right now: may 2022.

Making: myself insane by writing a paper that I have the feeling is going to be really convoluted but it’s due on Tuesday and I’m at 1350/4000 words (should’ve started this earlier!)

Cooking: not much! I just moved last weekend and I’m still slowly finding where all my stuff is–I still haven’t unpacked my knives, which is somewhat impeding my ability to cook

Drinking: a lot of strawberry mango sparkling water (the Target brand)

Reading: Grounded In Heaven by Michael Allen (for class); I have a couple of other things on pause while I finish out my semester, and then I plan on blitzing through quite a few

Wanting: this paper to be done and for this weird sinus/cough situation I’ve had since early March to go away

Looking: forward to the six weeks I have off between semesters (I’m taking a summer class but it doesn’t start until July)

Deciding: on where to put all my stuff in my new place–it’s a little smaller than the old one but there’s more storage, so it evens out

Listening: to a Tim Keller sermon on covenants; also just discovered a podcast called Things I Learned Last Night that’s pretty fun

Buying: mostly just groceries for the time being (saving money!)

Smelling: not much (see also: my sinus situation)

Watching: not much (see also: this paper that’s due on Tuesday)

Wearing: Blue shorts, Ravenclaw t-shirt, Tevas

Noticing: I’ve been waking up entirely on my own at 6 AM every morning, regardless of what time I went to bed

a service for the commissioning of single people

Friends in Christ, we have gathered to commission these members of our family as they prepare for another year as unmarried people.

The Lord Jesus, during His earthly ministry, did not take a wife, in order that He might take a heavenly bride for Himself, the Church. Many of His prophets and saints remained unmarried in order to pursue undistracted devotion to Him. Some remained unmarried despite their desire for a spouse, but nonetheless lived in faithfulness and holiness. Some became single after the end of a marriage, whether through divorce or through their spouse’s death. Some remained unmarried for many other reasons and lived out their various vocations and callings as members of the Body of Christ. All of them, regardless of the reason for not getting married, were nonetheless beloved, called, chosen, and accepted before God.

As these members of our congregation continue in their walks with Christ and with us, their community, some of them may eventually enter into the covenant of marriage, and some of them may not. While they remain single, we want to affirm both the difficulty and the freedom that being single provides; we want to commit ourselves to being their helpers and companions on the way of Jesus; and we also want to encourage them in their vocations as equal members of this body and of the Church at large.

Readings:

Psalm 68:4-6

Isaiah 56:1-5

Matthew 19:23-30

The service leader asks the following questions to the single people, and then to the congregation.

All of our unmarried friends who are adults, will you please stand as you’re able? If you’re unable, please raise a hand or otherwise indicate that you’re a single person. I’ll ask you some questions and you can respond with “We will, with God’s help.”

Beloved, will you walk in faithfulness to the call of the Gospel as part of the body of Christ?

We will, with God’s help.

Will you love and serve your neighbors and Christian family as those who are loved by God?

We will, with God’s help.

Will you practice hospitality, welcoming others as you have been welcomed by Christ, and will you practice vulnerability, openness, and confession with others?

We will, with God’s help.

Will you resist the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil? Will you reject isolation, and accept the help of your companions in the Lord?

We will, with God’s help.

Will you pursue deep friendships with people from all walks of life and seek to encourage and be encouraged by them in love?

We will, with God’s help.

Now I’m going to ask some questions for the whole congregation. Again, your response is, “We will, with God’s help.”

Friends in Christ, will you love and honor these members of the family of God as they walk in chastity, service, and obedience to Christ?

We will, with God’s help.

Will you regard them as your equals and co-heirs with Christ?

We will, with God’s help.

Will you practice hospitality and welcome them into your households as fellow members of the household of God?

We will, with God’s help.

Will you help them in their times of temptation, and aid and comfort them in their times of suffering and sorrow?

We will, with God’s help.

Will you rejoice with them in their successes and milestones?

We will, with God’s help.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, grant that these your beloved children may walk before you in holiness and righteousness. Send them comfort in times of loneliness, send them strength in times of trial and temptation, and reveal to them your great love in times of need: through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

things i wanted to tweet during lent, but didn’t

Don’t mind me, just thinking about the fact that the United States historically skews more toward taking the Russia role than the Ukraine one, I’m sorry to say

One of my modus operandi is that I just really want people to like me, which I guess is fine in and of itself, but it also leads me into doing completely dumb shit sometimes

my garbage disposal spat up a large piece of something and my immediate response was to mutter “and the sea will give up its dead” to myself

there is no end to the internet and that is most of the problem with it

working at a college is great because there’s all this scholarship and research and culture and art, but then it’s also populated by mostly 18-24-year-olds so really random goofy stuff also happens

i mean my christian high school never talked about lgbtq people or issues other than to just say “ew” and i can think of several folks that came out after they left there, so it seems that not talking about it does not prevent it from happening, it just increases shame and fear about it and also doesn’t decrease homophobia in the student body–all of this is bad, to be clear

lent: where you suddenly remember that all the kids you know will also eventually die (hopefully not for a very long time though!!!) and then you get sad

i’m 5’4″ and i’m one of the tallest people in my work unit–i feel kind of powerful, is this how actual tall people feel all the time?

did some genealogical research and it turns out one of my maternal great-great grandmothers was named maria amanda, how about that.

i don’t think i’ve ever eaten a crab rangoon. are they actually good?

there’s nothing like realizing that you’re operating out of the assumption that you’re not likable in and of yourself and so you try to be at least interesting or useful instead

christian twitter tolerates anger and despair like way more than it should. not saying that we can’t ever experience them, but i think we lend them too much authority sometimes

[insert seven weeks’ worth of wordle scores here]

i think about the line from rent: “the opposite of war isn’t peace; it’s creation!” and i say: creation and shalom are bffs. what are you making these days, friends, to push back against the violence of the world?

i keep getting crushes on men who are definitely gay and would not be attracted to me that way at all, what is wrong with me

i am of an age when i am thinking about starting to use a serum. anyone who is way more into skincare than i am (especially if you’re of east asian descent), any recommendations that don’t cost a ton of money?

is this a safe place to admit that 1) i’m drinking instant cafe bustelo and 2) i’m enjoying it

on the dark night of the soul

no one prepares you for it

no one can prepare you for it

when the fog falls on you and

you’re left shuffling through it

trying to find somewhere to lean on

get your bearings

only to find that this is a big open field

and the one companion you thought was

never going to leave

is silent and invisible

and the terror of both the

bigness and smallness of the space

takes hold

7 reasons to watch everything everywhere all at once

(I watched an early screening last night thanks to my local Alamo Drafthouse.)

  1. Michelle Yeoh finally gets a headliner film after being in American cinema for like twenty years and she kills it, she’s so good and she gets to show off her entire range of acting.
  2. Ke Huy Quan, though, is the whole heart of this movie and this is the best possible way for him to re-enter acting (if you don’t know who he is, he was Data in The Goonies and Short Round in Temple of Doom, and this role is infinitely better than either one of them.)
  3. Literally everybody in this film, though, is incredible–Stephanie Hsu needs to be in like all of the things! James Hong (legendary long-time Chinese American actor) is the man! And you’ll never see Jamie Lee Curtis the same way after this one…
  4. I was a mess at the end, which is kind of a feat for a movie that features googly eyes so predominantly. (It probably doesn’t help that I am a bi Asian American woman with mom issues, though.)
  5. It’s also one of the funniest things I’ve ever watched–there are some incredible visual gags and callbacks, and I will also never see everything bagels without having a small existential crisis.
  6. SON LUX DOES THE SOUNDTRACK
  7. Among other things, this is a film about choosing the good even though you feel like you can’t get it together, about moms and daughters, about marriage, about having kind people in your corner leading to you being a kind person yourself. I kind of needed this as a kick in the pants, honestly. Watch this movie in a theater with a crowd, if you can, or at least don’t watch it alone.

right now: march 2022

Making: this hat but in one color (a random red acrylic I somehow procured along the way)

Cooking: so many veggies, thanks to buying a CSA subscription a few weeks ago. I usually end up roasting them, but I might make some salsa with the tomatoes and cilantro. I have a bunch of carrots and snow peas and spinach that I’m trying to figure out what to do with, but I might make stir fry or some kind of half-assed japchae, stay tuned.

Drinking: lots of water, or trying to, anyway. I have a bit of a cold/general upper respiratory grossness and I need to flush all my mucus and junk out. Other than that, I’m drinking more tea–I’m trying to make it a thing that I bring a tea to Bible study on Wednesday night, for some reason.

Reading: for class, mostly. For some reason I’m having difficulty getting myself to read, which is unfortunate since I’m in the middle of several books that belong to the library and a couple are overdue (oops).

Wanting: this stupid cold to go away; to get an ADHD assessment, because I’m almost sure I have the inattentive variety and I would like to definitely be sure; the war in Ukraine to be over soon (here are some vetted places where you can donate money to help!)

Looking: for a new place to live (my lease runs out at the end of April and my current place, while mostly fine, also is not worth the money I’m paying to live here); some kind of mojo to get my act together but also grace for myself while I’m operating at about 70% capacity

Deciding: whether or not to go to ALA this summer (it’s in Washington, DC, and I have both friends and family that live there, so I could kill a bunch of birds with one stone)

Listening: to this album Seventeen Going Under by a young artist called Sam Fender–the title track in particular is very good

Buying: not much, or trying not to–I’m trying not to spend money on stuff I don’t need during Lent

Smelling: not much, thanks to my nose being clogged

Watching: an unconscionable number of TikToks

Wearing: Gray pants, red t-shirt

Noticing: I need to clean off my dining table, yikes

epiphany

The color green is for growth

and sometimes it is the green of

fields of flowers waiting to burst with their

beauty into fruit

sometimes it is the green of flourishing trees

reaching their roots into rivers to drink deep

sometimes it is the green of rot slowly creeping in the dark

that you only find after you open doors and whitewashed walls

because not all growth is good

sometimes the green is a warning instead of a sign to go

Let the wise one know when to prune and when to scrub and when to harvest

2021.

  1. Freaking out with my roommate on January 6 while the insurrection went on.
  2. Watching the Biden/Harris inauguration (and getting a girl crush on Amanda Gorman)
  3. Being a weird caretaker of both house and people while my roommate was out of town during the snowpocalypse in February
  4. Writing papers, getting reading done, going to Zoom sessions for school
  5. My mom had a stroke in January (the week of my parents’ 50th anniversary!)
  6. Going up to my friends’ parents’ lake house in May–unfortunately this was the day after I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and it took me out for half of the trip
  7. Movies in theaters! In the Heights with a couple of friends; going to movies by myself, movies I don’t think I could convince anyone else to see with me
  8. All the men in my parish + my old roommate helping me move to my apartment
  9. Putting together a lot of furniture while watching TV
  10. Watching my friend Payton burn every stick and twig and piece of firewood and his 4′ Christmas tree in the fire pit at my previous address during my birthday hangout
  11. Watching all of the anti-Asian racism and violence show up in the news
  12. Watching the Someday Is Here online gathering in June
  13. Virtually attending ER&L (the big electronic resources librarian conference)
  14. Getting stressed out watching the news from the SBC and PCA annual gatherings (*sigh*)
  15. Revoice: Meeting and hanging out with a bunch of really cool people, ugly crying during the first worship service because the Holy Spirit told me I was closing myself off from letting other people love me and I needed to open up and receive love
  16. Got a new job!
  17. Astros v. Braves World Series!
  18. Starting seminary–miscellaneous papers and all the reading and Zoom meetings, and getting told by one of my professors, “I think that you’re still trying to figure out who you are, and maybe you’re not seeing the big picture of what God’s doing in your life.” (Imagine getting read that hard by someone you’d known for like three weeks!)
  19. A bunch of stuff happened at my church that I’m not going to share here because it’s not mine to share, but we’re all a little tired, pray for us
  20. I was in a fender bender and therefore without a car for a while, but people have been both generous and flexible and I appreciate them all.
  21. I closed out the year with friends on their roof, talking about the past year and the year to come. In all of the changes this past year, the people in my life have been my anchor point, and I look forward to deepening those relationships in 2022.

2021 book list.

Asterisk means I’ve read it before, stats come after the list. Links are to Bookshop.org, but feel free to support your local bookshop of choice or your local public library!

(Previous lists: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

total: 41

fiction: 11

nonfiction: 28

graphic novels/memoirs/comics: 5

poetry: 2

e-books: 10

library books: 17

re-reads: 4

books read for class: 11

books written by women: 18

books written by Black people, indigenous people, or people of color: 11

most read author: David Petersen, with 3

top 10 (in no particular order): The Merciful Crow, Jesus and John Wayne, Why Fish Don’t Exist; Birds, Art, Life; Counting Descent, Deacon King Kong, The Mission of God’s People, The Anthropocene Reviewed, The Warden and the Wolf King, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

Right now: November 2021.

Making: A scarf; lots of plans for December, yikes; myself anxious with all the stuff I have to do and my own executive dysfunction (I need to find a way to keep my mental health from tanking at the end of every semester, yikes!)

Cooking: Less meat and more beans! I’m trying to cut back on my meat consumption for the sake of the planet, even though I know my individual action is just a drop in the bucket, but it’s something, and my body mostly feels better as a result, too.

Drinking: Just finished an oat milk chai latte at my local coffee establishment. Trying to drink more water, even if that takes the form of an orange HEB fizzy water more often than not.

Reading: For class, mostly, but I just checked out The Making of Biblical Womanhood from the library and I’ll try to sneak that in during lunch breaks or something. I also just checked out a book about the Enneagram and self-care (Take Care of Your Type, I think?) and I skimmed the chapter for 4s and it has already completely read me for filth, so there’s that!

Wanting: My brain to actually start working correctly again—it might help if I actually practiced better self-care, which is kind of a catch-22 because it’s hard to get yourself to do good self-care when your mental health is tanking, yikes.

Looking: For snacks that aren’t 1) fried 2) full of sugar 3) aren’t expensive and 4) aren’t nuts, because I like nuts but I’m a little tired of them. Suggestions?

Deciding: Where to go and what to do during the winter break!

Listening: Advent music! I broke out Handel’s Messiah the other day and I might try to get some housework done to Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God.

Buying: Christmas presents, wine for dinners and parties, new work clothes…

Smelling: The coffee and all in this shop. At home, I bought a fresh evergreen wreath for my dining table to use as an Advent wreath and I keep forgetting that it’s there until I walk by.

Watching: Tick, Tick…Boom! (it’s so good!), lots of Sondheim tributes (may his memory be a blessing). Haven’t watched Hawkeye yet, but it looks fun!

Wearing: Jeans, my t-shirt from Revoice, and Tevas, because it’s almost December but I live in Houston, hooray.

Noticing: I really need to drink more water, yikes