily was better off without me. My husband would find someone else who’d make him happier. My family didn’t need me. It was….low.

It was dark.

. . . . .

. . .

. .

I don’t know how. I don’t know why. I worshipped. And I prayed. Genuinely. For the first time in a long time. Maybe ever! I hate churchy-sounding people. Like, so so much! I hate saying “those” trigger words that make some hoop and hollar and others cringe. But in that moment, something changed. I felt so much peace that it was almost like a dream. I don’t know if I have ever felt true, unabashed peace in my entire life.

Here’s the kicker, though.

All hell broke loose after this. (Ain’t that how that idiot down south works, though?)

The dog went into heat and instead of bleeding for a week, she bled for 26 days straight. Her tail was broken. She got a stomach virus and didn’t eat for weeks and almost died. Lily started teething. (a 2-year old getting molars is not easy. Ammiright mamas?) Yona and I started fighting about nothing.We haven’t had any money and have been living on ramen noodles as a family for dinner for a month. And my health…my health…it’s taking a sharp turn for the worse as well. And here I was/am…praying through it. Yona and I reading the Bible together and praying. I was/am worshipping in the shower to combat the tears.  But what can I do? Nothing! Physically, anyways. I’m literally just trusting God. And you know what else happened?

HERE’S THE POSITIVE! I SWEAR! —

Not once, twice, not even three times — 4 times in the last 2 months I’ve had a grocery list of the bare essentials to survive and a small amount of cash in my wallet. And the total came to the EXACT AMOUNT OF WHAT I HAD!

We have paid every single one of our bills on time for the first time in years.

Lily started talking.

My husband found his dream.

I started writing again.

My brother and I forgave each other and our relationship has been the strongest it’s ever been in our lives.

I feel happy.

I was able to see my friends that I haven’t seen much since we moved and I missed them so.

We stumbled upon a beautiful botanical garden and huge park where we had the best family day that we’ve ever had.

We have seen beauty in the spring time popping up grass and flowers around our house.

I have peace. Joy. Love. And more patience.

I feel positive!

It feels awkward and uncomfortable at times. And it doesn’t fit me perfectly yet. I still have some adjustments to make. But it’s meant for me. And I am forever grateful.

Ugh. I know!

Listen, consistency has NOT been my friend with my blogging (blarging.) But, as I’ve said a MILLION times before…i’m back, Jack. Literally. I’ve literally said “Jack” a million times. At least THAT is consistent.

Anyways.

Here I am, folks. In all of my glory. Asking you to take me back. I’m holding a boom box outside your window, but instead of a pop tune from the 80s it’s “IMMA BE” by the Black Eyed Pea’s and i’m rapping it.

So, whaddaya say? Forgive me?

Sweet. Now that i’ve been forgiven because let’s face it, you clicked the link (dinguses)…On to the topic of the day.

Life.

And, I lost you again. Right? But HOLD ON to your britches. I have so much to tell you! I…well, ok. Not much has changed. I’m older. Wiser. Larger. And my kid turned 2…so there’s that. However, I have started music blogging again for “Ear to the Ground” (check it out) and i’m writing a book. Yep. You heard me. I’M WRITING A BOOK.

In all honesty, I’ve started about 3 books. One fiction, and a couple non-fictions. Clearly that consistency thing is legit my biggest struggle. I just can’t decide what I want to do when I grow up. (Which technically was supposed to be 2 years ago. But immaturity is actually something i’m GOOD at.) (#goals.)

On top of ALL this, i’m continuing to write TV sitcom and screenplays that will most likely never see the light of day. But I CONTINUE TO WRITE. Because, it makes me happy. Everyone should do things that make them happy.

I will say, and this is from the bottom of my heart, I’m starting to learn again what it means to have faith. And that circumstances in my life have shaped me to who I am today. Sure, I still have no set career and i’m 31. Or 32. (I can’t actually remember.) Ok! It seems a bit concerning…but it’s not. Because I have a WHOLE HECK of a lot of life experience…good and (mostly) bad. I genuinely think that if all I’ve endured will help someone else who is enduring it (life, I mean), then I hope my words can make them feel a bit more hope.

I also make fun of people and things a lot and i’m told this makes me funny. I also rap. And white people rapping is ALWAYS funny. Always. (Here’s lookin’ at you Macklemore!) So does poop. And farts. May these words encourage you today.

In conclusion, stick around for some more antics and extremely mature words of wisdom. Also stick around for…

…burps.