Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Visionboard

  • My dream is to move to Mexico one day and teach ESL at a beautiful and peaceful city.
  • I want to be surrounded by music and art everyday. I want to have the freedom to travel, explore and meet new people.
  • Teach ESL in the morning, go to the University in the afternoon to take Literature + Writing courses. Tacos and beer at night and have all sorts of fun and interesting conversations.
  • Weekends will be dedicated to supporting missionary work in indigenous villages. Make meaningful connections, take pictures, collect stories and eat delicious food.
  • I want to read and write to my heart's content in the Zocalo. 
  • I also want to join a local orchestra and play beautiful music for people's and my personal delight. 
 Such is the life that I dream of. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Mysterium Tremendum

"According to Rudolph Otto, the reason is mysterium tremendum, that sense of tremendous mystery that surrounds our every thought of God, our every prayer to him. Beyond faith, trust, love, peace and joy, we sense an element of bewildering strength - a strength so great that it would be humanly impossible for us to create, invent or manufacture such experience. For one reason it may come sweeping like a gentle but relentless tide, saturating the mind and heart in a self-forgetting spirit of profound worship.

At other times, the force of mysterium tremendum may erupt like a volcano, surging from the depths of the soul in spasms and convulsions. It may lead to intoxicated frenzy such as that experienced by the sixteenth-century mystic Philip Neri, who would press his hands with all his might against the walls to forestall spiritual inebriation, levitation, or ecstasy. At still other times, the force of mysterium tremendum may become the hushed trembling and speechless humility of C.S Lewis, who was "surprised by joy." Whatever the nature of the experience, we stand in the presence of mystery inexpressible, above all creatures and beyond all telling.

It is the decisive inbreak of God into our personal history, the transforming moment when tenderness is no longer congruent with our perception of reality; the felt intimacy of a bygone faith is inappropriate to the present parameters of spiritual experience; "Abba," "beloved Father," "brother Jesus," and "gentle Spirit" have become dry words, vacant images that resonate no more in the inner sanctum of our heart. Those words and images have served their purpose as anthropomorphic pointers to the reality of Too-Much-Love that lies beyond, and tenderness is redefined as mercy.

When that moment of truth arrives we no longer have any resources to resist the imperious summons of mystery, no credentials of independence to flash. The moment of truth has arrived."


-----Brennan Manning
The Wisdom of Tenderness: What Happens when God's Fierce Mercy Transforms our Lives

Friday, June 26, 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

You are Enough

A lot of things has happened during my 20s that has taught me to become a stronger person.

There will be people who will treat you indifferently or take advantage of you or make you feel less, but one thing I've learned is that you do not have to take any of that crap. The best thing is to walk away from those toxic relationships and not look back.  

Remember: Toxic relationships drain your energy. Positive relationships energize you.

Stand up for yourself.
You are enough.
You do not have to jump hoops to gain people's approval
You deserve love and belonging like any other human being.

This is something I always teach my students - to value themselves and have self-respect. And I always try to defend those who are bullied/marginalized in class. It brings me so much healing when I love and teach my students this way. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Conversations

"Enamorate...enamorate muchas veces, Karen. Vale la pena amar y perder.
Pero no te cases joven...los chicos de tu edad son unos mensos.
Aprende mejor a vivir tu vida. Aprende a amarte a ti misma."

---El Maestro durante unas de nuestras conversaciones en Huatulco, Oaxaca
Diciembre 2013.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

26

I'm 26. A melting pot of cultures. Mexicasian. An avid learner of life and a teacher of languages. Daughter to Chinese Immigrants living in the diaspora, sister to a doctor and friend to an eclectic mix of Christians, musicians and good-hearted people. I am a frustrated violinist, aspiring concert harpist and flamenco guitarist. Music is life and my spirit soars whenever I play or hear a good music. My heart is set upon the poor, broken and abandoned children. My dream is to become a spiritual big sister/mother to those who need God's love and affection. I am an educator and missionary. I am a free spirit and have learned from an early age that life does not fit into a box. My dream is Jesus. My meaning of life is to build God's family. I am a sinner, imperfect and broken in so many ways but by grace I am who I am...Abba's child.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Routine

It's been 9 months since I moved back home.

A lot has happened during these 9 months. I got my first full-time job as a teacher, I met someone and there has been spurts of growth in my professional and personal life. 

But at times, I miss traveling and the thrill of adventure. Back in Canada, my life was unpredictable  and somewhat nomadic. I would spend 3 months studying, 2 months traveling, 2 months home, etc etc. I loved the experience of adapting, learning and the sense of newness that traveling and moving brought me. Being home offers me stability, but at times, it feels boring. Stagnant almost.

I long to travel again.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Conversations

"Ms Chang, I want to quit the Symphony after my first day."
"Why?"
"I was humiliated and I played alongside the younger kids. I felt bad."
"Let me tell you my story: I stopped playing the violin for three years when I first joined the Symphony. I was rusty and inexperienced compared to others. Like you I felt bad, but I didn't give up. I practiced and even went on tour to Washington DC. Growth starts outside of your comfort zone."
"Mhmmm."
"Do you like challenges?"
"No."
"Do you want to become a mediocre violinist?"
"No."
"Then, don't give up."
"Thanks, Ms Chang. I will take up the challenge."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The One who governs Dreams

"The One who governs dreams, and gives
Us everything we need, and lives
On ev’ry inch of ground we tread,
Will be with you. You will be led;
And lest you feel alone, he spoke
These words, ‘My soul will not revoke
The promise I have made. Go now."

------John Piper in Esther

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dear M

Dear M,


I saw your father today. He came to the restaurant and ordered food. I barely recognized him...he looked much different since I last saw him in 2007, when he came to pick you up from German classes. His hair was grey, and he sighed for you.

I felt his pain.

We talked about you - about your wonderful way of living life, your smile, your accomplishments at such a young age. Even though we met briefly in life, you taught me so much with your joie de vivre attitude. The day I found out you passed away in a car accident, I cried on the bus.

I cried some more today after talking to your father. He reminded me so much of you.

The world misses you. God was gracious in creating a person like you.