Sunday, October 9, 2011

love casting out fear

It's crazy when I think about how God's been trying to mold me in this short season of my life while here in Louisville. I know that I'm here for a reason, and I know that He really wants me learn and change and grow in so many different aspects of my life. I've been avoiding it a lot, especially when I see how it's already been two months and I think that I haven't changed much. But when I reflect on all that's going on, I can't deny that He's been working in me, slowly but surely.

I went camping this weekend with several co-ops from my work. Had a great time, got to meet a lot of people, go hiking, and ziplining, which makes for a great thrill ride. But I came back home realizing that for me it's not just a time to have fun, but for God to speak to me more about who I am, what I live for.

Because although I had a good time and the people were great, I never felt like I was one of the group. And if I'm really honest with myself, I have never truly felt like I belong anywhere, except with my family. I think if I wait long enough in any situation, then I convince myself that I do belong to this or that group. But the truth is that this feeling of always being a little on the outside is a sign that my real home is elsewhere. I need to embrace that truth so I am living for eternity and not for this lifetime. It's not easy, and my deepest desire is always to belong, to be part of the inner circle, to be wanted, to be loved. And so my natural inclination is to try harder to fit in wherever I am.

But I do know that whenever I strive to belong in this world, I come home never feeling fully satisfied. On the other hand, when I live and give my all for Christ, as painful as it is sometimes, I finally understand a bit of what Jesus meant when He said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

It's terrifying, some of the things that I see God wants me to do, especially when it calls for a lifestyle that the world doesn't understand, but I need to remember that I already belong. I am His beloved child, and He already loves me more than I could ever imagine to even hope for. And so I don't need to try to be accepted, and I can freely, without fear, follow His calling for me to give to and love others openly. Thank God that He faithfully works in me to be more like Christ; I can't take credit for any good that is in me or any change that happens in me. This song below came on the radio today, and I was so blessed and moved by it. It was an awesome crowning piece to all He was speaking to me about throughout the weekend and during worship service today at Sojourn. The chorus says "Whatever You're doing inside of me, it feels like chaos, but somehow there's peace." Oh so true. Thank You Lord for all that You are, for loving an undeserving sinner like me, and for using me for something heavenly.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

i am changed.

It's late, but I just wanted to write a note (mostly to myself) that I must continue to remind myself of the gospel. Going for weeks avoiding the life He calls me to results in a state of blah-ness. Then I come back to Him and I'm reminded of God's amazing, indescribably mind-blowing, love and grace. I realize that the life I've been living has been empty and gray, but in Him I have so much more than I often settle for. Thank you Lord for the freedom, joy, peace, love, and fullness of life that I have in You.

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." [John 10:10]

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Last night as I was blogging the previous entry, I initially started by saying "Here are a few updates:" and proceeded to write brief paragraphs about the random different thoughts I've had over the week. But then I realized that writing in that way doesn't really allow me to add details about the various things that are going on, so I'll try to update more often with more focus, while not trying to cover everything in one go. Hopefully this will spur me on to write more often and with more thought.

So for this post, I'm listing the things I want to accomplish while I'm here in Louisville (things that are unrelated to my walk with Jesus and my work at GE - I'll cover those things in different posts).

- Learn how to cook. I just finished lunch: grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup (which is also what I ate last night). I know it's disappointing, but I am really horrible in the kitchen. Hopefully having full control over the food that I buy and eat will challenge me to try making new dishes and at least gain some common sense in the kitchen that I severely lack. At least I found a Korean/Asian market nearby (I need to buy some chopsticks).

- On that note: eat healthier. I've decided that for the next four months, no soft drinks, no candy, no chips. Chocolate is the exception, but with the condition that I'm not allowed to buy any for myself more than once a month. If someone offers, then it's okay. Hopefully I won't always be offered fudge brownies or Hershey's Almond Kisses or chocolate chip cookies.

- I want to be wiser about how I'll use the money that I'll be making this semester. This past year I feel as though I did or spent however I liked without much thought or prayer, and as a result, my credit card debt is larger than I'd like. Especially when it comes to eating out. I want to eliminate eating out completely, but I know that's unreasonable, especially since food seems to be the one universal thing through which people develop relationships whether at church or at work. Praying that God will give me the wisdom to decide carefully on when and where to spend what He provides.

- Exercise. There isn't a BJJ gym close by unfortunately (sorry Teddy!), but I can't let that be my excuse for not keeping myself in shape. There is a fitness center at work in one of the main buildings that doesn't cost much at all, so I plan on joining. I really should go check it out tomorrow.

- Learn to dress better, more my age, and yes, more like a woman than a guy. I can't be surprised when people think I'm a scruffy 19-year-old if I'm always walking around wearing jeans and t-shirts. Work will help with that since I'm always dressing up. I have to get used to it sometime, right? No makeup though. Still want to avoid that as much as possible.

That's it on my list for now. Feel free to ask if I've been following these goals. =]

GE Week One

Work has certainly been an interesting change of pace. I'm not used to working 8-hour days, and I'm certainly not used to dressing up for work. I didn't dress up for anything when I was back in Chicago. But it's odd; business casual for my team ranges from dress shirt/slacks to polo shirt/khakis. I'll be wearing the former, and yet using power tools in the lab.

But work has also been really cool. I guess I expected to have people check up on me to see what I'm doing and how I'm spending my time, but it's not like that at all. I manage my own time and other than the team meetings I have to go to, I'm free to do whatever I'd like whenever. If I have nothing to do, I can wander off and go see what my friends are working on, or go see what happens in the other buildings. I can take 30 minutes out of my day to drive to the other side of the facility to pick up my new badge or my first paycheck, and nobody will care.

But they do also see me as a part of the team, and they want me to learn as much as I can. My boss and the engineers have said they'll help me to get whatever experience they can give me, and I know that it's work that still of importance to them. For example, they often outsource their CAD work because it's a waste to have one of our lead engineers working on that, but if it's something that I want to learn or practice, they'll give me the work instead. I'm excited to get started on some of these projects, and I want to be productive, someone who'll be of use to them, instead of a co-op student who'll cruise through the internship getting paid more than they're worth.

Other things:
- It's been cool to see how the stuff I learned in school are used practically in the design and production of basic things like home appliances. I find this stuff really interesting, which I guess confirms that mechanical engineering is for me, and that I would really like going into design.

- GE Appliance Park (which is where I work) is crazy huge. Our parking lot has traffic lights and the speed limit is 25 mph. We have our own zip code. Looking at Google Maps showed me it was big, but seeing with my own eyes was still a bit shocking.

- There's still an overwhelmingly unbalanced ratio of guys to girls in the engineering department, but that's not surprising at all.

Looking forward to my second week of work. Should be a lot more interesting than the first.

Monday, August 15, 2011

in louisville, finally.

So I'm in Louisville, KY for a co-op internship at GE Appliances.

It's been a while since I blogged, but I'll try to start again. Nothing big right now, I'm so tired, for reasons I'll explain in the next entry.

Until then, I want to share a song that I was really blessed by at church this Sunday. Hope your week is full of blessings and grace.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

crazy week

It's been a really eventful week. Since I'm so extremely exhausted, I'll just list them here, then go knock out for the night in my bed with my awesome Korean heating blanket.

1. I started training in brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay thai at the New Breed Academy. All of it is totally new to me, but I don't mind because the atmosphere is awesome. No pretension, everyone's cool, laid back, and willing to teach and help. Despite the mat burns, bruises, chokeholds, and my own severe lack of physical strength, it's been fun. I get to have class with Teddy sometimes, and I was also gladly surprised to see an old high school friend there as well (Joe!!), although I have no hope of beating either of them.

2. I got to break in my new snowboard today (even though I bought it at the end of November..). Not only is it so nice not to have to use rentals (it was so smooth and comfortable), I also caught some air for the first time today! Without wiping out! The first time I jumped (although it probably wasn't more than an inch), the feeling of having nothing touching the bottom of my board was terrifying and thrilling; I couldn't wait to do it again. I'm hoping I'll be able to join some friends at Alpine in a couple weeks for another run.

3. Not only did I run into an old friend from high school at New Breed, I got to meet up with another long lost friend of mine that I haven't seen since she moved out of town after graduating from junior high. She's still the same sweet person I knew back when, and even better is that it didn't feel like ten years had passed between us. Glorya, we definitely need to get together more often!

4. I found out that I'd been accepted for the Newman Center Alternative Spring Break program! I heard about it briefly through a friend/coworker, and then got more information from the person who was in charge of organizing it all. I've always wanted to do an ASB program, but this one caught my eye (ear?) since it's organized through the Newman Center on campus and they have a spiritual perspective toward the service that we give on this trip. I'm really looking forward to this trip; I'm hoping God really uses this trip to not only bless me, but everyone I interact with that week.

And there were a few other little good things. What I must fight to remember is that God provides me with these gifts not so that I can enjoy them in and of themselves, but they are gifts from a God who loves me, and ultimately just wants me to love Him back. He delights in providing me with good things because He delights in me; he wants me to delight in Him as well.