Thursday, August 26, 2010

Convocation 2010

"The next time that your whole class will be behind this sign is in four years at your graduation."

These words from the chancellor echoed through the field house just as it had my freshmen convocation in 2007. Goosebumps ran up my arm as I imagined my own convocation quickly approaching in May. I can't believe this is it, I'm a senior!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Regarding my GPS

According to my friend...

"I would say it's an abusive relationship.
Garmin always tells you what to do, even if he's wrong
and you keep pushing his buttons"


Friday, August 13, 2010


Baby, you've been great to me these past two years. You've been with me every step of my journey from Atlanta to St. Louis and also to New Jersey this past summer. You were the one I looked to when I was lost. When I went down the wrong path, you pointed me in the right direction. The times that you took me to nice restaurants around the city were my favorite. I love you.

Recently, you really gave me a scare when you injured yourself. I don't know if you remember, but you fell and hit your head. Because of the concussion, you blacked out for a few hours, and for those few hours I didn't know what to do. I felt so lost, but God told me not to worry and that things would work out in the end. You finally did wake up, but things never returned back to normal.

Today, I decided... well... there's no good way of putting this, but you've been replaced.

One day, I hope that I can find a man just like you, Garmin.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spiritual Warfare on the Road

These past two days I've been on the road traveling from New Jersey to STL. The first day's drive to Cleveland was not bad at all... about 11 hours total.

Today, on the other hand, was a crazy day. There were a lot of unfortunate things that happened that Satan threw at me. First of all, I have these hard contacts that I sleep in that remold my cornea every night so that when I take them out in the morning, I have 20-20 vision. Last night, when I opened my lens case, my left eye's lens had broke in half. Consequently, I drove with a bit of a blurred vision today. Secondly, MY GPS BROKE! :O The suction kept slipping, so the GPS would fall on the dashboard, then the ground. Bad news bears. I am heavily directionally challenged. Finally, a metal strip on the side of my car door has been falling off, and today it bent to 90 degrees and other cars would honk at me. To ensure that it didn't poke other cars while driving, I had to rip it completely off my car.

Fortunately, God is good and totally watched over me. I remember my friend telling me "well, just take 480 East, 71 South and 70 West and that'll take you straight to St. Louis." Ha, I remember thinking, oh, it's okay, I have a GPS so I don't need to remember this. For some reason, I was able to recall those directions and actually get to St. Louis without the help of my GPS even after it revived. For those of you who have driven with me, you know this is quite the feat and can only be attributed to the grace of God.

Today's trip was budgeted to start at 7:30am and end at 9pm with all the meals and rest stops included. For some strange reason, I arrived in STL at 5pm!!! That's four hours ahead of schedule.... how does that even happen? Praise God!

If our God is for us
Then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us
Then what can stand against?

Saturday, August 7, 2010


My children are going to school on Monday and I can't afford to buy basic school supplies. I heard the City of Refuge down the street is giving away backpacks and school supplies today.

Today a bunch of the college students from my church in ATL went to help out at The City of Refuge. They cater to the most dangerous zip code in ATL where there is a lot of drug dealings and prostitution. Today was The City of Refuge's Back to School event where they threw a giant party for the neighborhood kids. There were inflatables, bubbles, hotdogs, a speaker, and school supply giveaways. To be honest, almost all the parents brought their children there to get the free backpack.

My part in this whole event was to help with registration and crowd control. There are 3 memorable events from today.

1) As I was cleaning up the registration area of litter, I saw the word "Gang" written multiple times with chalk and also a heart inscribed with "RIP MOM." Wow, what brokenness...

2) When typing in a child's name and parent's name, I discovered that an 11th grader had a daughter in kindergarten! That means she became pregnant at age 10. And it was common to find a mother with children from three different fathers. Some parents didn't even know how to spell their child's name...

3) These children were SO thirsty for physical contact. Many of the girls came and held my hands or jumped into my arms without even knowing who I was. They wouldn't stop hugging me.

I had to remind myself, we live in a fallen world where sin has destroyed relationships. God, how we thirst for the hope of your restored Kingdom! The Kingdom where there is no death nor darkness, and where life and love abounds plentifully.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Time Flies

This week, I feel like I've flipped a few pages ahead in the book of Time.

I come back to ATL and everybody's grown up! My freshmen church babies from my days in youth group just had their Senior Night celebration tonight. They've stepped up, served as role models in the youth group and are now bound for college. Dang, I feel old.

Not to mention my baby brother is growing up too! He finally got a facebook. (I feel like that's the modern day coming-of-age ritual.) Also, he's gone to Duke TIP and has come back more independent, in tune with pop music, and cooler. And if you can believe it, he joined a band and plays the electric guitar... whoa. AND IN THREE MONTHS HE CAN DRIVE! WHOA WHOA!

Reality has also been hitting me hard. In these next few months, I need to decide where I want to work post-graduation. Financially, staying in Atlanta would be the best choice because I could live at home and take care of the family. However, my heart is really in New Jersey, and I would love to spend my 20's with the people there. But who knows where God will lead me? As a friend put it, "Joy, I can't believe you're starting your adult life!"

I'm growing up and feeling old... man, time flies.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What I've Accomplished in NYC

(Inspired by Melody's Shadowing post)

1. How to read when it's safe to cross the street, part the sea of people walking my way, and avoid being hit by a taxi.

2. How to use the subway system (except the annoying ACE line awef;lkndejfa).

3. Know what TriBeCa stands for - Triangle Below Canal. Also SoHo - South of Houston.

4. Seen three celebrities!

5. Walk through Midtown without tripping over a tourist's suitcase.

6. Have a French person tell me, "The Statue of Liberty is our gift to you."

7. Navigate my way around Port Authority Bus Terminal.

8. Walked around the Bronx without getting shot.

9. Worked for the world's largest department store.

10. Tackled most of my NYC bucket list with friends <3

I'm satisfied :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010


A wise friend told me my sophomore year, "Joy, I like how you think a lot and process what's going on, but sometimes you just gotta live and enjoy the moment." With all seriousness, I asked him, "How do I do that?"

In the past few years, I would analyze every situation that I was in, my motives, the ideals, the failures. My life became a strategic game that I had to maneuver through. Soon, I became burnt out by all the disappointments from when things didn't go the way I had planned.

This summer, God really stripped away things that I could control. Consequently, this left me with few things that I could have expectations for or analyze. As a result, this summer was rather spontaneous and carefree, but in a good way. For once, I was able to "live and enjoy the moment." I can't believe it took me this long to figure how to do that.

It all came down to building genuine relationships where people really cared for each other. That's what my church in New Jersey taught me, whether they know it or not haha. I have to admit, whether I was in ACCCN or ACF, I used strategy to manage my relationships to try to create the ideal community. In the end, the relationships that were the most meaningful were the ones where we just hung out a lot and walked through life together.

Now to take this lesson back with me to WashU.