Not Today

My mom had dinner with friends yesterday in Koreatown, about a 20-30 minute drive from my house. She called me to come pick her up, so I did. A minute after I arrived, she called me to let me know that she didn’t want to go home yet after all, and that she was sorry. What?!?!?!

Initially, I was annoyed… so I hung up on her.

But then, I thought to myself, “Not today, Satan!

Why? Because in my irritated state, I could hear God telling me to let it go and to choose happiness instead. And I said to God, “But it’s sooo annoying.. and I really don’t want to.”

I wrestled with it for a little bit, but it didn’t take long for me to be convinced.

Sometimes we are wronged, or life is unfair to us. But how we respond in these undesirable situations is everything. I didn’t want to be angry, because nothing good comes out of that. And just like Pastor Charles preached to us on Sunday, I wanted to have a teachable heart that is willing to follow and be more like Jesus.

I wanted to choose God and His righteousness even in a moment where it was hard to do so. Last night, I got to experience God working in my heart, and it was an incredible feeling seeing Him lead me to do things that I would have never been able to do on my own.

So, what started off as a sucky situation ended up being a blessing. In His sovereignty, He is able to take our tribulations and turn them into good!

And besides… it was an annoying situation without a doubt, but really… it wasn’t the end of the world.

I texted my mom shortly after and I said: “It would have been nice if you could have told me a little earlier, but have fun ^_^” .

I hope that in the future I can continue to say, “Nope! Not today, Satan!”

Let’s choose life, not death.

 

His Delight

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Last week, I volunteered for Church of Southland’s family retreat by serving in the VBS for the children’s ministry. To be honest, I went because I knew that it wouldn’t be too hard. The retreat was at a nice hot springs in Murrieta, and we were going to be given a lot of free time. I thought to myself, “I can serve my younger brothers and sisters, but have fun and relax while doing it”… and I didn’t expect much else beyond that. But as always, God proved me wrong… 

I’ve become so accustomed to feeling a sense of “transformation” through my cell group meetings, receiving prayer, or intense worship through retreats and such. So, how could I possibly feel the Holy Spirit working inside me at a VBS, where the activities mostly consist of crafts, games, “kiddie” body worship, and simple bible verses? By the end of the retreat, I realized how foolish my way of thinking was. I experienced first hand, that the Holy Spirit is at work everywhere and for everyone, no matter the age. 

Two things that I can testify to from the VBS are 1) the worship time, and 2) bible study. 

As a “teacher” for my group, I had to follow the body worship for every praise song. The body movements were pretty simple, so they weren’t that hard to follow. What surprised me, however, was just how powerful these simple body movements and the “kiddie” worship songs were. I felt myself moved, touched, and filled with joy every time I sang and danced for the Lord. God truly humbled me, but He didn’t stop there.

During regular Sunday service, I learn things about the Word that I never knew before — We go over very cryptic bible verses that might not make much sense at first, but after breaking it down, God’s profound message is clear and convicting. During VBS, we go over classic bible stories that are accompanied by very simple and well-known bible verses. 

The Lord your God is with you wherever you go — Joshua 1:9

The Word of God truly is alive. You might read a verse one day and it might calm you, but you might read it another day, and it powerfully convicts you. Joshua 1:9 is possibly one of the most well-known bible verses, and it’s easy to remember, so it’s perfect for kids to learn. But, never underestimate the Word of God, no matter how “simple” it may be. I feel like I never truly appreciated this verse until I heard it again at VBS. As my moving date to St. Louis creeps closer and closer, I started feeling more anxious. When I revisited this verse this past weekend, however, God spoke to me. I wasn’t just reading a verse and accepting it in my head. God helped me to fully understand his promise. 

Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven — Matthew 18:3

I feel like as we grow older and life becomes more complex, we tend to see more gray areas as opposed to children seeing more black and white. As we gain more worldly knowledge, we start to question things, we doubt God’s word, we pick and choose what we want to follow, etc. We are like Adam and Eve after eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Instead of feeling empowered, we feel more shame and guilt.

At the end of the VBS, I was reminded of Matthew 18:3. God delights in his children, who follow faithfully without question, who are pleased with the most simple gifts, whose innocence is not yet tainted by the world. I was surrounded by His children the whole weekend, and it was the most tangible reminder from God, showing me what He delights in.

God is a funny God. He likes to (lovingly) prove us wrong, because it is the best way to teach us and to change our stubborn beliefs. This past weekend, He proved me wrong, and He taught me. 

I was not sent to VBS to teach His children.

I was sent so that His children could teach me

Pre-OT School Update

I have 48 days left in LA before I move to St. Louis. Here’s an update of what’s been going on in my life! 🙂

I officially became funemployed ~2.5 weeks ago, mainly because I wanted to have a full 2 months of free time to spend with family/friends/Alex. It’s been really nice so far having such an open schedule, and I realized that this is the last time I’ll get to experience this freedom until.. who knows when?! It’s grad school life for the next 3.5 years, and then working full time right after that. I don’t even get summer breaks during school bcus we have a summer session too 😯.

I’ve mostly been hanging out with my mom during the day: shopping, grabbing lunch, running errands, etc. We also started cleaning out the house and throwing out a bunch of things since my parents are moving to Korea!! And, since my parents and I are flying out to St. Louis, I won’t be able to take much with me. We considered taking a road trip but decided that that would be wayyyy too tiring and time consuming.

I finally got my student ID/login and school email set up! It was a weird feeling writing out “OTD/S” after my name in my email signature LOL. It’s all starting to feel so realllll! I’m also expecting to find out my class schedule and list of books sometime in July. All I know so far is our curriculum for the entire program and that our days will be from 8am – 5pm 😳. Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 6.04.30 PM.png

I have also been working on getting my immunizations completed. The student health entrance requirements for the OT program is pretty strict (since we will be working in healthcare/clinic settings). I already made my 3rd visit to the doctor today within the span of a week! AND I’m supposed to go back in 2 days… I really want to get all of this stuff over with ASAP, because if we don’t submit our completed immunization reports by the July 15th deadline, we’ll get charged a $95 fee and won’t be allowed to attend classes.

Anyways, that’s my life so far!! And if you’re reading this, whoever you may be, thanks for taking an interest into my boring life 😂😂.

xo,

Lily

Picking Up a New Hobby

I’ve been wanting to get into photography as a hobby for a while now… It’s crossed my mind here and there, and I finally bought a DSLR this week! I got a refurbished Canon Rebel T5. It’s a really basic entry-level camera, which is perfect for me since I am a beginner 🙂

I’m planning on self-teaching myself everything, and I’m not trying to become a “pro” or anything like that…. I really just want to teach myself something that I can genuinely enjoy and be able to track my progress. My camera arrived yesterday (thanks Amazon for prime shipping lol!) and after dinner, Alex and I walked around his neighborhood so I could take some snaps using some photo knowledge that I learned that day:

ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed! It was really cool shooting while tweaking those 3 settings around and seeing how it affects the shot. Anyways, here are some of my snaps!! The bottom 2 are my fave 😉

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Finally Visiting St. Louis

Last month, I finally took a trip to the Midwest! I was actually pretty nervous about visiting St. Louis because I was scared that if I hated it, living there for the next 3.5 years would really suck LOL. But, I ended up reallyyyyy liking it!!!! Praise the Lord, freals.

After leaving LA at midnight and taking a short layover in Minneapolis, we finally arrived in St. Louis at 8am (A direct flight is less than 4 hours!). We were super tired since we barely got any sleep throughout our flight, but we had so much adrenaline because we were excited to start exploring St. Louis

Before I get started on STL, I want to share a short story that I think is worth mentioning. When we landed in Minneapolis, I went through a mini culture shock. After leaving such an ethnically diverse city like LA, it was really weird when suddenly all the people around me were 99% white o_o. I was a little worried about how I would cope with fitting in as a minority in the Midwest. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that people in the Midwest are soooooo freakin friendly!!! I felt a lot better after seeing how nice Midwesterners were. Anyways, I digress.

My first impression of St. Louis was: “Wow, everything is so green!” I cannot stress this enough. After being so used to the barren desert lands of Los Angeles, it was so interesting seeing so much green everywhere, even while driving through the freeway. Speaking of driving….

Major differences of driving in St. Louis vs. LA:

  • Traffic isn’t really a thing in St. Louis. We hit “traffic” like once while we were there, and it wasn’t even that bad.
  • Everyone drives pretty slow, which I like. LA drivers are always in such a hurry. Everyone’s always cutting each other off, speeding through yellow lights, etc.
  •  The drivers are really polite. I feel like LA drivers are notorious for being sucky drivers on purpose. I actually didn’t hear a single horn honk while we were there, except for when Alex honked at someone 😂.

Overall, I was really happy with my visit to STL. It’s such a cool city with so much history! It’s definitely a big change coming from such a big city, but I’m actually really excited to get out of LA. I’ve always been pretty introverted and a homebody, so growing up in LA was pretty overwhelming at times. Anyways, I’m really looking forward to my move, and even more excited because I signed the lease to my new apartment a few weeks ago!! I have so much to say about my housing experience, but I’ll save that for a future post.

Anyways, here’s a video of our trip to end this post! A lot of our first day isn’t included since we spent all that time just apartment hunting, hehe.

 

2 Year Celebration

On Tuesday 4/4, my boyfriend and I went to Disneyland and Disney California Adventures to celebrate our 2 year anniversary! This trip was really unique compared to our other trips because we did a lot of new and different things this time instead of our usual routine. Rather than trying to ride every single ride that we love, we chose to get fast passes for 2 of our most favorite rides (Space Mountain and Radiator Springs) and only wait in lines that had a 30 min or less wait time. In the end, this strategy allowed us to have a more stress-free experience and a lot more time to walk around and sight see! The parks were definitely more packed than they were on Valentine’s Day (probably because of spring break?), but we left feeling like we got more done this time and also felt less tired.

We also brought our new GoPro Hero 5 Black with us and got to take some cool pics and videos! Here are some of my favorites:

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Something Just Like This

It’s been 2 whole years since my bb and I have been dating!! Where did the time go?! As I reflect on these past 2 years, I can’t help but feel blessed and grateful for how much we grew and all the things we accomplished and overcame.

I know it’s cheesy, but here’s a post dedicated to the best boyfriend ever~

HELLO BB if you are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking care of me and doing life with me these past 2 years. Ever since I first met you, I was (and still am) so impressed by your sense of responsibility, incredibly smart brain, and goofiness. I know that I can always rely on you to get things done, lean on you when times get tough, and have someone to make me laugh and be silly with. Thank you for always listening to what I have to say and taking me seriously no matter how ridiculous I sound or how trivial my problems might be. I’m so glad I can cling on to your positivity even when I feel like there’s no solution or a way out, and I hope you know that your words of encouragement have helped me to dream bigger and accomplish more than I could have imagined. Thank you also for being so patient with me even when I’m being a big grumpy baby 😦

Did you know that one of my top favorite moments of dating you is the night we went to Answer while we were in Seoul? I was in a very sensitive and cranky mood that day and you dealt with me even though I was being unfair to you. To make things worse, I realized that I accidentally left my ID… while we were already in our cab, already spent so much time going through traffic, and already almost at our destination. But instead of getting mad at me, you told me that it was okay and tried to make me feel better about the situation. You paid for the expensive cab fare (which was basically a waste because we had to go back), went through the whole ordeal of trying to give the new cab driver directions on how to get to the AirBnB, and then went through the long cab ride there and back to Apgujeong again LOL. You truly made me feel loved and like a princess even when I was having such a bad day.

I feel like I can write a whole book about my appreciation for you, but I want to keep it short and sweet. So, thank you again for everything. I’m so excited to make more memories and go on more adventures with you! I hope we can continue to center our relationship around God and allow Him to bless us on this journey that we are on together.

Love always,

Lily