Blogging just recently became an enjoyable hobby of mine. I used to be horrible at this but now it’s interesting to just capture life and put it into an electronic “journal” for me to look back and remember…and my memory is horrible for 90% of the time.
July 2nd was the 183rd day of the year = halftime of 2014. We are in the 2nd half of 2014. Can you believe it? So here’s my Top Ten Memories of 2014 Part 1. Many of these are memories that weren’t blogged earlier in the year so no repetition. =)
(I tried to categorize them in order but it’s so hard! They’re not really in order until the Top 3)
10. Dinner with Kim. ♥ 0613 ♥
I’ve know Kim since about 2007. Our friendship blew out of the water and we were like BFFs. The sister I always wanted but never had. I was so excited the day she got married- we’d have stories to share together, prayer requests and more commonality in our life stages. We had our ups and downs but this dinner was different. It was kinda out of the blue. It’s the dinner where the news broke that the marriage wasn’t doing so well. In fact it was on its way towards divorce. I remember blurting, “DOOOD. Shut up and stop joking around.” It took me a good amount of time to wrap my mind around what I was hearing. I was super sad and super angry. Heartbroken. Since then, it’s been a good connecting moment for Kim and I. To communicate more often than usual. To hangout a lot more than normal. It’s not a “good” memory but it’s a memorable one that I believe,..in due time & in God’s ways will be redeemed and beneficial though she and I can’t see it now.
9. SF Symphony: Bach w/ JP ♥0504♥
JP took a music class earlier this year and a required assignment was to attend a concert and write a paper on the experience. SCORE! Time to explore and experience new things with the mister. Attending the concert was a pleasant experience. Us Parks, we’re not very “cultured” in the music & arts and all that jazz. It was interesting to see how people knew when to clap and when to remain silent. It felt like we just joined a new world/culture. I loved how young and old were combined under one roof to appreciate Bach. Sharing that with JP was definitely new and fun. I guess this is a part of being married and aging together. You get to explore together & learn together.
8. Family time – ♥0614♥
We were suppose to drive up to see my parents but with JP being swamped with HW, I ended up taking the drive and just spending some quality time with my parents. I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. I rarely do but I enjoyed our talks. Having a new step mom enter the family during your 20s can be easier than your teens but it’s also awkward because the connection isn’t or doesn’t develop as quickly. There’s always unspoken and uncertain expectations that perhaps don’t even exist other than in our own heads. I realized, it’s more enjoyable for them to see their children. Makes sense…if I was aging I would want to see livelihood, children and catch up as much as possible. My dad had aged tremendously- hitting 78 onto 79. He’s been healthy throughout the years (PTL!) but visiting him I noticed his back was curving. He was tired and just “aged”. He thought his active lifestyle at church was causing his back to curve but I encouraged him to remain active or else his livelihood and energy level will drop tremendously. He had gotten into a car accident back in August and with his settlement he wanted to give back to my family but instead we talked out a better plan for him and his wife. It ended up being a good talk between father and daughter. The way I see “his wife” aka our stepmom. I could see something in his eyes. Perhaps it was a realization that he should treat his wife better and love on her more. A softness and recognition. The drive back home was absolutely exhausting but long solo drives means more time to process and pray.
7. Shirley’s Belated Bday Dinner ♥0611♥
I recall sitting at YakiniQ thinking, “wow. it’s been a while since I’ve LOL’d so hard and comfortably with other sisters.”
I don’t recall hanging out with Shirley and April in a group setting. I remember thinking, “Huh..I get to hang out with these two tonight. Cool.”
I won’t dive into details of WHAT was spoken amongst us but it was hilarious and raw. Just so much freedom to be “me” and be imperfect and silly without a worry. Sometimes life’s seriousness will consume the heart and mind so much, you won’t remember what it was like to laugh, enjoy non-serious stuff and be free.
6. SF (Switchfoot #8?) in SF ♥0416♥
This year I was determined to go to a Switchfoot concert. Not a Spirit West Coast or a Christian concert with other bands. A SF Show in SF. Perfect! Sweet Marie, bless her heart- she agreed to come with me to the concert so I wouldn’t go by myself. (Rocker girl by heart!)
Something is so familiar with Switchfoot. I lost count of how many shows I’ve been and yet they still surprise me with new endings and twists to their oldies.
If was a teenager I would’ve screamed my head off!!! One of the many reasons I ♥ Switchfoot is that they’re not hesitant to join the fans and let us sing with them. He made a full round.
This NEVER gets old. I stood there watching hands go up and wonder, “How many of these fans are responding by lifting their hands because they know what this song is really about.”
Thanks Marie for coming with me at such a short notice. JP was right. You WOULD go. =)
5. First Friday Devotionals ♥0404♥
What a journey FFD has been. It all started back in March when I felt that God was leading me to out of my comfort zone at work. You can read about the beginning stages here. Free lunch and a relevant bible study devotional.
I know God isn’t done… there are greater things to come. We’re currently on a break for August but September we’ll be starting back up.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.To him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.” Ephesians 3:20-21
4. SLO for Jina’s Birthday ♥0322♣
I don’t know if I can say thing enough but I think SLO is one of the many cities I can call “an earthly heaven”. Meaning– I want to grow old and retire in SLO. I fell in love with the city years ago and it’s my go-to mini getaway. Drive 3 hours south and you’re greeted with gorgeous beaches, friendly San Luis Obispians and FAHBULOUS College/Downtown Food. Birthday girl, Jina, Fenny and I took her down for a chillax trip. It was a long day with an early start and a late end but I had some real good laughs hanging out with these two.
3. CG – Living So That & Bday surprise ♥0612♥
It was one of the first times our CG would open up the doors once again to welcome potential members. I was somewhat anxious because, you..just..don’t know. but as the ladies came in one by one and Fenny’s delicious Indonesian dinner was served, it all slowly came calmed down in my mind and heart. I went to the restroom to wash my hands and the noise I heard was lots of talking and laughter. I stood there just appreciating the sounds of “life” that was coming from the home. As the concerns, doubts and “what ifs” melted, God taught me how to embrace it.
We began our “Living So That” study this day. 30 weeks of diving deeper into the Word. It’s been a great experience so far. Can’t believe it’s gone by so fast. On top of the wonderful hospitality, Indonesian food and sounds of life, these ladies decided to surprise me with an early ice cream birthday cake. Super sweet of them.
2. A surprise work visit from the Huh family ♥0620♥
I love my nephew and nieces. Miss them a bunch because they live so far from the bay so getting to see them is what I consider the best treat any auntie could get especially, for her birthday. My sister in law brought my munchkins all the way down to my work where we had lunch together. It was really short but it was sooo good!
To top off their visit, the kids created a birthday goodie bag for me. The best birthday gift EVER! They each handpicked items and even made handmade cards. The joys of being an Auntie is when you receive personalized or handmade gifts from them.
1. CG Praise Night ♥0305♥
This event holds a special place in my heart. Not just because I got to see JP sharing about the topic of worship but the intimacy of the Holy Spirit was so real that night, I don’t think I can ever forget it. Watching JP teach on worship seemed like a preview of what may come in the future as he continues to study for his bachelors. But that night, the Spirit revealed an idol in my heart that I had no idea about. I really believe the Word when it says the Spirit can search us, know and test to see if there is any offensive way in us. 100% believer of that. And when the Spirit convicts, it does not leave me feeling guilty or condemned. It leads me to repentance and boy did I just bawl my eyes out that night. Having JP come by my side to pray with/for me was blessing and an act of healing for my heart. I keep returning back to this memory even though 3-4 months have passed. It is one of those moments where you encountered God in a crazy and personal way.
There were sooo many more memories (both good and bad) in the first half of 2014 that I couldn’t blog about here. It’s already August but I know and believe there is so much more in store for me for the 2nd half. Not only me but for the Parks, for Pathway, for my workplace,…everything. Pray and watch.