Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Sometimes I find myself in a writing block ... one too many times. It's a common obstacle for writers, a bit too common for me these past several months. With new transitions in my life, I found it very overwhelming (and very distracting) to force myself to write a decent blog. 

Until now.

A little recap: 

I left a job I became very comfortable with for four years. It provided security, consistency, and gave me a lot of pride. For two years I was an editor for several magazine titles, and for my age I felt pretty good about myself. But amidst the glamor self-worth that came with the job, I knew in my heart that this wasn't permanent ... I couldn't see myself being here forever.
When the opportunity to work at Vanguard arose, I took it in a heartbeat. Being back at a school I had grown to love was exciting. Change was needed in my life, and I knew God was preparing me for this moment. 


It hasn't been the easiest transition. Going from a job I know really well to a job I'm learning bits and pieces every day has been tough. Working and adapting to a new team has had its obstacles. It has been a season of growth. I've been challenged internally and externally, more so than I thought I would when entering into this new role. And although it's been a rough transition, I know God is working in me.

I'm excited (and scared) for this new season in my life. I know that this is where I'm suppose to be. Where God wants me to be. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

pure joy

“The Kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” -Matthew 13:44
As many people would question, Why did the man sell EVERYTHING he had for this hidden treasure? The answer is simple: The Kingdom is worth everything. As it is said in this parable, the kingdom is a treasure — much more costly than the wealth and status that we desire here on earth. The kingdom of God will cost you everything. You hear that? Everything. Like Paul talks about in Philippians:
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” -Philippians 3:7-8
We know that the kingdom of God is available to us by grace through faith; however, it also involves us to reorient our lives to Jesus, to be fully transformed into the life we are called to live. We sometimes feel jaded to this concept and find ourselves immersed by the immediate materialism the world offers to us. Sometimes we think we can have both: a life called to Jesus and a life living up to the world’s standards. But God calls us out for something so much greater, so much more than what our world can give us. The Kingdom may not be apparent to everyone unless they have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.
And in the verse, it said that “in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” There was joy in discovering this treasure…pure, genuine joy. The joy felt in the man’s heart after finding this hidden treasure is the same reaction we need to have as well. Have we become too careless about what this means to us? We have become too content that we don’t realize there is so much more work to be done in furthering God’s kingdom.
As Bill stated in his message, “When Jesus talks about the kingdom, He becomes passionate.” Shouldn’t we also share the same passion that Jesus had? Shouldn’t we also share the same joy like the man in the field?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

weekend adventure: hidden oaks

When God brings two people together and transforms them into one, it is an amazing thing to witness. This was the case for these two, Sarah & Denny. I've recently gotten to know more of them as a couple over the course of a few months, and their love for Jesus, love for one another, and love for Africa illuminates the room. 

Brian & I had the amazing opportunity to watch these two get married in front of their families and friends. It was such a beautiful, African-themed wedding. They even had a few singers and musicians from Kenya (friends of Sarah) play a couple of songs before the ceremony started ... it was like we were back in Africa all over again! 

Congrats Sarah & Denny :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"we've come full circle"

In 2010 I graduated with these girls. Has it been four years already? 
We began our college journey back in 2006. We met in the smallest room on campus: our Freshmen dorm. It was in this place that we shared our stories, laughed for hours, cried on each other's shoulders, gossiped about boys, pulled all-nighters, ate the most unhealthiest (but oh-so delicious!) food, and watched endless hours of Friends. It was good times, the best times ... so much so that we did it all over again ... for three more years.

College would not have been the same without them. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

words of life

For us Christians, Easter is a day we remember Jesus dying on the cross — dying for our sins — and coming back to life, allowing us to become a new creation. It is a day we celebrate as we recognize and proclaim freedom we have through Christ, that we are no longer held captives by sin. Many times on this day, we are reminded of His unconditional love, or for others it’s the beginning of a new life. And although it’s a day worth commemorating, we know that it doesn’t end the moment we leave church. The question we should be asking ourselves then is “What now?”
As we enter into this new series titled “Words of Life,” we dive into the teachings of Jesus, to understand who He is. Josh posed the question to all of us on Sunday: “Who is Jesus?” And the answer? The greatest man who ever lived, and so much more. As Christians, our ultimate goal is to follow Jesus, to learn from Jesus how to live. Following Jesus is living out our lives as the way we should be, the way that God intended us to live in in Genesis.
Right after Jesus performed the miracle of the bread and fish, the disciples rushed after him seeking more bread. As Jesus reminded them that they need to work for “food that endure to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you ” (John 6:27), the disciples ask how. And Jesus answered, “To believe in the one he has sent” (John 6: 29), to which they basically tell Jesus to prove that He is the one sent.
They missed the point that eternal life is Christ’s gift and were thinking in terms of achieving it by pious works.  Like them, we, too, can completely miss the point, focusing only on the miracles of Jesus instead of the life He lead, in which we ultimately need to live as well. We also need “to believe in the one he has sent.”
The disciples needed a sign that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. They still wanted to be fed by the bread Jesus had given them earlier, not realizing the truth of what Jesus was telling them. How often do we find ourselves in this same position as the disciples? We desire to know more about Jesus, yet we often ask (or continue to ask) the wrong questions instead of the looking at the answer in front of us.
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” (John 6: 35)
Jesus always has more to give. It is up to us if we want to receive it. Eternal life is not something to be achieved by works; instead it is given to us by faith in Christ. Believing in Jesus is the essential work God calls for — the one the leads to eternal life.
As we enter this new series for the next four and a half months, let’s be reminded of who Jesus truly was and how we need to live out our lives. No one ever said following Jesus is going to be easy, but it’s worth it and worth it to Him. We tend to get caught up with the holidays in which we are reminded of Jesus, but then it stops there. Instead, allow this series to point yourself toward Jesus and press into Him.

Monday, May 5, 2014

weekend adventures: bowers museum

Being a resident of Orange County for almost eight years, you'd think I've seen it all. The beach. The OC Fair. The Circle in Orange. The high school where they filmed Laguna Beach. The hip(ster) coffee spots. 

And yet, there are more hidden treasures awaiting for me to discover in this extravagant place.

We took a family trip to Bowers Museum, which is located in Santa Ana ... who knew there was a museum in Santa Ana! From exhibit to the next, we learned an array of cultures and their history. Kinda reminded me of taking a field trip in high school, except I was actually interested with the artificats in front of me. From the music of Beethoven to animal mummies (yes, animal mummies), this museum surprisingly held a lot of history. 

Here's a glimpse of our day:

Friday, May 2, 2014

a friday fave

This has become one of my favorite shirts to wear:

I gave him a makeover.
Yes, it may be weird wearing a shirt with a man's face on it, particularly one that is not your husband's. I bought this shirt at An Easter Together where many Christian artists came together and sang worship songs. It's an amazing concert, one that I make sure to attend every year. Tim Timmons was one of the artists, and his testimony is heart breaking, yet uplifting. His giftings as a worship pastor and an all-amazing man of God are evident in his life, and it's always a blessing to hear up there sharing God's word and praising Him.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

a moz reunion

This coming July will mark a year since Brian & I stepped in faith as leaders for this group. Mozambique continues to be a huge blessing in our lives, and we are so happy these these girls think so too. Every time we've gone to this place, we are changed for the better. Seeing how these girls have grown just even this past year has encouraged us to know that we serve an amazing God and He continues to work in our lives after Mozambique.

Truthfully, this trip has been the hardest that Brian & I ever faced. And there were times even coming home from the trip that we wrestled with bitterness and burdens in our heart. However, these girls continue to remind us of the journey we took almost a year ago, and how God continues to move us in ways that draw us near to Him.

We're so blessed to have led this team of prayer warriors and that they continue to play an important part in our lives.

Sometimes when I laugh, I fall down.
Our Liz/Awkward face

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

if you're OCD and you know it, wash your hands

Funny Workplace Ecard
Best pin I've found on Pinterest in a long time.

I wasn't always like this however. Granted there were bits of OCD displaying in my early childhood (I think being Asian has aided it a lot).

Probably one of my first traces of OCD was back in my senior year of college. While most seniors kick it back their last year of college, taking the most minimal and easiest classes, I was the total opposite. I was an RA, involved in too many activities &  ministries, and tried to manage a social life. I had homework, tests, and loads of paper to write (perks of being a communication studies major). Oh, and I was also engaged on top of everything else. Sometimes looking back, I think to myself, "How on God's green earth did I do it all?"

When I was engaged halfway my senior year, I didn't have room to write in important dates such as dress fitting and venue shopping. So I bought another planner specifically for all my bridal needs. Within those bridal needs, I created lists in bullet form. For example, I had a list for Wedding Ceremony where it was broken up in various times including when and which songs were to be played, what order everyone came out, when the pastor would speak, etc. And within those bullet points, I write very detailed step-by-step instructions of how I wanted things done ... white petals on the walkway, communion sacraments on a white tablecloth rectangle table, bridesmaids hold their flowers in front while the groomsmen crossed their arms behind them. So created this format for everything (reception, pre-ceremony, food, venue set up). And I printed them out, staple in sections, and added them to my clipboard. Yes, I had a clipboard. And on the day of my rehearsal dinner, everyone that had a job to do received a copy of my notes.

Obsessive? I know.

And naturally, my need to organize every single detail transferred into my married life. Between the two of us, I have a better handle in writing in every detail in my planner, remembering to pay the bills, making sure everything is clean (or at least I try), and going through every possible list in my head before we head out of the door.

Sometimes the thoughts that constantly swarm in my head can be a bit overwhelming. I'm pretty sure several of my headaches stem from my constant to-do lists that run 24/7. And often times my need to have control interferes with my relationship with God. It's something I've struggled with in the past few years. As much as I have this uncontrollable desire to have everything perfect and go perfect in my life, there are some things that I can't always control and make perfect. My job. Relationships. Family. Money...you name it. 

Although it is a tough lesson to learn and that I'm continuously learning about myself, it is always something I continue to give to God on a daily basis. It's lesson I'm learning since the beginning of this year, and it's a lesson that continues to kick me in the butt. God is sovereign over everything, and yes...it absolutely includes my life. Every time I plan every single detail in my small planner, God continues to surprise me, to remove me from planning about the future and focus in the present, focus on Him.

Monday, April 28, 2014

weekend adventures: library day

It's official: Brian & I are official library cardholder members in Orange County. I guess it means I need to start reading more ...

To add to our library excursions, we visited our alma mater. Since being students there, they renovated our school's library. Pretty sweet if you asked me. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

sarah showered with love

This is Sarah, and she is getting married next month!

The bridal shower was hosted by Sarah's mom and Miriã, who is also the maid of honor. Lively, bright colored flowers were scattered around and inside the house. Hints of mint and fuschia were fused into the decor. Family and friends from near and far gathered Saturday afternoon to celebrate the bride-to-be, and it was memorable and fun for all. 

For the photo booth, guests struck a pose in front of colored-paper raindrops hung from white pom-pom clouds ... of course, while holding props such as glasses and chalkboard signs. Games included Celebrity Couples, Bingo during the opening of the presents, and the Underwear Game, where Sarah had to guess which underwear was given to her from whom. And throughout the shower, guests went back and forth from the kitchen tasting all of the delectable treats that were made. At the end of the day, guests went home with small little boxes filled with sweet treats from the candy bar!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the lenten season

Easter is just less than a few days away, and I can't help but think of the past several weeks walking through this Lenten season alongside my husband. Every year my husband and I participate in Lent, and it usually involves us sacrificing something ... usually involving food. Although Lent is seen as primarily a Catholic practice, we wanted to 1) prepare our hearts for the upcoming Easter (I feel at times, as Christians, we don't set aside time to truly observe the weeks prior to Easter) and 2) grow closer in our relationship with God. 

We wanted to the Daniel Fast for this Lenten season. Personally, as someone who absolutely loves food of all kind (and secretly wished to have gone to culinary school), I knew this would be a hard discipline for me to step into. For the most part, we disciplined ourselves to only eating what was appropriate for the Daniel Fast, which meant saying, "Bye!" to Taco Tuesdays, snacking on sweets during our work hours, and all you can eat BBQ. But I wanted to do something 

To be honest, it hasn't been the easiest for us. There were moments where the enemy so cunningly whispered lies into our ears. There are times when our flesh wants to take control over our circumstances. And there were days that were more difficult that others. But knowing that this is a time where we need to refocus our relationship with God, we've continued to pray for God's guidance throughout this season.

This verse continues to pop in my mind as I face each day's challenges:
“My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26).

There's no question: We need God. And not just during times where we are stuck in the valleys, desperately wanting to go back up on the mountaintops. We need to depend on God to work in our lives. Every day, there are a new set of responsibilities and challenges, and how often do we rely on our strength instead of leaning onto God for all understanding? In today's world, much strength is needed day by day, and we can't do it alone. Throughout the Psalms we see this man David, who desperately longs for the Father ... who realizes and accepts that he cannot do it alone, and he cries out to Him. 

I find that during this Lenten season, it's difficult for me to cry out to God in the same manner as David did. And I can name a number of reasons why (pride, fear, embarrassed, etc.). But I need to remind myself that those reasons are just excuses. All things are possible with God. You hear this too often because it is the truth. It’s important to exercise faith in God’s Word, and believe in His Word.

He is our strength. 

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him." (Psalm 28:7)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

a snippet: sarah showered with love

'Tis the season to get married ... or at least it is for our friends. Next month, Brian & I will be going to two weddings! Two! Both a week apart to top it off. We couldn't be more excited for our two friends that are going to marry to their best friends so soon, and we feel so blessed to be a part of this season in their lives.

This past Sunday, I was invited to Sarah's bridal shower, a friend whom I've gotten to know through my friend, Miriã (MOH and the creative mind behind the bridal shower). The shower was a success, and the bride-to-be was definitely showered with love. I had the opportunity to photograph the event (I'm not great, but good enough, ha!), which was a lot of fun, capturing candids, decor details, and photo booth moments.

Here is just a preview of Sarah's bridal shower:

[Credits: Decor, Miriã. Cake: Krystle Hernandez]

More to come soon!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

april already?

Lately life has been passing by quickly. When my head is constantly buried in busyness, and I barely have time to look up to just catch a breather, I realize that we're in April already. Where has time gone? And what have I been doing in the midst of the busyness? 

I regret not visiting this place more than I should. My goal is to still fill this place with thoughts, pictures, and stories from people ... and as much as I try to come up with excuses reasons of why I don't write, I realize that I just need to do it. 

As I gather up the energy and stamina to jot down ideas for future posts, here are some snapshots of earlier this year:

I turned 26 in January (gulp). Does that mean I'm still in my mid-twenties?
The hubs and I have been on a hiking kick this year
 (well, at least the beginning of the year). 
Had a reunion with these lovely girls in one of my favorite cities in California.
San Fran, you have my heart.
Krochet Kids had an amazing warehouse sale last month
... and naturally, I had to go. Loving my new finds
(especially my purse!).

Miriã and I ventured to DTLA for a mother-daughter date and discovered Urth Caffe.
Let'st just say this place didn't disappoint.
My hubs (the tall one) turned 30!!! I took him to The Bruery, where he was surprised  by his college buddies.
What's better than tasting beers with your boys on your birthday, right? 

i'm an artist ... kinda

Shameless plug I know, but I'm really excited about this. Working at this company for over 3 1/2 years, I finally had the courage to create a project for work. It was more of a push from one of my peers. I'm finally published in Somerset Apprentice, a magazine for novice artists.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

see us as we are

There is meaning behind every story written in the Bible — a meaning that goes beyond just who God is, who is He talking to, and how the person (people) responds to Him. The story of God is a beautiful story, one that we can dive into and learn how God wants us to live in this world. It is also a complex story, one that challenges us to read beyond the words and to listen … and allow the Spirit to speak the story to us the way it needs to be told.
I think that many of us view the Bible in a similar lens: As we read Scripture, we tend to hurry to the meaning behind it.“Jesus, what do you mean to me?” is often a question that runs through our minds as we read verse after verse. And even though we may feel at times that we’ve reached what the meaning behind the passage, we can miss out on the whole story. As Josh stated in the beginning of the sermon, we read passages in the Bible with the intent of finding how it relates to us. And although it is not wrong for us to have that in the fore front of our minds, we also need to understand what the passage means in context, to understand the purpose of why it is written.

The story of the Samaritan woman isn’t only a story thrown into the New Testament to narrate  Jesus’ encounter with her. Her story is of relevance. Instead of reading about a woman who has been wrongfully labeled and judged by society, we see her as a woman Jesus took time teach and love. What began as a story of woman who walked a very long time to the well outside of her city to draw water, turned into her receiving the living water, as Jesus explains here:

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” -John 4:13-14

Throughout Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman, He breaks many societal barriers with her. He continues to prod into her life because, without her knowing it, He’s leading her towards salvation.  Although the Samaritan woman didn’t know it at the time, her questioning of His identity and why He chose to speak to her at that time allows her to become more vulnerable to Him.
“Woman” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you — I am he.” -John 4:21-25

(A better translation of the last verse in this story: I am the one who is speaking to you.)

What does it mean to worship in spirit and truth? It means to see Him standing in front of us. When we allow our hearts to be transformed by encountering the revelation of God, we are able to fully surrender ourselves to Him and truly worship Him.
How often do we find ourselves in a similar situation as the Samaritan woman?
Jesus saw her as she was. Shouldn’t we allow Him to do the same for us? We all have shame, guilt, worries, doubts, confusion, and among other things that we carry on a day-to-day basis. But God sees us through our sin, and see us as we are.

Friday, February 7, 2014

bless the Lord, oh my soul!

Growing up in a very conservative church for over 13 years, my understanding of worship was singing several hymns in a Sunday service. It wasn’t until I came to ROCKHARBOR that I saw worship in a whole different way. Loud music. Hands clapping. Arms raised. Joyful singing. And so much more. It was different—way different—from anything I had seen and experienced growing up; however, there was something so intimate about how the people were singing. They weren’t just reading words on a screen; they were singing to God. It was beautiful, and I wanted to be a part of it.
So when worship pastor Keri Fox shared her first experience worshipping God, I was glad that I wasn’t the only one that shared a similar experience.
This weekend’s sermon was about why we worship. It sounds silly to think as Christians we should be asking ourselves that question; but if we really are honest with ourselves and really want to grow intimately in our relationship with God, than I believe this is a question we need to ask ourselves to keep us in check with where our hearts lie when we worship Him. Initially I thought worship was just singing songs at a church; however, worship goes beyond the words I sing in a building; it is a lifestyle, a calling … something we were born to do.
Keri shared these verses, which fit appropriately to this series:
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” -Psalm 100:1-5
We have a strong invitation to worship God because it is His will that we should serve Him, devote ourselves to His service, and employ ourselves in it.  We do not only serve Him in everything we do, but we also come before His presence in the opportunities He appoints us. God gives us joy. We rejoice in Him. And we always give Him thanks. It’s not about how good we sing, but remembering why we sing.
How often do we place ourselves in a posture of asking God to fix our silly problems? That instead of thanking Him for everything—for the air we breathe, for good health, for loving us, etc.—we run through our list of frustrations and “concerns”? The beginning of the passage begins with “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” It doesn’t say, “Shout your frustrations to the Lord.” He is God and He is good. Because we acknowledge that He is the one who created us, we owe ourselves to Him by thanking Him.
God desires us to draw near to Him. As Keri said, when we worship we sing to someone. We’re being heard by Him; it’s the way we talk to Him. God delights in our praises. He doesn’t need anything from us, yet He allows us to praise Him. How crazy is that?
Sometimes it’s good to ask yourself this question: Why do I worship God? It’s easy for us to know what worship is and how we need to worship. And we become content with that. But we oftentimes overlook the why, which is just as important, and perhaps even more. When we begin our day thanking Him, that kind of attitude and posture will dictate how the rest of our day will look like. And God, because He is God and is so good, will take care us.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

snip. ink. paste. repeat

I've been in kinda of a crafty mood lately.

I told myself this year to start being a bit more crafty. I began with card-marking because it seemed to be the easiest of the crafts. I'm still working on a few kinks here and there, but I really enjoyed making this one and a few other variations as well. 

And no, not preggo. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A,B,C ... it's easy as 1,2,3

It's not every day that I have the privilege to write articles for workThis is one of the magazines I enjoy reading and writing for.

Here's my article ... enjoy!