Teach me love

Place me like a seal over your heart,

Like a seal on your arm;

For love is as strong as death,

Its jealousy unyielding as the grave.

It burns like blazing fire,

Like a mighty flame.

Many waters cannot quench love;

Rivers cannot wash it away. 

If one were to give

All the wealth of his house for love,

It would be utterly scorned.


Song of Songs 8:6-7


Beautiful, but honestly, I don’t understand the last part of verse 7…help?


Footprints ;)

Someone in Washington (state or DC, I can’t tell…) and someone in New York is reading this blog regularly…who are you?? I think I know, but I’d love to hear any feedback! And…thanks, for caring enough to check in each week 😉


…for the world to change? Or for my heart to come alive just enough to…?

So, I have this bad habit of putting off things that really matter to me…it’s like I keep taking care of the little, superficial things that I know in the long run aren’t really that important, but maybe it’s that I keep doing these little things because I’m not quite ready to do the big, important things that appear to require (or maybe I want to give it) my full attention, and a good amount of heart/energy in doing it well. Unfortunately, this putting off of things that are actually priorities to me (internally) results in my life being ruled by “the tyranny of the urgent,” the small things that could/should be taken care of right now and quickly.

I started reflecting on this as I saw the number of “MUST REPLY” e-mails piling up in my inbox (e-mail and facebook! and don’t even mention voicemails – I check those about 1-2 a week, if that) and the number of thank you cards, wedding cards, and general replies piling up in my files…sigh~

There’s one person who in particular I feel bad for because I know this person’s patiently waiting for me to respond and to follow-up, so if you’re out there reading this – I am so sorry to keep you! I know you understand but I still want to apologize if I’ve made you feel rejected or ignored or forgotten because of my lack of speedy response. 


People have been asking me lately, “So, how are you doing?” and I actually stop to think about it these days…I know I’m doing well, but I guess I’ve been so active and busy just settling in and transitioning (physically, mentally, socially – it’s harder to be “active” emotionally or even “spiritually”) that I have to stop and think about it in order to give an authentic answer. My answer has been, “…good…really good, actually,” and I do mean it, but I like to take the moment to reflect, while I can. 

I’m in that part of the transition into a new life where I’m so busy doing that the being is found in the getting from place to place and stopping to breathe, reflect, and enjoy myself while I’m going and when I’m there. I haven’t allowed myself to sit still too long in the mornings because I find it a bit lonely waking up to an empty apartment (it just hasn’t been the norm for the past 4+ years), and I get a list of to do’s that usually involves getting me out of the house.


In some ways I’ve just been nesting for the past two weeks – I’ve brought some organization, color, life, creativity, and structure into our home in the ways that I know how and also in new ways such as gardening (in containers on our balcony, including a terrarium of cacti & succulents from glass vases we’ve collected from past weddings; since we live in the city, it’s technically called “urban gardening,” hehe…), crafting (I made my own pillow cover today for my bed! Sadly, I didn’t actually save any money compared to purchasing it at Ross or Walmart, but at least I have a small sense of accomplishment and I had a lot of fun!), and cooking for lunch and dinner. I’ve also started entertaining friends who are willing to trek out here or friends who live in the city and don’t work in the daytime…that’s always been life-giving and fun for me 🙂

We’re not meeting any neighbors yet, but I have made acquaintances with some of our building’s maintenance guys and some local clerks and cashiers at stores I’ve been frequenting. I’ve been told that baking cookies & sitting around outside is the way to go…but then again, I don’t live in that kind of building 😛 Our “community” is sort of self-sufficient and a bit more well off than the surrounding communities since we live in a “luxury apartment” in Historic Filipinotown at the edge of Koreatown. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try 😉 


I’m learning a lot about life and how to live WELL in the little ways. And not just in general, but specifically for me, Hannah. I know I’m not anyone’s average sort of person, and I’ve come to accept and embrace it, now I’m learning to really love, enjoy, and maximize it. I’ve been learning to put my potential to use, hehe… now consistency and stamina are two goals of mine.


Anyway, all to say… my relationships are extremely important to me, but at the moment I’m very busy cultivating my inner life, my family life, and my home life… and hopefully at some point (soon), I’ll be able to start reconnecting and reaching out more regularly outside of my immediate community (people who live w/in a 10-15 mile radius) and getting back in touch with the wonderful folks who’ve loved and helped sustain me thus far.


But five people I do want to take steps towards before I start Americorps: KC, H Choi, L Orvis, H Snow, and Uncle Buzz. Cool fact: After KC, the other four are all over 35 years old! How blessed am I?





Coming soon: My “total” makeover ^_^ In the rest of 2011, I wanna get in better shape, which will be an uphill battle since it’s a tad bit harder in the urban context to stay focused on health & well-being! But it’ll be more important than ever before, because “mission life,” here I come!!!

Going Home Home ~*

Had lots of soul (Korean) food today, lunch with halmoni and dinner with umma…I love my family so much and I am so grateful for their love in my life. 

My mom introduced me to a Japanese drama called Nodame Cantabile, which is a two-part romantic comedy about two music students who go to Paris to study abroad together but face various obstacles to finding their true heart’s desires 🙂 More info on part one HERE and part two HERE as well as the link you can watch the first one at HERE. I just finished watching the second one (click HERE) tonight, even though I’m supposed to meet Jaw and the crew for b-fast and hiking tomorrow morning 9a at the IC office 😛 Just one of those late night impulses, I suppose… 

To say the least, watching and listening to this love story was a very pleasurable and satisfying experience for me, if only for the many musical numbers featured, and the explanations for the pieces. (But I LOVE watching the comedy too! The Japanese are interesting, for sure, but I have to say that I find their cultural expressions rather endearing and cute.) Watching the piano and orchestra rehearsals reminded me of my days playing piano and flute solo and in orchestra during junior and senior high school…man, I wish I’d continued both instruments, considering how much time and money went into my classical training for 6 (flute) -11 (piano) years! Anyhow…someday, maybe I’ll practice when my kids are playing outside after THEY’VE finished practicing their pieces 😉

I enjoy love stories because love is at the core of the human experience, at the core of life itself. By learning more about love, from various perspectives, I learn more about being human and being alive. Love stories help me understand life, the world, and my own experience of it all.

I think it’s true when they say that without love, the soul cannot thrive, the same way a plant needs water. Well, a plant needs a trio of air, light, and water. Hmm…perhaps faith, hope, and love are a trio akin to air, light, and water…

And I love water! heart 



In other news, I finally mustered the willpower and focus to walk next door to the next complex to swim a couple laps in the swimming pool, but alas, it was locked 😦 I felt pretty silly, running around in my hawaiian wrap-skirt and flip-flops at 10:30pm. 

Also, Americorps training starts next next week and I’m planning on resting in Chicago for a few days to spend time with my cousin and handful of Chicago friends before my one week pre-program “vacation” in LA to prepare for the official year to begin. As of September 12, my life and schedule are truly, truly not my own. 



And regardless of how I live my little life here, but hopefully more so in this area because I’ve given my life for Him to use as He wishes…

 …Hallelujah, our G-d reigns!!!

Touching Base

I went back to my old apartment in Pasadena today to pick up the utensils we accidentally left behind (funny how we left one of the most important and functional apartment belongings – but it’s the last thing we wanted to move b/c we had to keep eating until the last day, you know?)…and it was LOVELY reconnecting with and touching base with beloved Fuller community members and friends~ Seriously, it was a breath of fresh air, almost like water to my parched soul, lol~ 

S. Bang and I had a great chat and he offered to buy me lunch next time I planned to be in town and I ran into an o.g. (original, like we met 1st year) classmate as well as an acquaintance I’m rather fond of 🙂 One of them is going to be a daddy this fall, oh for joy! I joked, “Please don’t name your son ‘Rocket,’ ‘Apple,’ or ‘Scooter,’ please!” To which the other friend replied, “J & Sh named their kid Scooter…” Silence fell for a second, then we all laughed as I exclaimed, “Are you serious?!” Said friend explained, “Well, it’s the nickname.” LOL…this is why I love my seminary friends. They’re down to earth, intelligent, kind, gracious, witty, funny, and so sharp you’d cut yourself around them if you weren’t careful and you wouldn’t even notice. 

Anyhow, it hit me today how grateful I am for community and a place nearby where I still feel at home, though I don’t have a place to stay for more than 3 days at most. I know I can ask any of my good friends to host me for a while if I really needed, but I just wouldn’t do it unless I absolutely had to…

So, the thought today is that I have a new home and I’m getting used to it. 


Funny random fact: I’ve been wanting (like a craving or something!) to watch Bollywood since I moved in but I just haven’t found the time! 


Cool, I-love-being-filled-with-the-Spirit experience: I’ve been singing songs (almost unconsciously) throughout my day, the other day was “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” and today it was “I Wanna Walk, Walk like Jesus” (<—children’s song). I love Jesus. He gives me hope for each day and strength for each hour…I love His Spirit and I love being Daddy’s little girl as I go about my day and go to bed at night.






Where’s home?

If it’s where the heart is, then I definitely don’t live at home yet.

If my heart is with people, then my home’s wherever they are; it’s always changing.

If it’s where my bed, desk, clothes, books, and toiletries are, then I suppose it’s right here in LA. 


I feel so liminal during this phase of the transition to life in the city…

And as a result, I find myself clinging more closely to the people I have solid relationships with.


My roommate presented me with a “push gift” or as she called it, “move gift,” which was to congratulate and thank me for my hard work during our move here. Really, it was to comfort and encourage me, I think…and to show me her affection and love for me. A push gift is given to a woman after she’s pushed out a child 🙂 We certainly gave birth to something in the past two weeks, just take a look around our new place! It vaguely reminds our visitors of our Pasadena apartment, yet it’s not. I’m glad for this. 


I prefer big changes happen gradually, a little bit at a time…but sometimes life just comes at you in such a way that it isn’t possible to step one toe at a time into the water. We’ve jumped in and here we are…not feeling quite lost, but honestly feeling a bit lonely and isolated in our new neighborhood…lacking community as of yet. 


Lord, bring us home, please. 

Bring people who’ll pray, worship, and read your Word together with us in this new place.

Teach us how to open up to our new surroundings and to be people of peace in this city.

May our home be an oasis and resting place for the hearts of our community in LA.


We love you, Jesus.