samedi, janvier 31, 2009

love this guy. amazing. check out his cover of blackbird too...

vendredi, janvier 30, 2009

waiting on the Lord.

i don't know why, but the idea of waiting upon the Lord has come up so often in my life, of late. In my quiet times, in worship, in the books i'm reading. Does that ever happen to you? When you know God is speaking to you, but you feel like it's way too cryptic to understand? i told Him today that i feel like i'm waiting in many areas of my life, but that i feel okay with waiting. That i feel a peace about waiting. But He still kept reiterating it.

i wonder if i'm missing something? Does this ever happen to you?

mardi, janvier 27, 2009

on heaviness.

Some days are just so mind-blowingly heavy. They're often the days that you least suspect it. Days when the sun is shining, and you wake up feeling great, but not necessarily fully dependent.

Then... wham! Life decides to remind you that you indeed need Life. What a great reminder.

But it doesn't just end there. Somehow, in your brokenness, you make it home. And when you get home, you get a message from a friend's mother (someone whom you've only met once before), encouraging you with a bible verse. And then you talk to someone else who encourages you and reminds you that God still uses your stupidity for some sort of good. Then you drink warm soup while you hear about the things your other friends are rejoicing over, and your heart can't help but rejoice for them, with them. Then, you sit with Jesus, just for a little while, and He speaks to you through Psalm 37.
Finally, you end your day talking about pimples inside your ears with your little brother who isn't so little anymore.

And then you realize that maybe your day wasn't so heavy after all, and that when all is said and done, maybe the day helped you love Him and need Him, even in the ordinary and mundane.

lundi, janvier 26, 2009

all i see are ghosts.

i don't often show myself grace. i was walking in the metro today, feeling completely disappointed in myself. Maybe feeling like i've been walking around naked and exposed. Definitely not a role model. i asked Jesus to help me understand what grace is.

i came home and talked to a friend. She said that role models kinda suck if you can't relate to their situation at all. That she wouldn't want to look up to someone she could never become or didn't have anything in common with.

so often, all i see are the ghosts of my mistakes. They haunt me and point out my nakedness, my fallenness. But Christ, He is not looking at my mistakes. As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Grace.

samedi, janvier 24, 2009

on love.

It's kinda weird when you pray and ask God to make you a more loving person. Because inevitably He does, and it's weird being a more loving person. Suddenly, even hugs become okay. And yo, for an Asian to say that hugs are okay..that's a huge deal.

jeudi, janvier 22, 2009

who needs gossip girl...

When i could probably write my own soap? i wish i could relate to you all the events that have been happening in my life of late. Some days, i wake up and wonder if i've stepped onto the set of All My Children, or something ridiculous like that. The amount of randomness that has happened to me this month is ridiculously high and insane.

At the same time, i don't know if i've ever been in love with God as much as i am now. The transformation He's done in my life, of late, is so astounding to me. The way He has been directly answering my prayers is humbling and beautiful; that we can pray and ask Him to change the weather, or change our relationships brings me to my knees.

It has been my prayer lately that He would consume ALL of me. That i would meet Him each day and see His glory (cf. Moses, Exodus 33:18). Yesterday morning, i prayed some for some very specific changes to happen in my life and by the end of the night, this prayer was answered. i asked Him to enable me to yield everything to Him in perfect resignation and dependence, knowing full well that on my own, i would not be able to yield. And at the end of the night, when my prayer was answered, i did not feel loss. Just a sense of complete peace. Perfect resignation and dependence.

I wrote this in my journal:

Lord God,
You are so good to me. Your peace--it transcends all understanding. A couple of days ago, i sat in Myriad, looking out the window, wondering what i'd do if you took these things away from me, how i'd feel. And in a sense, you have taken these things away from me. All the control, all the hopes and dreams. I feel like Abraham, laying down Isaac, ready to slay him for Your Glory. But at the same time, I feel this sense of peace. Did Abraham feel this way as he raised up the knife? In the "final moments" did he feel this sense of peace and comfort? You have changed me, Father. Somehow, in the deep recesses of my heart, I believe that You indeed are good. Not just good, but Good.
What will you choose to slay, and what will you choose to resurrect? i do not know, but i know that your plans are good, and that You will provide (Exodus 22:14) what is good and true in Your due time.

Life with God is sometimes like Gossip Girl. You never really know where the story will go on a specific day, but you know that it's somewhere exciting, and you know that at the very end, the Lovers will get together (Hos 2:14-20) and all will be well.

matthew 16:24.

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

All for you, Jesus. Take the Isaacs from my heart. Crucify them as you desire, and resurrect only what would bring You the utmost glory.

i love You. Not as You deserve. Not nearly enough. Help me to love You with a love that surpasses understanding.

mercredi, janvier 21, 2009

nothing like a best friend to knock some sense into you....

"you don't want to be a spiritual pedophile"

"you are doing all of this to yourself."

"you are worth pursuing."

"we live by faith, not by sight and God is not a God of ratios."

"Jim Elliot is going to come back to life any minute now" (i think she forgot that i don't really like ol' jimbo..)

"i will not settle for a worse trade."

"you would be a spiritual pervert."

"i am sending you a can of whup ass." L: isn't it whoop ass? "My accent makes it whup."

mardi, janvier 20, 2009

soup soup soup!

Dearest friends,

i'm not gonna lie. Today i think i made the best soup i have ever made thus far. It was warm and creamy and wonderful for a wintry day. i wanted to take a picture, but my roommate came home and ate the remnants...

so a recipe will have to suffice!

Carrot Sweet-potato Fennel Chicken cream soup.

2 chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
1 large sweet potato (peeled and cut into cubes)
4 carrots (peeled and cut into discs)
2T Olive oil
2 stalks of fennel
crushed garlic (2-3 cloves)
1 small carton of cream
3 cups chicken stock
5 basil leaves (optional)
salt and pepper to taste.

In a stockpot, fry the fennel (cut up into bunches) with the garlic (i like to use fresh garlic, crushed through a press) and 1 T olive oil until fennel is a bit wilted and the garlic juices have seeped into the fennel.

In a frying pan, use the other tablespoon of olive oil to fry the chicken breast.

Once fennel and garlic mixture is ready, add in the sweet potatoes, carrots and chicken broth.

Cook for 15-20 minutes until potatoes and carrots are soft but not pureed.
Add in the chicken and the cream. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

And...voila! i topped it off with a few basil leaves at the very end and served immediately with salt and pepper to taste.

YUMMM. Enjoy!

lundi, janvier 19, 2009

random thoughts.

. today, i cooked laksa from scratch. i think it tasted pretty good (i.e. quite like what it is supposed to taste like), considering i was missing a few key ingredients.

. i asked God to cut the weather in half of the predicted temperature (i.e. minus 30 to minus 15) and He answered (predicted: -22 actual: -12). This makes me marvel like His disciples in (c.f. Matt 8:27) at a couple of things:
  • the God of the UNIVERSE heard my prayers and ANSWERED.
  • He is gracious. It's not as though He needed to answer my prayers. i love how, like a Father, He delights in answering even the most mundane and random prayers.
. sometimes i feel like i was supposed to be a man. For the vast majority of my life, most of my friends have been guys, my room currently looks like a bachelor's apartment (read: disgusting), i often disregard emotions because i want to fix the problem (read: everyone's problems).

. today, in a sermon at church, Andy challenged us to lay aside things that keep us from following Him. i have been mulling this over a LOT in the past two weeks. i think i don't know how to lay things aside. It's one thing to give up food for a certain period of time (i.e. fasting), if, let's say, food is an idol in our lives. It's another thing to lay it aside during the normalcy of life, because you can't just cut food out of your life completely. So how do you get rid of that idol whilst still acknowledging that the object of your lusts, in this case, food, is still going to be present in your life?

. sometimes i wonder if me being friends with many guys is a good thing. It's funny, because for so long, this has been rather situational. In Toronto, i ended up going to a church with a very large proportion of guys. To clarify, i did not go for the guys. i liked the pastor and the preaching, the older generation of people who were warm and friendly, and the programs. Here in Montreal, again, i go to a church with guys streaming out the wazoo. In my small group, i am the only girl. Where are all the girls?

. interesting quote i read awhile back that i've been meaning to blog about, that i am not prepared to comment on, but want to get your thoughts on. Where is the boundary when you are good friends with guys? i have so many guy friends, and so i wonder how to set the line. i have a bit of a Harry mindset (i.e. girls and guys cannot be good friends without complications) and yet, i have many good friends who are guys.
As Debbie Maken would say, you've got to leave men lonely enough to need you. Or as Scott Croft said, don't meet all of a man's "intermediate needs" lest he never feel the need to marry. The key is to not do so much as his friend that your friendship could be mistaken for a dating relationship. It's tempting to slide into a relationship because it's comfortable...
. i'm sure i had other thoughts-- my brain is so full these days-- but i can't remember them now. And it is late. Goodnight.

samedi, janvier 17, 2009


i began sensing i was different sometime in high school, when God's calling on my life started to become more and more clear. It was the subtleties that struck me and made me feel like an odd one out. A preservation from the normalcy of the teenage years. Somehow, not by my own merit or my own attempts, i had a love for His Word, a desire to know him, an understanding that seemed to surpass my age.

But following Jesus is costly, and for much of my life, i have been lonely. Not for a lack of friends or people, but maybe for a lack of people my age who understand me.

Today, i was sitting with my small group at church, and i decided to spend our time talking about quiet times and how to do a quiet time. As i went around the room, asking who does regular quiet times, there was no one. One person hadn't done one since the end of the school year in May. Another one does three minute quiet times. Another one reads the Bible ten minutes a day.

It was so devastating to hear this. i fought back tears.

i think i felt God's heart.

And it was lonely.

i wanted to tell them how much i've enjoyed spending extended time with God these past two weeks. How much of a blessing it is to be able to communicate with God. How intimate i feel with Jesus these days. But i knew they wouldn't get it. To them, Jesus is a foreign man. To some, He is no more than a magician who has saved them from something they're not quite sure of. But to me, He is my life. Without Him i wouldn't be alive today.

How do you convey these thoughts into something that brings understanding?

As i was standing in the subway, i thought about how Jesus must have felt after spending three years with His disciples. To know that even after three years, they did not understand Him or comprehend His majesty. i wept. The more i fall in love with Jesus, the more committed i become to Him, the less i feel people understand my heart. Perhaps because the more i become these things, the more i become like Jesus.

The cost is high. The cross is heavy. But sometimes you love the things you sacrifice for so much more. And maybe, after awhile, you realize that it isn't a sacrifice.

jeudi, janvier 15, 2009

winter song.

i love everything about this so much, that i can't even describe my love for it.

trouble is a friend of mine.
sigh, i love this music video too.

the show.

lenka may be my new hero. she wasn't before...but she is now.

what is wrong with me?

i don't know what it is...but i keep buying horrible music from itunes. It's like an addiction, all that horrible, awful, wonderful, non-indie, pop.

i am coming clean, and admitting that i have a problem. A problem that starts with Gwen and ends 'with you'. Before i know it, it'll be something atrocious, like JoJo, or worse yet... Cyndi Wang.

Please help me. Someone. This is a cry for help!

[edit: i think i just partially redeemed myself by purchasing hellogoodbye's ukulele EP.]
[edit 2: and...come on, HOW cool is the cover art for the ukulele EP? it's Ashley G!! As soon as i saw it, i was like..NO WAY. SERIOUSLY? SWOON! We were meant to be, this music and i!]
[edit 3: for those of you on RSS feeds..i am so sorry, i am going posting schizo tonight. too much caffeine at the smits' house!!! i hadn't had coffee in weeks

samedi, janvier 10, 2009

the ransomed shall return.

One week. One week of experiencing His presence in such fresh ways. (i hesitate to call it healing, because i know not what He is doing or what the outcome may be, except that i know it is all for my good {Psalm 119:71, Isaiah 38:17}). i wake up in the mornings and stand in my shower, weak at the knees. Will i lose sight of him today and see depression instead?

Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
"Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with a vengeance,
with the recompense of God
He will come and save you."

Some days this week have been harder than others. On the days that i cling to my baals, i am lost. Frustrated. And yet, even the frustration at not being entirely with Jesus is demonstration of the transformation. Because i feel now. FEELING. This is something that has been so devoid in my life.

This past week, i have been thinking back to all the staff and students i sat with at Winter Conference who came up to me and said, "Lydia, i know you've been dealing with depression. i think i may be depressed. Can you help me?"

Why has He chosen this distinct time to break His silence? Why me, and not the countless others facing silence? i don't know, but i feel so overwhelmed. Burdened. Burdened to pray for those who have cried alongside with me, those who have called out to God with me: "Lord, where are you?" i read God's word, and for the first time in so long, it comes alive to me, and each time i read something, there is another soul placed on my heart to share my meager gleanings with.

Today, as i sat reading His word, i came to the point where i was able to praise God for my 'sufferings'. i praised Him for this year of silence. i praised Him for this year, where i've been forced to live solely by God's Word and not my own feelings. For all the hurt and pain, which seemed so unbearable at the time. Because maybe, just maybe, He has scooped out all the crap in my life so that i might be used by Him as a vessel for every good work (2 Tim 2:21).

i don't know how long Depression will stay away. History tells me i may have one good year and greet her again the next. Or i might greet her tomorrow morning. But praise God, for even in the valleys, in the darkest times, He is good and using our afflictions for good (Psalm 119:71), and when we're in the valleys, it's when His stars shine even brighter.

jeudi, janvier 08, 2009

4 years 2 years later...

i think i've had the last template for the past who knows how many years, and every year, i told myself i'd switch it up...but let's be honest, coding is a royal pain in the derriere, and i hate using pre-made templates.

BUT...2009 is a new year, and i am a new voila!

There are still some kinks to be worked out, and if you want your name on or off the blogroll, just let me know.

huzzah. Time to find some soy milk to celebrate.

mercredi, janvier 07, 2009

there's a fire in my bones...

i don't know what God has been doing in my life lately. This is the second day this week that i've had a ridiculous joy in my Spirit. Is He healing me? i'm almost scared to be hopeful. Since Winter Conference, something has changed in my heart. i can't pinpoint it, but i've felt Him in ways i'm not sure if i ever have before.

Depression. i feel her hovering over me, like a hungry wolf, ready to pounce, and yesterday was proof she's still hanging around, but in many of the days since Winter Conference, as i read His Word, verses just leap off the page in a way they never have before. Almost every verse i read today spoke to me, convicted me, challenged me. i spent almost every minute of today praising Him, begging Him for joy and peace to continue filling my heart.

“Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”
~ Hosea 6:1-3

mardi, janvier 06, 2009

i caught a glimpse of you, and you've slipped away again.

or maybe i have.

i don't get how some days can be so good and then the next day, so back to normal. So dry.


dimanche, janvier 04, 2009

winter is coming, but the ice is melting.

Something magical, dare i say, miraculous, happened that night at Winter Conference. i laid down all my hopes, my dreams--dreams i never even knew i had--and crucified them at the cross.

Lord, i prayed, if you want to resurrect these dreams, you will. i miss you, and i want so badly to be healed. To feel a sense of peace. It's been so long. Are you even here? i know you are, i just want to know. i don't have anything to give you, except everything that i am dreaming of. i want to be free. To feel.

That night was the first time that i've felt in so long. Something about death, so that life can begin. One glimpse of Him, one touch of His hand. Having been without so long, a slight presence was more than enough to keep me going. Pressing on. Winter is just in its first throes, but the deep ice is melting.

Tonight the stars speak ~ The Glorious Unseen.

Tonight the stars speak of your infinite love
And it serves to remind me
That what I have means nothing at all
Compared to your glory, Oh lord

How long till your voice speaks clearly?
How long till your arms envelope me?
I cry be my strength when I am weak
Oh Lord have mercy on me please

My spirit is willing but my flesh is so weak
I cry in your arms now
God grant me the strength to rest in you
I lift my hands and cry

jeudi, janvier 01, 2009

the past year.

It seems so cliche to say, but is it already 2009? How can this be? It feels as though i just blinked a Barbara Eden-sized blink and 2009 arrived magically upon my doorstep. Last year, as we ushered in the new year, i was up on stage singing 'mighty to save'. This year, i stood hidden in the back, still singing 'mighty to save'. And really, as i stood praising Him last night, i realized that the only reason why i am still alive, a year later, is because He is mighty to save.

In four days, it will be a year since i wrote this post. Over a year of clinging desperately, holding to a God that i know is there, but have not felt. Over a year of tears each day, loneliness and depression. Over a year of waking up each day and wondering, 'Why'?

Would i trade it? Had i the opportunity, would i bid goodbye to this walk with depression? The truth is, i don't know. Because in the hard times, the darkest times, i have learned so much about what it means to walk by faith. When i don't feel, when i can't see--these are the times that i learn to trust; and without darkness, without canyons to leap over and barriers to overcome, maybe faith isn't really all that real and trust not all that trusting. And maybe when you're so tired that you can't cling anymore, you realize that all along, He has been the one clinging to you.

2008 has been a year of breaking and brokenness. So many things have been stripped away from me. Other things have been given over, as a sacrifice, hoping in the better things to come. And as we ushered in a new year, singing "Mighty to save", i heard a small quiet voice--a voice i have not heard in over a year--saying, "I have conquered the grave. I will conquer your sickness too."

Maybe 2009 will be a year of healing. i don't really know. But i do know that He is mighty to save. And maybe for today, just knowing that will be enough. Perhaps for tomorrow, just knowing that will be enough. Soon enough, days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, and months into years. Perhaps that is really what a life of faith is. Trusting that during silence and the speaking, He is here and at work, conquering death.

So, here's to 2009. Another year of following Jesus and another year of being delivered from the Valley of Achor.