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 Old, White Men on My Bookshelf: Thoughts on My First Teachers

When we started our babies on solids, we started off with the recommended rice cereal, rice porridge, bananas, avocados, and the like. We were told not to salt their food, to start them on bland basics so they could get used to solids after a diet of formula. We started with a simple carb, then […]

Longing for Rest

I say a prayer over both kids instead of praying for them individually as I do when I take my time. I rush through my usual night script: “IloveyouDaddylovesyouButwholovesyouthemost?” and they yell back, “God!” My “good night” barely slips through the door I’m already closing behind me, and my whole body sighs. I’m done. I’m […]

The Paradox of Being an Asian-American Woman Leader

My laugh is a guffaw. It can pierce your ears or shock you if I’m not careful. In church, at Starbucks, anywhere in a crowd, people are unsure of what to make of such a loud laugh coming from me. I’m a 5’2” Korean-American woman in her mid-30s, but most people would probably think I’m […]

Living Monday after a Sunday Tragedy

A week ago, a terrorist let his machine gun loose on a crowd of people in our beloved city. Las Vegas was our home- the place where we started our married life, where we had our babies, where we rooted ourselves in the community we nurtured. But we weren’t there when the shooting happened. We […]

A Reflection on Finding Community in the Church

“It’s hard to find community,” they say. I sit across from them at Starbucks or at my dining table and listen to them share about the difficulty of finding people they connect to, people with whom they can build a solid friendship and grow together in faith. “They” have been college students, single young adults, […]

Without Hope the Soul Is Unwell

I told my husband I felt like shattered pieces of glass lying on the floor with no one to help me, no one who knew how to put me back together. The cracks in myself, in our marriage, in my parenting had come to a pressure point, and the pieces that were held in tension […]

The Middle of the Wilderness

In the dreaded five minutes of saying hello to my neighbor every Sunday, I know we’ll come to a point where I’ll be asked the questions, “What brought you here? Why did you move?” I give them the one second answer to why we uprooted our lives in Las Vegas to move back to Southern […]

Books as Soulmates

Books are like soulmates— friends who meet us at just the right time and connect to our souls more deeply than we had anticipated. They teach us, help us, inspire and shape us. Madeleine L’Engle says, “Stories are able to help us become more whole, to become Named. And Naming is one of the impulses […]

Coping by Escaping

I remember three holes in the wooden post of my childhood bunk bed. One contained the bolt that connected the frame together and the other two were empty. They were meant for adjusting the height of the lower bunk, but we never did. The empty holes were insignificant to the rest of the room, unimportant […]

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 […]