23 September 2016

Second-hand Gifts and Grace

If your overseas community is like mine, there is a lot of sharing. We share recipes, babysitting, medical tips (and NyQuil), kids' outgrown clothes and toys, baking supplies, and tons of advice.

Some things we do sell, especially when people repatriate and need to divvy out all their life possessions within a few weeks. For-sale emails with itemized pictures will go out, and the wild rush begins. "I'll take that!" "Yes, please!" "Me me me! Thank you!"--we all eagerly snatch at lovely goods, and happily pay our friends for making our home-away-from-home more comfy.

But there is one rule that holds fast for us: Do not make money on something that was free to you.

05 February 2016

Competition Has Its Place

We live with competition, and there's no escaping it. Yet, we do choose how competitive we are, in what competitions we participate, and to what degree we let others compete over us.

I am a wife, a mom, a teacher, and a volleyball coach. I am also a believer. While competition has its place, where is that place? Is it first, is it last? Is it ever sin? When is it good?

01 February 2016

One Month "Complete": What makes a good day?

And just like that--January is gone. I have tried to live "complete" for one month and have eleven to go. How far have I journeyed? Can the last 31 days be considered a good start to the year?

What did I complete? 

  • I organized and greatly reduced the items we keep at my parents' house in Hawaii.
  • I put together a dresser! (That felt fantastic.)
  • I created my year's journal
  • I read two books. 
  • I had a birthday. (I completed another year of living!)
  • I flew solo with three young kids, 7 check-in bags, and 7 carry-on bags back to Seoul.
Stretching our legs during our layover in Japan

Do these accomplishments mean I had a good month? 

02 January 2016

Complete: My One Word for 2016

The new year is such a gift. God could've created the world to have one season, one continuous count-up of days--without the full-circle feel of January, of fireworks, family gatherings, and resolutions. I'm so grateful He spun the world and put it in orbit. Every twelve months, I get to reflect, evaluate, dream, and plan.

Closing 2015, I look back on the word that has guided me through day by day: count. I knew I needed to limit my commitments, exchange stress for peace, and find blessings in the commonplace. From January to December, I kept thinking about what counts: faith, joy, and wholehearted commitment. "Count" was what I needed to stay focused.

Looking forward into 2016, I see what word naturally follows: complete.