For Where I Have Approval, There My Worth Will Be Also

I’m the second of four kids. My older sister was consistently the responsible one, the obedient one, and I was anything but those things. I hardly did anything right the first time, and I fell short of people’s expectations over and over again. Irresponsible was the word most used to describe me, and disappointment and […]

Holding on to Hope

Our nation is set to welcome Donald Trump as President tomorrow, and everything in me mourns- not because I fear him but because he’s become a catalyst to unleash the ugliness within. I felt concussed most of November trying to sort through what had happened. I felt betrayed by those who share my faith, scared […]

My Prayer for This Season: Rescue Us from Ourselves

The days leading up to and after Thanksgiving I was bombarded with ad after ad for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. They were shouting at me, enticing me, telling me “good news” in the midst of hard times. Free shipping! Buy One Get One! Lowest prices of the year! Such sweet words to my […]

Where I’m Supposed to Be

I push the stroller out of the parking structure elevator, and the scenery takes me back in time. So much is the way it was more than 15 years ago. The Edwards movie theater, Tillys, Old Navy, Barnes and Noble- all the stores I used to frequent are still there. Even the people wandering about […]

Cooking and the Feeding of Our Souls

I’m becoming my mother. Whenever she comes to visit us, her greatest ambition is to cook for our family. She asks which of her Korean homemade dishes we’d like to eat, and even prior to her stay she prepares in advance by shopping for groceries we can’t find locally. She’s a lady on a mission. […]

Always a Foreigner, Never Home

My face is the filter through which people see me. It can’t be helped. When people look at me, they see an Asian girl. To some, it’s the face of familiarity, but to most it’s the face of a foreigner. It creates distance, division, and tension. It brings up questions of heritage and place and […]

The Restoration We Find through Confession

Confession has never been a feel-good word to me. I grew up in a Korean Presbyterian church, so confession often meant something along the lines of punishment, sinner, dirty, shame. Shame for the things we had done. Shame for the ways we had failed. Shame for not being able to overcome. Shame for even feeling […]

We Need Whitespace to Create

The responsibilities keep piling on. The calendar gets filled up with more events. We’re moving from one thing to another with barely a moment to breathe. I run the family around from home to church, on errands, on playdates, to Target and back. Everything is always rushed. My temper is short, and my patience is […]

This Is My Act of Worship

“Lord, what should I give up for Lent?” “Don’t give up anything. How about you just do what I’ve been telling you to do? Write.” He could’ve said anything—TV, social media, carbs, coffee, and as much as it would’ve been hard to give those up for a while, it would’ve been okay—easier even—than to obey […]