Thankfulness for God, Church, and Family

If you know me or have read my posts, I tend to over-analyze and try to explain every detail or concept in my writing. I’ve realized that I tend to hover over topics such as beauty, love, mental illness, depression, and compassion, but rarely delve into a personal outpouring of it here. Even as I write right now, I have to fight the urge to overshadow the emotion and heart with analysis to defend my reasons and thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that analyzing and philosophizing about these things is important, but there are times for the restless mind to take a break and surrender to allow something else to lead it into quiet waters.  This post will be those times of surrender as I express what I’m thankful for.

 

God:

Thank God for this life that given me through the cross. For every good and perfect gift that I have been blessed to have. Thank you for the good and bad times. For the times where you gave and took away. Everything I have is from you; all my thanks that I give points back to you.

Church:

I cannot express how blessed I am to have church in my life. No church is perfect and believe me, I’ve had my share of ups and downs with it, but there’s no doubt that without this church, I would be in a very dark place. The amount of love, care, support, and guidance I’ve received throughout the years is beyond what my words can say. Thank you for every individual that I’ve crossed paths with not only in East Valley, but also in other church, schools, or random encounters.

Family:

Oh man, this one’s difficult, not because there’s nothing to be thankful for; rather it’s difficult because it reveals how unthankful and selfish I am towards them.

This month, I’ve been learning to stop focusing on the things I don’t have, but rather focus on the things that I already have, and what I have is a family that loves me- loves me so very much. I feel uneasy writing my thanks for my family on this blog at a crowded Starbucks. For one, I need to say these words to my family, not on a blog. For two, I don’t want to be holding back my tears at a public place as I write and reflect on how thankful I am and should be for my family so I’ll end it here.

 

 

Morning Woes and Romance De Amor

I woke up late this morning for work. Now I have an hour to waste at home.

“Gan ni chi ba”, is heard in the living room as my mom continues to yammer on about our house. I’m not too sure what “chi ba” means or if I’m even hearing it correctly, but what I do know is “Gan ni” is fuck you in Chinese. This phrase is about 90% of what I hear come out of my dad’s mouth to my mom.  You’d think I’d know what “chi ba” or “chi da” or whatever, means by now but I don’t.

I pick up my guitar while on my bed to drown out the immediate boredom, frustration, and laziness I get when waking up to this noise. I pick out the strings for Romance de’ Amor while the chorus of the morning plays in the background. Dogs barking, birds chirping, crickets cricketing, and parents parenting.  I play the song imperfectly two more times, meditating on the notes and beauty of the song before finally getting out of bed to get ready for work. I wash my face, brush my teeth and comb out half of my bed hair and cover the rest with my beanie. In the living room, my dad, head full of white hair, continues to lay in bed while my mom looks curiously outside the window with a million more words to say.

Romance of love was what was played in the morning by guitar strings and this is what is expected for my heart strings to play throughout the morning, afternoon and night time. We are called to love and be loved in the midst of chaos and unrest that surrounds us.

Oh, how this feels opposed to every fleshly fiber of my body

when sleep becomes the king and escape is his decree

What a lovely king he seems to be to offer a soft bed

During times of war, famine, and things that are said

But when the time comes and the war is over

We will realize that this bed is rather

an infirmary for fallen

soldiers of men

Made by a Prince in disguise

To entice

us in our evil desires, sin, and deeds

and when these sins are fully conceived

We lie dead

on our soft infirmary bed

But I hear a roar in the distance

Awake from your slumber and cease your resistance

For I have made you strong in your weakness

I have healed and freed you from your sickness,

So get up, pick up your bed and go!

For you will reap what you sow

No longer are you paralyzed by your flesh

For in Me you will find rest.

This rest that comes from the author of love. This “Romance de Amor” is what he played for us throughout his life and death. It is what’s placed in us through the Word and this is how and why we are to love despite what surrounds us. Beauty that emanates from His song reminds me of the many things to be thankful for. At this moment I only see a glimmer of it, and many times it’s mixed with sour notes and untuned strings of my own heart, yet I see the immense beauty that could be if I just spent more time in it.