Monthly Archives: March 2015

Weekly Favorite Links (March 19-25, 2015)

I miss fall.

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I recently took an assessment test for work. Ever since I discovered the Myers-Briggs test several years ago, I’ve been intrigued with taking personality assessments and learning more about myself. It’s interesting that there’s still so much to unravel about my personality as I get older, including all my strengths and weaknesses. It surprises me that there are parts about myself that remain a mystery, and will only be revealed over time. After all, we’re constantly maturing and changing, too.

Before taking the test, there were certain traits that I sort of knew I had, but it wasn’t until after the report came out that there was greater awareness and clarity in terms of pinpointing exactly what some of those traits were. One of the newfound realizations from that assessment, though, was that I’m very adaptable in social situations and am always eager to assist others. This could be an asset and a weakness. It’s a strength in situations where it involves caring and serving people, and making sure that all their needs are taken care of. I have a pretty assertive and proactive nature; I’m unafraid of taking initiatives in any environment. On the flip side, it can be a potential weakness when it comes to conflicts and confrontations, depending on the circumstances.

I tend to anticipate possible issues and will want to do my best to deter them. In situations where conflicts do arise, my first instinct tells me to run and avoid all possible conflicts, even if I know in my head that it’d be better for me to take care of things as soon as possible. Or I’ll withhold speaking my mind and sharing my personal thoughts in order to avoid conflicts, thereby preventing any sort of negative impact on others. I guess another way of looking at it, perhaps from a more scriptural standpoint, is that I fear man and want to please man. I am afraid of ruffling feathers, afraid of failing to meet the expectations of people — even random strangers. My pride gets the best of me and I seek to preserve my image. I will adapt to cater to people because I want them to affirm and praise me, and I get anxious when it’s a challenge to do so.

Taking this assessment was a blessing because it helped me recognize areas that I needed further growth in. Thankfully, the realizations also came at the perfect time, since I was being thrust into situations where I just. couldn’t. please. everyone. But through this learning experience, I’ve come to appreciate the help of wiser, older family and friends on how to confront and deal with conflicts, even if it’s hard. Now that it’s all passed, I can look back and praise God for how blessed I am for having gone through that entire difficult, complicated ordeal. God is so good. Why do I ever doubt that truth in the first place?

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Weekly Favorite Links (March 12-18, 2015)

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Guys, I think I’m having a semi-midlife crisis. But I don’t think I’m even old enough to be in a midlife crisis. Except my body may be thinking that I’m older than my actual age ’cause my hair’s been turning a bit more grayish-black lately. So I’ve been told. Or maybe it’s just the sunlight or angle of lighting. It might not even be anything and now I’m just rambling nonsense.

So perhaps it’s not really a so-called midlife crisis then. Just an omgoodness-what-am-I-going-to-do-for-the-rest-of-my-life moment. I spent several days re-thinking my short-term life goals and came up a bit short (pun sort of intended). I realized that I’m not sure what I absolutely want to accomplish over the next couple of years and it kind of stressed me out. It’s not anything new under the sun, and I suppose everyone goes through this once in a while. However, knowing that this was something that I needed to pray and work through didn’t make it all the less daunting and nerve-wracking.

As of now, I think I’ve come to terms with not knowing exactly what I want to do with my life. I kind of already touched upon this last week, but sometimes I just want immediate answers from God without enjoying the process that He puts me through. There is much wisdom in waiting upon the Lord instead of scrambling to find answers. I’m by no means suggesting that planning ahead is a bad thing, or that setting aside time to figure out options and career choices is unwise — on the contrary, I’m thankful that this identity crisis forced me to ask myself those questions. Still, I must remember to embrace God’s sovereignty and learn that it is perfectly fine to not have my life wonderfully mapped out. Because c’mon now, I don’t even know what will happen to me tomorrow, much less the rest of my life.

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Weekly Favorite Links (March 5-11, 2015)

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This post is specially dedicated to my friend Janna, who listened, rebuked, and pointed me to Truth this past week. Thanks for helping me exercise discipline in my thoughts and emotions. You’re a true friend.

I don’t know what’s been going on with your life, but a lot of interesting, unexpected events have been happening in mine. Some good, some bad, but all of them have occurred totally beyond my realm of control. It’s like one day I was casually strolling in the park and the next thing I know, I am trying not to get crushed by flying boulders and rainbows. If I were to be totally honest with myself, I hate it when I am not the one in control — I completely freak out. Trusting in God is hard, and I tend to seek answers within myself or turn to my friends, who could then provide me with immediate gratification, before humbly communicating my anxieties before God.

I want to hear from God, but only on my own terms. I want God to tell me what I should do with my life, what decisions to make, what paths I should avoid, and I just want to know my future now. In the depths of my heart, I kind of want it to be picture-perfect, too. But what if God is more concerned with my holiness and sanctification, rather than my future security in this transient life? (Answer: He is.) What if He is using all these uncertainties and challenges to show me my sinful tendencies and calling me to repentance? (Answer: He is.) What if God is trying to teach me to surrender all my emotions to Him, to open my eyes to His wonderful faithfulness, and to mold me to have a more a dependent-like faith? (Answer: He is.) What if God is breaking me so that I come before Him in desperation? (Answer: YES, HE IS.)

See, I know I should choose to believe in God despite whatever doubts and that I should choose to have joy despite my circumstances. Hence, the blog title. But my faith is weak. I am fearful of my future. I am fearful of making poor choices and mistakes. I am worried about failure and not looking my best (according to my own standards), and also disappointing others. My emotions can, and often do, overwhelm me. It’s only when I begin to lose my mind that I confess that I cannot manage things by myself.

Time and time again, God’s Word empowers me to focus on what is true and what is not true. His Word speaks life into mine, calms my fears, and brings me great hope. Let me share with you one such passage, which has strengthened and comforted me during all that has happened to me in one week. God is good. Always.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9).

Just from what I shared today, I hope that you, dear invisible reader, will also be able to evaluate yourself, your life, and where you stand with God. I am praying for you all, Christian or not.

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I didn’t really read or find anything on the internet that I wanted to share beyond the Christianity and Food categories this week. However, there’s a lot of links that I really enjoyed in just those two categories alone, so check ’em out!

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Crispy Pork and Cabbage Spring Rolls

The search for extra crispy spring rolls began through YouTube several weeks ago. My mom and I were discussing preparations for our family’s Lunar New Year’s Eve dinner, and while I was on board to contribute, I had absolutely no idea what I should make. Should I make a meat dish? But then what kind of meat? Something with fish or chicken — no, wait, maybe beef. Or uhh pork. Shoot, maybe I should just go with a vegetarian option because that might be easier. BUT I WANT MEAT. Oy, the struggles.

Clearly, I was going nowhere and I needed some inspiration, but time was ticking. Thankfully, I remembered that someone had randomly recommended a Taiwanese cooking channel that they found to be helpful, and as I was browsing through some of the videos on the channel, I stumbled upon a tutorial for beef spring rolls. One video was all it took for me to be completely fascinated with perfecting the art of spring rolls by the time the dinner would happen.

Easily persuaded? Yes, yes I am.

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