Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Being Realistic and Hopeful At the Same Time

I'm reading this book "What Did You Expect?? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage" by Paul Tripp. I'm only in Chapter 1 and I can't help but want to make note or highlight the best part of what I read. Sadly, I cannot because it is a library book. So I resorted to jot down the quotes on this blog instead.

"There is no better window on what we face in the here-and-now world in which we live than the descriptive words that the Bible uses:"grieved," trials," and "tested" (1 Peter 1:6-7). Now, these words should cause you to pause. Of all the descriptive words that Peter has at his disposal to describe what God is doing in us through the environment in which we live, it is very significant that he uses there three words. Each is instructive and interpretive.

First, you will not escape the grief of life in the fallen world. That grief can be the momentary pain of a little disappointment or the long-term mourning of a significant moment of loss. The point is that, along the way, grief touches us all in little or significant ways.

Second, we all face trials. We will deal with things we would never have planned for ourselves or inserted into our schedules. We will grieve because we will face difficulty that we neither anticipated nor planned. The final word brings the portrait of life in this fallen world together. The word tested does not mean tested like in an exam. No, it means "tempered" or "refined.""

"This does not mean that you will stop being grieved. In fact, Jesus wept when he walked the roads of our world. But this grief is not a dark tunnel that fate has sent your way. It is a wise tool in the hands of a loving God who knows how deep your need is and wants to give you gifts of grace that will last forever."

"So, when you are sinned against or when the fallen world breaks your door down, don't lash out or run away. Stand in your weakness and confusion and say,"I am not alone. God is with me, and he is faithful, powerful, and willing." You can be realistic and hopeful at the very same time. Realistic expectations are not about hope without honesty, and they are not honesty without hope. Realism in found at the intersection of unabashed honesty and uncompromising hope. "

How true is that, how true. You can be realistic and hopeful at the very same time. And these realistic expectations are not hope without honesty, and they are not honesty without hope. This is the perfect picture of me standing in my brokenness yet knowing I have His hope at the same time while I was going through my miscarriage. You can be broken and covered with blood and tears yet hoping like you have never hoped before. I am very thankful that even when I'm not reading books about grieving, God is still ministering to me in this area through other things I am reading. But isn't that how He is? When I got the news that the baby had no more heartbeat and I was to expect a miscarriage, I searched frantically everywhere for what to expect and what to prepare for a home miscarriage. My OB-GYN doctor sort of laughed and told me to expect pain if I were to wait for my body to abort it itself. I looked through lots and lots of website and forum but nobody said what to prepare or what to do. I called the local birth center but they didn't really answer my questions neither. Finally, when the miscarriage process started, this thought hit me, I had read it somewhere, what to do when you have a miscarriage at home, it's in a book. It finally dawned on me, it's a book my sister-in-law had given me about parenting, I had read it while I was still pregnant. The author mentioned about her miscarriage and how she was laying in her bathtub to soothe the pain. As I was reading it, my eyes welled up and I thought, how awful it is to loose a child. I didn't think I would walk the same path few weeks later. I didn't know nobody could give me an answer of what I wanted to know, but God has already given me that answer, even before I was walking down on that broken path. And I was reminded of what to do when the contraction pain seared my abdomen, "go in the bathtub. " And I went. And it did wonder and was a saving grace.

Yes, this world is broken and full of sin and sometime I am so sick of it. But, you know what, my God is faithful, powerful and willing.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My September Song

Sometimes I wonder how time moves. I see the patches of sunlight on the wall, dancing, through the leaves, on the ground. The trees in our front yard are losing their leaves rapidly. I can almost see the passage of time, moving over us, fast. My girls have lost their babyish chubbiness quickly, they grew taller, more determined and confident, while more grey and wrinkles managed to crawl up to my hair and my face.
Life moves with light speed.
Yet somehow there is part of you there is always trapped in a certain place.
September came and September left. But there is no baby in these arms, no baby in this house.
Some people said, aw, come on now, don't torture yourself, it's not even a baby yet. It is your body's way of eliminating unhealthy pregnancy.
These people do no lie in bed at night, afraid to turn to the other side of their bed that is empty, that is suppose to have a bassinet with a newborn baby sleeping in it.
These people did not go through contraction to push out a tiny fetus, and gushing blood, and tissue clots, and who knows what. They do not know your body treats it as a "birth", albeit it is a birth of a death baby, it does not matter. The maternal instinct kicked in. You were left with the strongest desire to nurture and hold your baby, but you did not have a baby. So you were left with the utter sense of loss, and deep longing that could not possibly be fulfilled.
Pain, anger, sorrow.
You cannot put a cap over a boiling bottle of raw emotions. Emotions that are so strong there was no running from.
But the worst of all, the loneliness.
What a lonely path. No one will understand. No one can.
The only comforting thought, is that, I know my Father knows.
He knows my sorrow. He knows the pain. He knows the separation.
Had he not given up His Son for me?
He knows. And I need no words, no language, no explaining why I am grieving or why I am crying.
He knows.
So I sobbed my heart out to Him.

September came and September left.
Some people talk about new gadgets, some talk about how they would like to renovate their houses, some plan their children's birthdays, some talk about how Christians should dress themselves.
All these happening while I have friends on my grief support group talk about looking for a psychologist, because the pain is so great, they are trapped inside, they don't know how to carry on.
They don't know how to live day to day life. They don't know how to answer people's questions about their dead baby or child. They don't know how not to disappoint people who think they should have been moving on and leaving everything behind.

September came and September left.
I am left without a baby.
But I have been given a heart that has more courage. More courage to reach out. More courage to step out of my comfort zone. More courage to care. More courage to not care of the world's view of me. More courage to be different.
I have been given a heart that has more compassion. More compassion to those who have lost a child, even an unborn one. More compassion to anyone who is going through pain and sorrow, and loneliness.
My September baby, he is not here. But my Father has given me something else. Not something greater, but not something lesser neither.
I will use it for His glory. I will use it. I will use it for the sake of my September baby.
Out of the brokenness something stronger is sprouting.
And growing.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Profound Achievement

As I was eating, Kayla lingered around the dinner table to talk to me.
She first quietly looked at me for a while, then she was pensive for a moment, finally the enlightenment seemed to dawn on her when she asked,
“Mommy, you are NOT a monkey???”
“… …” (Yeah, imagine my feeling)
Honey, I am glad that after 3 years, you have finally came to that realization.
Now, perhaps you still have hope to discover that you also are a human as your mother(and father), and will start behave or be reasonable as one? Maybe?

This is not my mommy

I was using the computer, and suddenly, heard Kayla called me with the sweetest voice possible. “Hi! Mommy!!”
Happy and felt loved, I turned back to her, smiled and said lovingly,”Hi, baby!”.
But she only looked annoyed and said coldly to me,”No, not you! Shiloh Mommy!” while pointing to her sister.
Then I realized she was playing “pretend” with Shiloh and Shiloh was the mommy and she was the baby.
Gee, I absolutely felt “loved”. Perhaps your Shiloh Mommy should do all the cooking, housework and all the chore taking care of you now?
(Yes, motherhood can turn you into that bitter woman sometime.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Sometimes I am reminded why I write about brokenness.
I write because that lady who lost her infant child few months ago? Someone had the gut to tell her that she was glad she was not grieving anymore, because if she were, she was only being selfish. She was only being selfish to her husband, and to her other children.
Grieving for her dead baby is selfish? I could feel my blood boiling just reading that.
One dear friend, her baby passed away in a daycare, not because of SID, but most likely due to negligent. She stood up and made a press conference to call attention to the situation, to make light of how many daycares are unregistered and are not monitored, she stood up in the hope that action will be taken, awareness will be raised, no more children will die again due to negligent, and no more parents' hearts will be broken. She stood up in the midst of her brokenness, she stood up while all she wanted to do was to mourn in private.
Yet some people, called her selfish and crazy for money for sending her precious baby to the daycare. They said it's the price she paid for choosing her job over her child.
Some people.
Sometime I wonder why there is so many ignorant people on the internet. Why people judge so easily without walking one mile in her shoes.
Then I decided to write about brokenness. Again.
Although it goes against my nature. I would rather laugh, I always rather laugh. I would much prefer tell you a joke and make you laugh then tell you this world is broken, and let you leave with a heavy heart. I would much rather be a joker, than one who tells sad broken stories.
To write about brokenness, it spills my insecurities all over. My bleeding heart, my weakness, I would rather just present them to God. Why should I share it? Why should I write about it? Why should I expose myself under the spotlight that no one put me under it except myself?
Then I see, how so many people deal with others' brokenness with ignorant. With judgment, with insensitivity.
Then I see, how many people walking around with brokenness. Outwardly living their daily life, inwardly they cry their quiet tears to sleep, they cry their heart out whether anyone understands or cares.
Too many brokenness and so little hope.
Why do I write about brokenness?
Because I want the brokenhearted to know, someone has walked their path, someone has cried those tears, someone has been broken to pieces, someone understands, someone hears and listens, and someone understands.
Someone cares.
Because I want those who treat brokenness as shame or weakness to know, it is not a shame, and it is not a weakness. It is also not inferiority. And maybe I can teach and model compassion through my words, perhaps? Maybe then there will be one less insensitive or ignorant people who seem to be enjoying or eager to rub salt on other's bleeding wound? Perhaps?
If you want a good joke, come back another day.
Today I am writing about brokenness.
But not without hope or joy. That I promise you. I will always write about brokenness with hope.
Because where my brokenness is, my Jesus is standing on that pile of broken pieces.
He is standing in the midst of it, and He whispers to me, my hope in Him, His love for me, the peace He grant me,  and His grace that overflows.
So let it be that I shall always tell my brokenness with the hope.

Monday, August 27, 2012

We are pretty busy here

At the dinner table, Kayla tried to talk to Shiloh, only to be told by her sister,"Don't talk to me!"
Kayla,"Why? You are not mad! I can talk to you!"
Now, in this house, I told my kids, when they are mad and they don't feel like talking, it is OK. It is allowed.
But that night, it turned out, Shiloh was not mad, and she only refused to talk to her sister to antagonize her.
I did what every mother would do. I gave Shiloh a warning look, or, you can call it an evil eye.
I could tell the girl's brain was churning. She looked guilty but I could tell she was still trying to cook up something to say.
She looked sideway, looked back to me, and said,"Because... I am busy!"
I gently pointed out to her,"You are not even eating your food! What are you busy doing?"
To that, that girl told me and her sister,"I am busy...looking at the ground!"
I turned and looked at her father, and we both burst out laughing simultaneously!
Boy, I wish I got that kind of business!
So, next time you come to my house and see me laying around, don't assume that I'm being lazy.

I might be busy staring at the ceiling.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Asian Vegetables Basket: Recipes and Tips for Watercress

I finally got my vegetables basket today! It was surprisingly light, but I'm so happy to see these vegetables. I can't wait to eat all of them up. I will probably use up the bean sprouts first, they can go bad quickly. Love the watercress! I use them mostly in soup. Here are some recipes, have fun trying and eating!

This is very simple and easy to make. Use either chicken or pork, with bones. Bones give you really good flavor. Or you can use store bought chicken stock. You only need then watercress, wolfberries (you can get them from Whole Food or an Asian grocery store), and dried red or honey dates. Cut a slit in the dates so the flavor will come out more, you can get rid of the pits if you want, but it will come out by itself after the soup is done cooking. Make sure you be careful and don't eat the pits. If you don't have any dates or wolfberries, it will be fine too, it just won't have the same kind of sweetness. 

And since I'm nice and always considerate the one who got you into the trouble to begin with by suggesting watercress on Noisy Rabbit FB page, I will give you some watercress salad recipes as well, even though they are not Chinese food. (Please don't beat me up if you don't like watercress.)
This particular one looks amazing, plus you can use the orange and basil in the basket this week to make it. I'm a genius, yes you can say that. It is what I always told my husband to say anyway when I came up with some awesome ways to incorporate all the vegetables or if I made some amazing food (that most of time I don't know how it happened and can't seem to be able to re-enact it). I said it plenty of times to myself too, when I'm in the kitchen. Hey, if you spend most of your time in the kitchen, you might as well make yourself feel better. You cook better food that way, trust me. 

Or if you still have those red babies (beets) laying around from your last week's basket like me, make this beets and watercress salad. Yes, I'm a genius, you can say that again.
Which reminds me, I have some frozen chicken feet I can use in this soup! (Yes, chicken feet, not chicken legs. They are not ordinary chicken feet neither. They are organic, free ranged chicken feet. My friend raise organic, free range chicken and eggs. If you are interested you can check Omega Farms out. 
You can also stop saying ewww now. Thank you. 

Asian Vegetables Basket: Recipes and Tips for Ginger

If you are a Chinese, you will have ginger in your kitchen. Ginger is my kitchen staple, I cannot survive without it. If I ran out of ginger, I panic, what will I do without my ginger? Honey, I guess I am not cooking tonight, I am out of ginger. I also feel defeated if I let myself ran out of ginger, my mother probably will think I humiliate her by being a Chinese who don't have ginger in her kitchen. I always toss few slices of it in my stir fry, I use it to make ginger tea (a cup of hot ginger tea chases any winter blue or cold away), I use it in soup, and I grate it to marinate my meat or make homemade teriyaki sauce.
But, first, some easy stir fry recipes that use ginger.

Tips: Scallions is just another name for green onions.

This is a very easy stir fry, and it is my favorite. When I am homesick, I make this. You don't need any chinese cooking wine if you don't have any on hand, just use any white wine, it will work. You can also use corn starch instead of corn flour, I never know the difference.

Or, if you prefer beef like my husband, here are some beef recipes and for American taste buds.

You can omit the maggi seasoning. If you have some meat marinated in the freezer as I mentioned in the quick tips in this post , you can use them for these recipes. 

Ginger is very good for soothing an upset stomach. It also helps greatly soothing menstrual pain. I have very fond memories of my mother (not my monthly Aunt Flow, of course) making ginger tea, soup (with rice noodle for a mid night chow, I always get more hungry when I have my menstrual), and also fried eggs with sesame oil and chopped ginger. I love how ginger warm my abdomen up and soothe the  cramp. 
So here are some soup recipes.

I love mine with lots and lots of ginger. You can use store bought chicken broth. I also like to add Cilantro in mine. May I suggest you use the boy choy or napa cabbage you get in your basket this week? If you like it to be more filling, throw in some cooked rice or noodles. 

If you are sick of Chinese Food, here is a your normal soup recipe using ginger.

Ginger is also good in pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potato soup. I made them a lot for my children for baby food when they were babies to help boast those immune system. 

OK, back to some Chinese food (I'm sorry, I am only but a Chinese!)

If you have a cold or are congested, you gotta try ginger tea. Really, it works wonder, it clears up my sinuses in a minute (although it is not a one time deal, you will be cleared for a while, then it will come back, but keep drinking it). You will get better faster from your cold. No store bought ginger tea can do the same, use the real thing. You can sweeten it up with honey, use less ginger to start with, and put green tea and lemon in it. If my two year old girls can drink it without complaining it's too spicy, you can too. 

Or if you prefer cold. (But remember, cold ginger tea does not clear up your congestion as a cup of hot ginger tea.)

Head over to this website if you like Teriyaki sauce for the recipe and some tips.
I usually use less soy sauce, less sugar, and I use Japanse rice wine instead of cider vinegar. Start out making small portion, tweak the recipe until you like it, then make a big jar and store it in your fridge. It's great for chicken, beef, tofu, or vegetable kebabs. I grill a lot of food using Teriyaki marinade. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Asian Vegetables Basket: Recipes and Tips For Coconuts

I miss having fresh coconuts and seeing coconut trees. We have them abundantly in my country. When I was a kid, my mother would make me go to a little grocery store up the street, one of those that is not kept that clean and tidy, but boy, they have everything under the sun you could think of. Most of the groceries are dry good, and things you don't have to keep in refrigerator. Coconut is one of them. You pick out the one you like, hand it to the owner or the worker, they hack it open with a long knife, and grind up the coconut meat for you. You bring it home and make it into coconut milk. If not, my mother would always open the coconuts, it's never a chore I had to do. And what do you know, now that I'm in States, I'm staring at those brown coconuts, so wanting to make fresh coconut milk, but the thought of opening it makes me nervous. Not to say, I don't have my awesome Chinese butcher knife to hack it open. (OK, the truth is, I do not have my mother here to do it.) But, thank God for Youtube.
Here is one video showing you how to open one and how to make coconut milk out from the meat. I just love this tiny Asian lady.

If the coconut water(the clear liquid you get when you open the coconut, or if you drain it first out from its eye) is not sour, you can use it to make rice. I don't remember drinking much old coconut water, we always drink mostly young coconut water (when the coconuts are still green).
The milk you get from straining the ground coconut meat, you can use it in cooking or making dessert.
Here are some curries recipes.

Tips: Use any kind of meat or vegetables you like. Bean sprout can go in there too. Eat it with the rice you cook with the clear coconut water. You can also serve this with Naan bread or Indian Prata bread, which you can get them frozen from the Indian grocecry store. If you have leftovers and are sick of eating it, make it into soup, put in chicken broth to make it thinner, and throw in any kind of rice noodles you like, or you can even use spaghetti if that is what you have on hand (but precook the spaghetti first in a put of water, if not it will soak up all the soup).

This link has some tips of how to cook tapioca: http://isohungry.blogspot.com/2009/11/che-choui-banana-tapiocasago-pudding.html

If you don't like Asian dessert, you can always use you coconut milk to make coconut ice-cream or coconut sorbet.

If you don't want to make your coconut into coconut milk, you can always toast them. I think they will be excellent to be made into granola. 
According to this website, If you’re not going to use all the coconut, place it (either in chunks or grated) in a plastic bag and refrigerate up to 2 days. To keep fresh longer, wrap the prepared coconut in plastic and then in aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 2 months. The average coconut when grated yields about 5 cups.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Asian Vegetables Basket: Recipes and Tips For Basil

We are getting Asian theme vegetables basket from my local vegetables co-op this week. So here I am, writing, abandoning my half-worked garden because of my dear friend Melissa's order (I'm sorry, I have to give you a hard time :p). OK, the truth is, I have been working in the garden my much neglected and abandoned front yard mess for the pass two days, my arms and back are sore and I need a break. Thinking about food and gathering recipes is a good therapy. In fact, I do it so much (reading through blogs and blogs of Asian food blogs) my husband think us Asians are crazy(too obsess with our food) , he doesn't think Americans or Westernes, as us Asians will call them, write any food blog. Um, someone please tell him I am always right he is wrong and there is plenty of non-Asian food blogs.

OK, now you have do your duty I'll give you some recipes links. I have to start of with the Thai Basil. Basil is my favorite herb! You can do stir fry or eat them raw in a Vietname spring roll, or make basil pesto!
Here are some stir fry recipes links.

You can use any kind of meat, or no meat at all. Try tofu, or even eggplants. This is also a good way to use up your vegetables. You can also toss in the bean sprouts, peppers, snap peas, green onions, whatever that tickle your fancy. The main ingredients are garlic, onions, fish sauce and basil. If you have these, you are all good. The fish sauce sounds (and smells fishy), but it doesn't really taste fishy. But if you really  don't like the fish sauce it will be fine to be left out also, make sure you season it well with soy sauce. If you don't like your food to be salty, always start off with less than what the recipes suggest for how much soy sauce you need, you can always add more salt or soy sauce later. You can also omit the chili if you cannot take any heat, or if you are cooking for your munchkins, unless your little younglings are some fire-ball spitting or eating creatures, then it is up to you. We always spice ours up after I dish out my kids' portion with some good pepper oil we got from Whole Food. Eat it with jasmine rice.

Quick tips:
Whenever I come by a good meat sale, I buy for what is enough for few meals. Slice all of them up, marinate them in soy sauce, sesame oil, little bit of salt and sugar, divide them into few meals and freeze them. There is your quick dinner meals, just throw in vegetables! You can use them for any kind of Chinese stir-fry (beef and broccoli, anyone?). You can also add more seasoning to it after you thaw it.

Another good way to use basil is Vietnamese Spring Rolls!

Again, use any kind of meat or no meat at all. You can also use all kind of raw vegetables in spring rolls. Before we have kids that somehow are allergic to peanuts(it's a mystery that I will never solve, I thought since I am Chinese, I literally have peanuts in my blood, how can they be allergic to it?) we like to eat ours with roasted peanut. You can roll them up in your spring rolls, or sometime I pound or roll them to death grind them loosely in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin, and put the ground nut in with the spring rolls. We love it! But sadly we try not to have too many nuts around in the house now, except nutty grandparents, we can't have enough of those! 

Next up, coconuts and watercress!
(P/S: No worry, coconuts are really not nuts! Although, how to open them might be a challenge and might drive you nut. )

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How Two two and a half year old see the world, No, OK, their mom.

Sometimes you wonder how your children see you.
I got a taste of it yesterday, just a tiny bit, but enough to cast some light on the topic.

We were shopping in Target, and I decided to try on some clothes. Since the girls are not at a sensible age to be left alone outside of the fitting room, and there was no leash around, I did what a responsible and wise mother will do, I shepherd take the two toddlers to the fitting room with me.
In the fitting room, the girls were happy to find a big mirror in there, and they were fascinated by the door knob and lock. But as soon as I started to undressing, all eyes were on me. As I was slipping out of my jeans, my two and a half year old firstborn was first very confused, then concerned, then almost in a panic voice, she squealed,"Mommy!!! Don't go pee-pee here!!!!!" I'm not sure what the people in other booths thought I was doing as they heard that exclamation, but I nearly laughed my head off. I quickly told her,"No, mommy is not going to pee-pee, silly! I am just trying on some clothes!" She then in a somewhat disappointed and much calmer voice said,"Oh."
I thought I had explained the subject clear enough.

Apparently not.

And as it always happen when you have twins, you have to say the same thing, twice.
As I continued to take off my shirt, so I could try on the dress, my two and a half year old second-born looked more and more alarmed, then almost horrified, she screamed,"Mommy!! Don't take off your shirt and pants!!!!"
If you are wondering why she would say such thing, it is because she has a tendency to pull up her shirt to show off her belly button (or more), to invite a tickle; but we have been trying to teach her the importance of being proper and modest in public, as in not showing off her body parts that should be covered. She was horrified that her mother would go against her own teaching and would commit such shameful act, nonetheless in the public.
I then again calmly explained to her that I was trying on some clothes, and it was OK.
They both then said in a somewhat disappointed voice,"Oh." Then they instantly looked bored and promptly turned their attention back to the mirror and the door lock. I was relieved that I was not engaged in their conversation anymore (believe me, you can only talk and answer a two and a half year old so much, not to say, two. And many of their questions, or, demand of attention dialogue/protest/statements are repeated, and repeated, and repeated, even after you acknowledge them.) But soon they were banging on the mirrors and the doors, and attempting in opening the door. (*Gasp!!* Do NOT open the door, girls!)

Dear Target, may I suggest a special fitting room for moms with toddlers? Please provide special seats with chains seat belts. Maybe a roll of duct tapes too. Thank you.

In short, I believe this is how my two and a half year old children see me.
My firstborn: Mad woman. My ma, she is a complete mad woman.
My second-born: My ma? She is a disgrace, always doing silly and weird things in public.
And they cannot, do not believe it and will be disappointed if I do not do anything crazy.
Funny, because I believe I was pretty much a very sane woman before they came along. But alas, such statement will be met with loud protest and arguments from both girls, (as they tend to do with everything you say these days) with very loud and firm "No!","NO!" and "NO!" or extreme ear piercing wailing, or the art of body throwing on the floor, or contemptuous looks, or evil eyes, or words muttering beneath their breath (as every two and a half year old will and might do to show their objection and their strong will in regard to what you say, which is pretty much everything).
In this case, I will choose not to fight the battle. Mad and weird woman? Meh, I have no problem with that. God knows in order to raise these two girls, I have to be a mad and weird woman to survive.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Those who search

The world does not understand. We do not seek out the sadness. The sadness searches for us.
It searches for us, day and night. It searches for us relentlessly. It neither slumber nor rest. It has no mercy.
And when it found us, there is no way to run, there is no way to hide.
When it found us, it found us.
What can a brokenhearted do? We only do what can a brokenhearted does.

The world does not understand.
We do not sit around and think about it all day. If it is possible, oh God, remind me not of my sorrow or brokenness.
Let me be lighthearted. Let me laugh. Let me feel the sunshine on me. Let me hear the bird's singing in the crisp Spring air. Let me heal, let me heal, let me stay here, do not let the sadness find me.
And the Lord is full of mercies. Most of the time I live like there is no difference. I cook. I sit with my children and we play. I watch their silly dance and I laugh. I hold hand with my husband and we go on long walk in the park. I eat dinner with my family and I tell jokes and they laugh.
I do not sit around and mope in my misery. I do not keep hanging on to the fact that I have lost this child. I do not want to mourn all day.
In fact, if it is possible, please, do not let the misery come at all. I can laugh all day, Father, do not let the tears come.
If only it was that simple.
The world tell us to let go. The world said, don't think about it. The world said, for your children's sake, don't be sad, be strong.
The world acts if we are the one who seek out for sadness.
But who wants sadness? Who?
Yes it is well with my soul that my child now is with my heavenly Father. Yes, I am not angry or bitter at my God. But it does not mean that, sorrow will not come. It does not mean that my tears have cease to flow. It does not mean that I do not long for this baby.
It does not mean that, sadness will not find me. It does not mean that, there will not be pain.
For even if we lost a limb, and the wound healed, doesn't the broken body still throb in pain for the losing of the part of it?
How can you not think about the lost limb when the broken part of your body keep throbbing in pain along with your heartbeat, reminding you that you have lost part of your body?
Nay, we wish we do not have to think about it.
We wish it is something as easy as "not think about it" and the great mount of sorrow will be lifted, and we shall see sunshine and weep no more.
we wish it is something as easy as "letting it go" and the sadness will not find us and spear my heart through and through.
How can I tell the world, there is a time for everything, and this is the time to weep for us, and this is the time for us to mourn?
Even though the Lord is merciful and we can still laugh and dance while we weep and mourn, but this season, my love, this season is for us to weep and mourn.
As much as I want the Spring to come, as much as I want this season to pass as soon as possible, as much as I want it to be a time to be born; not a time to die, for my child, my child has died physically, and I have no choice but entered in the season to weep and mourn.

The sadness never cease seek out for us, my love. Neither does pain. Neither does sorrow.
They never stop looking for us. Even if they do not come this time for you, they will come for you next time.
They will come. Eventually.
Has not God himself said,"In the world you will have tribulations"?
Yet He did not stop there, you see. He did not say "in the world you will have tribulation" and left us there alone to battle with them. He said,"In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
He has overcome the world.
He has overcome death.
Even though I have to go through the death of the body on this earth, even though I have to be pained with the separation of love ones, for now, but only for now, only for a little while.
For He has given me a hope of heaven. Salvation of my soul. Eternal life. With no more tears nor sorrow.

Do you have this hope?
Does sadness searches for you day and night too? Does it often time find you in the dark, like me? Does it often time find you alongside with pain and sorrow?
Fear not, my love, for it is not the only one who searches.
My heavenly Father search too. He search for you. Day and night.

"...for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you..." 1 Chronicles 28:9

"I the LORD search the heart
and examine the mind..." Jeremiah 17:10

"For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out."Ezekiel 34:11
"I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick."Ezekiel 34:16

My Father, the mighty comforter, search for you too, day and night.
And so, even if sadness often find me in the dark, with pain and sorrow, I am always not alone. Not alone with sadness, pain and sorrow. But with Him, always with Him I am. 
And although sadness will not rest, my Father will neither sleep nor slumber as well. (Psalm 121:4)
He is always there, for me. And though I still have to bear with the sadness, the pain, the sorrow, I am comforted that my Father is there for me. He listens, He cares, He understands, and I wonder sometime He cries with me.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

The world does not understand. They thought I search for sadness.
I do not search for sadness. I search for my Father. 
I search my Father day and night. For I know without Him I then will be utterly despaired, crushed, hopeless. 
When sadness search for you tonight, whom will you search in turn?
Will you search for the Mighty Comforter? Will you search for Him?
For He has been searching and searching for you, and He is there waiting, waiting for you to come.
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart.
Go to Him, go to Him and you shall see. You shall be comforted. 
You shall have hope.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Then Unto the Eternal Fountain She Turned

“如果我们能把死去的人召唤回来,那是多么邪恶的一件事!她不是对着我,却对着那牧师说,我在神里得以平安。她微微一笑,却不是对着我,然后转身归回那永生的泉源。How wicked it woule be, if we could, to call the dead back! She said not to me but to the chaplain,"I am at peace with God." She smiled, but not at me. Poi si tornò all' eterna fontana."
 A Grief Observed, C.S Lewis.

If I could, would I not rather call this child back? This little baby of mine.
Come back, my sweet baby. Come back.
Let me feel the warmth of your skin. Let me stroke your tender face. Let me cradle you in my arms. Let me see the sparkle in your eyes when you smile.
Let me.
Let me be a mother.
That is my will.
But your Father, and also my Father, He has a different will.

His will for you, is to be loved, by a greater love I cannot possibly have the capacity to have given you.
His will for you, is not to have to walk and toil in this broken world.
His will for you, is not to have to be broken and tainted by sin.
His will for you, is not to have to not know Him for a single day.
His will for you, is to know no sin, no sorrow, no pain, no struggling, no darkness, no fear.
His will for you, is to be perfect, from the beginning to the end.

His will for you, is perfect, my child. Perfect.
My will is only out of my fleshly desire and selfishness.
Though I know His arms are a much much better place for you to be, oh, how foolish am I to even try to compare, yet I know my heart's desire is for you to be in my arms.
Yet may His will be done. May His will be done. Even if it means brokenness in this body. But what isn't broken, in this world, my love?
Thus even though I mourn the fact that, you are a child that has never seen light in this world, yet I rejoice that, you, my child, is with the eternal Light.
It is well with my soul.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lamentation of A Lost Unborn Child

Two weeks ago I was thinking to write up some silly poems about morning sickness, that how something my brain wants badly doesn't necessary agreed by my nose. Something my nose says OK doesn't necessary make it through my mouth or my tongue. And even if I ignored all those three super-picky-and-just-being-a-pain body parts, and pushed whatever edible through my mouth, if my stomach didn't agree, it would still come out and go straight into the toilet.
I don't know how two weeks later I am writing about grieve. I don't know how I get here.
I don't know how two weeks ago I was still planning for this new life, and two weeks later I am planning how to say good bye to the life which is already gone. (and I had not the chance to tell him/her I love him/her).
I don't know how I went from throwing up because of the morning sickness but encouraging myself it should pass and I would have a baby to hold and kiss in my arms, to throwing up because of morning sickness but I can only tell myself it will not last long because the baby is now dead, and my body will realize it sooner or later.
I don't know how I went from expecting to feel the life moving in me to now I am expecting cramps and pain.
I don't know how I went from knowing there would be contraction and pain waiting but with it would come a baby crying and kicking his/her legs, but now the contraction and pain my waiting will only bring forth a dead child that is not completely formed yet.
I do not know how we went from trying to name a child, with hope; and now we are trying to name a child, with sorrow.
I don't know how I get here. This is not where I want to be, Lord.
Have I not cried those words to Him again and again the past week?
This is not where I want to be. This road of brokenness is paved with my sorrow and tears. This is not the road I want to travel on, my Father.
But it is as clear as it can be that this is where He wants me to be. This is the road He wants me to trudge on. Yet it is not only paved with my brokenness, my sorrow and tears, but His brokenness, His sorrow and tears as well. This much I know.
Has he not been merciful to me to take the pain away from me?
It was the longest week in my life. Of waiting. Of weeping. Of hoping yet being fearful of hoping at the same time. The night prior to Monday was the longest night. Will the daybreak ever come, Father? Will the sun ever come out again? Will rest eventually come to my weary soul? Are you here, my Father? Will you give me peace and strength and rest? He lifted His protection over my pain that night. The tears that I thought I had finished shedding came pouring out. Pain of losing my child. Pain of losing part of me, my flesh and blood. I should have known He was preparing me, for what was coming Monday. Oh would Monday ever come? Came it still. I tried to stay in bed as long as possible that morning. I did not know how I would make it to the 2.30 appointment. I felt like someone who was waiting for her announcement of fate. Would it be life? Or would it be death? I watched the clock. It kept ticking. I had never felt the passing of time with such intensity. I heard every second ticking away, tick tock, tick tock; I willed it to go faster, I could not bear it no more. I felt like I was suspending in the air, not knowing I was going to crash downward, or being lifted upward. With every breathe I breathed, I cried to God silently, strength, Father, peace, Father.
Strength, Father.
Peace, Father.
I don't know how many times I have prayed for them. I had never prayed for them so desperately.
I knew there would be tears, either it would be tears of overjoyed, or tears of sorrow.
And those tears did come. They came silently this time. Like a gentle creek, tickling down my cheeks. Tears of sorrow.
The same ultrasound technician uttered the same words at the doctor's office.
I am sorry, still no heartbeat.
I don't remember the doctor said he is sorry this time. He came in and he was all business. He still called my name wrong. He still "encouraged" me to do a D&C. He actually laughed when I told him I needed prescription to help cope with my morning sickness which seemed to have gotten worse.
He actually laughed.
I was shocked to the core.
Though I was not weeping, but my heart was bleeding, over the loss of my child. Yet this man had the gut of laughing at my misery.
He said he could not understand why I would want to wait for my body to take the action while I am so miserable with my morning sickness. He doubted that I would last long, waiting. I told him coldly, we shall see.
He did not care to look at the rash I had on my thigh since I saw him last week that had turned into blisters and becoming painful.
When he laughed, I got all the answers I had last week, about whether he understands or cares.
He does not understand. And he simply does not care.
How can this man doing what he is doing, taking care of women's bodies while they are pregnant with lives, and helping the birth of a new life not care about lives?
How can a man's heart became so callous with coldness, and maybe just gain?
How can he looked me in the eyes and said in the end, we will go through this together, again, when he does not really care?
It is not the same with me, you see. It is not the same with me anymore, losing this child.
I wish it was as easy as you think. I wish I could get over this quick. I wish I do not have to lay in my bed, dark at night, and cried my heart out to my God.
I wish I don't have to feel like I am drowning in my own sorrow.
I wish my sorrow would not come when I least expecting it. Sometime while I was eating, not even thinking about the baby, yet a sob came out, and it all came tumbling out. The tears. The sorrow.
I wish I would not lose it when my children only doing what a 2 and a half year old toddler will do, pushing their own limits and their mothers' limit, yet this mother lost it over morning cereal thrown deliberately all over the floor for laughter. This mother lost it and cried and screamed at the child's face and punished her. This mother beat her chest and bang the table and wanted to hurt herself. This mother wanted to run away. This mother screamed at the top of her lungs at her fearful children, do you know how hard is this? Do you know I am having a hard time? Do you know I can't do this? This mother was actually screaming at God. This mother did and said the things that she told herself she would not do them to her children. And the pain and fear in her children's eyes hurt her more and broke her heart more. This mother was shocked and ashamed.
Where did it all come from? The sorrow and bitterness came, you see. They came without notice. They came without being wanted. They came and they stayed.
I wish it was easy as I always thought. I wish I could be stronger. I wish I could tell you I will be fine soon. But there is no woman that I have talked to, that said this will not hurt. None. Zero. It hurts us women, when we lose an unborn child. It hurts, it brings sorrow.
I wish I didn't have to write this. I wish I didn't have to, I really do.
I thought of keeping this journal of pain, of sorrow, of depression, to myself. Away from public eyes. Where there will not be any judgment. Where I will be protected and not felt exposed. Not raw. Not naked.
Yet when I think of many that do not understand what I am, or other women are going through, my heart hurts. When I think of those who find themselves unexpectedly, travelling down on the same path I am trudging on, with fear and tears and confusion (how can this hurt so much), I know I have to write this. I have to write this for myself, I have to write this for those who wants to know how I am feeling, I have to write this for those who can't believe what they are experiencing and they are not sure is it normal or they are simply going out of their mind.
I want to tell them, yes, there will be pain, but He will take it away. He has taken my pain away. I no longer feel it. That part of my emotion is numbed. He has given me mercy.
Yes, there will be sorrow. I still have the sorrow. I do not know how long it will last. But I believe He will heal my sorrow too. I believe out of my sorrow, out of this broken heart, He will resurrect something beautiful out of it. I don't know what it is yet. I am still waiting. I can only hang on tight to Him at this time and wait.
Yes, there will be emptiness. There is this big big hole in my heart gaping at me. All the time. I can feel it. But I believe He will, and only He can fill that hole up.
Right now, I can only pray, and wait for Him.
With sorrow.
With emptiness.
With tears.
But not without hope.
Not without hope, my love. Not without hope.
As long as I am with Him, I know I have hope.
Hope that is beyond life and death. and with that hope I wait on.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Road of Brokenness, and more.

 I am trudging down this really hard path, a path I suddenly found myself on, alone, and I have no where else to go except keep trudging it. I do not know where it is leading to, I do not know how I will get there and I do now know what I will find there. For if there is brokenness, it already found me. It found me the moment I was set on this strange path. Can I be more broken?

How could it be, Lord? How could it be that I walked into the doctor's office with a smile on my face, and left with nothing but brokenness and pain? How could it be that one moment we were waiting excitedly to see this new life in me, all giddy with hope; and the next moment we were being told this new life had died, and there was only eerie silence, and the ultrasound technician's sympathetic look on me.
This is what I am afraid of, she had said, no heartbeat. I can't find any heartbeat on this baby.
Her words came without any preparation, I was still focusing hard on the screen, trying to get a good view of this little life in me; her words came as fuzzy as the image of the baby on the screen. I turned to her, puzzled, and asked,"What?"
The baby has no heartbeat. She looked at me sympathetically, I am sorry. So sorry, she said.
Oh how the tears came. At a surprising speed and force. Why the tears? I did not understand. Can this be pain? Can this be pain that I am tasting now?
The doctor was next. He came into the room where I sat and sobbed. He came in and lay a hand on my shoulder, I am very sorry, Chan. I am very sorry for your loss, Chan.
And all I wanted to do was to scream at him, are you talking to me? If you are trying to talk to me, please get my name right first!
He went on to explain how common this is, little precious babies' hearts stop beating. There was nothing you did that contributed to it, he assured. We have lost the baby, he said, then suggested to abort it right away and told me the options.
I chose to wait, a week.  My head was heavy and clouded, my heart was hurting, I did not understand why this was happening to me, I did not come in for this, I need time to clear my head and do some thinking.
That is OK, he said. Before we left he said, we will get through this together, Chan, don't worry. I looked at him hard and long. Does this man know what he is talking about? Is he married? Does he have any children? I see no wedding band and no family pictures in his room. Does he have little ones who tug and pull his heart at every direction with everything they do? Just a smile and that twinkle in their eyes are enough to give you a lifetime's joyous memories? Does he lay in bed at night with sleep eludes him worrying about his children? Does he know? Does he really know? Because before he came into the room, where I sat and sobbed, I could hear him out in the corridor talking loudly to the others, this is the second one today! His tone light and casual, as if he was talking about nothing but the weather, and though when he came in he talked seriously and sympathetically, I wonder, does he really know? Or am I just a number, a statistic? One he talks casually about to his dinner companion. After all, maybe he has seen too many of me, too many mothers who lost their unborn children. And oh why they are so heartbroken, you know, it is only but an unborn child. I could almost hear him saying. Does he know? Does he really care?
Does he know this child had been loved? Does he know we had hope and dreams for this child? Does he know two little girls have been expecting this baby? Every time I threw up because of my morning sickness, they pushed me aside and eagerly checked the toilet to see the baby had came out. The older one, she told me, when the baby is out she wants to hold the baby in her arms, her face a mixture of excitement and also tenderness. Such tenderness. It had made my heart fluttered. I had started to sort through the baby clothes. We had talked about buying a new carseat. I had tried to imagine his or her tender and soft face. We had prayed for him or her. And my mother, my aging mother had said, she would be here for me, for this baby, this time. Though we have never said it, there is this regret standing stark between us. A regret that she had never got the chance to see my girls when they were first born. No chance to hold them and kiss them. No chance to care for them and feed them a bottle. No chance to care for me and cook for me. No chance to learn how to tell them apart from early days. No chance to know them when they grew from infancy to toddlers. No chance for them to call her grandma for the first time until they were about 1 1/2 year old. And I saw the regret on her face, I can hear it in her voice when we talk. She had made it firm and clear, no matter how long would the flight will be, no matter how hard it would be for her, no matter what, she would come. She would come for this baby. I was equally ecstatic. I had long to see it, my mother holding my child, flesh and blood of me, and part flesh and blood of her as well. A missing picture that stands out whenever I look back at my girls' birth and growth. And oh how that hurts.

And now the hope dies. And it hurts more than anything. I cannot bring myself to tell my mother, our hope had died, and break her heart, and break my own heart all over again. The world does not understand. I do not think anyone can understand unless they have traveled the path themselves. I do not think men can understand unless they had carried a child, a precious life in their wombs. I believe that when God put that life in me, He does more than putting a life in me. Something very profound happen to us women, when a life is given inside us, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I cannot even name the change, but oh how carrying lives in me and giving birth to them and caring for them has changed me.  I love as I have never loved before, there is a part of tenderness in my heart that I had not known before, and I have since then see God in a very different light. I catch glimpses of Him every now and then throughout the pregnancy, the birth and raising the children.
Tell me, how can this not hurt then? How can I not grieve then? How can I not feel the pain then? No, I believe it is not my doctor who will get through this together with me. It will be my God carrying me, it will be my very supportive and loving husband, who is hurting as well alongside with me. It will be his family, who wept with me and held me tight and told me God is good and pray vigilantly for us. It will be my children, one who came to me out of the blue, even though I wasn't crying, she looked me in my eyes and said, Mommy, don't cry. Shiloh loves you. Another one who has not yet that emotionally developed and matured, yet she came when I held on to her sister and cried, she came and she looked at us with a confused look, just a fleeting moment, then her expression cleared up and she was back to her usual happy self that has no worries at all. She pretended to poke me with her plastic play fork that she had been playing with, while saying,"poke!" then she threw her head back and laughed. Her laughter like a cluster of bells ringing pleasantly, with no worries in the world, so innocent, so pure, and so full of light. That made her mother laughed in the midst of her tears, that brought such comfort to her mother's broken heart. Not the doctor, for sure. But all of these people. And those who reach out to me and share their own brokenness. Those who wrote to me even though they barely know me or we are strangers to each others. Those who are my sisters and brothers in Christ's blood who pray and mourn with me. Those whom are not believers yet they pray still, and one even went to a church, on behalf of my anguish and prayed to my God. My siblings who wrote to me and said, we will go through this together, we will always be at your side, no matter what happens. They do not know, just a short few sentences, but they gave such strength and comfort to me.
I will go through this, though this road is paved with sorrow and tears, yet I will go through this, hang on tight to Him and all of these people.