When “no” becomes a huge, miraculous “YES”


Waiting for transplant surgery with a nervous smile

Seven months ago I was in Santa Barbara, prepping for a grueling 2 week interview at the Westmont, where I was serving as Interim Coordinator of Intercultural Programs. This is my dream job. It was the exact kind of work I wanted to do when I envisioned myself in this field during graduate school. This job was the kind that I wanted to give myself to and it was at the kind of institution that I wanted to do the work in. I had the opportunity to teach students about social justice, helping them understand their intersections of their identities and what that means for who they are as they engage as a global citizen in the world, and theologically as they continued to engage their relationship with God. It was a dream come true. I also worked the hardest I ever had without community and trusted relationships to replenish me as I weeded through the murky waters of institutional politics and engaged in dialogue about issues of race and inequity. But I loved it. I felt purposed, and happy. Not to mention the fact that I got so much sun, I was as dark as I was when I lived in the Philippines. I was able to forge a wonderful relationship with my co-worker Amy, and found some kindred spirits in a couple from Indiana who I had a lot in common with. I lived next to campus, so my commute was 3 minutes, and I had some amazing students. I was living out a lot of things I had been reading and studying about in graduate school.

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Filed under California, Family, God-thoughts, Relationships

O Canada

I know I usually write when I’m distressed, but during this Christmas day (or soon before it ends) I hope you will allow this last entry of heartache.

I went to Canada today. I left the country this evening taking the wrong turn after being grilled by my unfriendly U.S. border patrolman because I saw a sign that read, “return to Canada”. I quickly turned the other direction only to be stopped by another border patrolman (much nicer this time). I told him what happened and how I freaked out and said, “hell no, I’m not going back there!” He chuckled, greeted my dogs, and pointed to the sign underneath “return to Canada” that said something to the effect of “Freedom!” (not really). My car crossed the border, and my spirit was just a little bit lighter. I was never happier to be a citizen of the U.S.A. Continue reading

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Filed under Candid Thoughts, Family, God-thoughts

Magical Wet Hair

You know that look – when you get out of the shower, and your hair is fresh and clean? Or when you get out of the ocean and that salty wet hair molds into this amazing ‘do that won’t stop. That’s what I’m talking about! (Is this a California thing?)

I’ve been in-between hair dressers for about a year now. I had the worst hair cut for about 4 months, and got it fixed – but the fix cost me about one pair of Gap blue jeans. Now I’m letting my hair grow out again, and I’m hoping that I can get a decent trim that won’t cost me a ton of money. One problem: I have that straight, very thick “Asian” hair. It’s a pain, and if you don’t cut it right, it can be a bad situation and say bad things about yourself (similar to a mullet).

So I got thinking about what it takes to look your best – or what it communicates about you to other people. I listened to an episode of This American Life (on podcast) awhile ago, and there was a story about this couple who were in just the beginnings of their relationship (the puppy dog stage). She wore these horrendous pants that she thought made her look hot. But every time this guy would see her, he would wonder why she was wearing those ugly pants. She would plan on wearing the pants whenever she’d see him, and she even wore them on her first date. perception
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Filed under California, Candid Thoughts


addis-doubt-church-cartoonI am unsettled tonight. I came home from a long day in Vancouver to testify in my brother’s court case in regards to visitation rights of his four children, and it nearly took the life out of me. I am tired – but sleep will not come.

I think often about faith during these times. All I know to be true about God – a lover of justice, giver of peace, sustainer of my soul… come into question with this schism in our family.

I have referred to this tumultuous time on this blog and in conversations with my close friends – this turmoil that was once my brother’s to bear, is now our entire family’s. Continue reading


Filed under Candid Thoughts, Family



I love fruit.

Just the fact that they grow on trees and bushes, and are so easily accessible makes me happy. It truly is a gift from God. Just being able to reach out and pick some fruit and be able to eat it right away! What a delight!

I went blackberry picking over the summer with my friend Karin, and she knows how to choose them! Even though they grow like weeds in the northwest, they’re the tastiest weeds I’ve ever had.  I love apples, and figs, and oranges, and lemons… I just love fruit you can just take and have.  Love it! My favorite are nectarines, but I’ve never picked them before, but if I did, it might be the closest thing to heaven… next to visiting a puppy farm.


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