May 27, 2010

May 21, 2010

Kevin & Chelsea - another sneak peak

Ms. Tsau demanded to see here's a preview of their engagement sesssion which will hopefully hold you over until next week!

May 19, 2010

May 16, 2010

Scenic Sunday

{The Great Smokey Mountains, Tennessee - April 2010}
This one is for you, Wury!

May 14, 2010

heart on your sleeve

One thing I love about Maria is that she is so honest and earnest with what she's feeling.
When we were hanging on in the bridal room before the first look, the excitement and anticipation on her face said it all...

And everything about her was just beaming.

May 12, 2010

stop and smell the....daffodills

{roanoke college, virginia//april 2010}
I had to remind myself to do just that this morning. Take a deep breath and remember that the worst that could happen is really the worst.

Admittedly, I'm a little overwhelmed right now because of my bad habit to overcommit (plus i have two weddings to edit, ai yah.) and the stress is runnin' my emotions through the ringer... so i'll be a little light on blogging the rest of the week.

But to be honest, I don't mind having this image be the first thing I see. I really like it and the soft colors are soothing. Which is what i need right now.

May 9, 2010

A Proverbs 31 Tribute {Part V}

To round out our week of praising mothers, I had to end with the mom that I know the own.

"THAT'S your mom? She looks so young!!!" is something that I've heard often...basically whenever a friend has met my mom. :) And that she is. Even as a little girl, I always thought my mom was gorgeous and now I joke that I hope I age as well as her - at a mere 45+  Mom has aged s l o w l y and gracefully.

Things haven't always been peachy between us...but it has allowed me to see how the gospel and the grace of God transforms people and relationships. We used to butt heads over nearly everything and agreed on nearly nothing. For the most part of my middle school & high school years, she was a single mom trying to support and raise three kids as well as working to get her masters in computer science. Sometimes that meant we were fending for ourselves, and since my mom has had her ups and downs in walking with the Lord, there's a lot that I tried to figure out on my own.

Things are a little different now. I've seen Mom change in so many ways... from being self-sufficient to becoming a woman with a deeper trust in the Lord. A lot of that happened during my senior year in high school when for the first time in 18 years, she was out a job and not able to support our family. Rather she had to depend on my stepfather to do all of that. I know she was humbled.

And since then, that's what I've been learning from her. Humility. Mom endured another testing of her pride as did I, nearly 3 years later during my last two years in college when she started to experiencing excruciating back pain. Over that period of time, my hard working mom slowly was physically effected to the point when she could only lie down or walk around for 15 minute increments. She lost weight and her flawless skin started changing to a different tone because of the pain medication she was on. Any bitterness and resentment I harbored against her for not being the mom that I thought I deserved gave way to seeing her weak and feeble - not only physically but realizing that we were both sinners, sustained only by the grace that God so graciously gave when he saved us from our sins. At times, as I said good night to her at 7pm because she was so exhausted or the afternoons I would come home from college to find her asleep, I could nearly feel my hardened heart towards her melt. Her pain was becoming my pain. Her loneliness and separation from other Christians because she could no longer physically go to church became my burden. My long standing selfishness gave way to desiring to care for and serve her and my rebellious ears listened to all the things she wanted to tell me. All this time, she stood as cheerfully as she could, but I know it was hard. Yet God saw her through that time and showed his faithfulness in her life in so many ways.

Thankfully she was able to have surgery that has allowed her to be restored to living daily with minimal physical hinderance. When I started my life in San Diego, our relationship changed even more as I was further away... and because as I was experiencing working life, all the things my mom was trying to teach me about preparing for the future started making more and more sense. Her relationship with God continued to grow and she became more involved with the church family at Lifesong Community Church - and we were able to better communicate about the gospel and about what it meant to be a Christian. As the only believer amongst her siblings and with my own desire for my siblings to be saved, we share frustrations that we both understand. Now, Mom is more than willing to go out of her way to help people and to make friends with neighbors, co-educators and people at church - sometimes to the point where I am TOTALLY embarrassed. And other times I am defensive of her getting taken advantage of and when I tell her "Mommy! You don't have to do that!" she always replies "I know...but I want to." Yet I know that the heart of it is that she wants to show God's love and shine the light of Christ around her - this is a quality that I've had to learn from her.

So Mommy, thank you for praying for me EVERYDAY. Thank you for being an instrument in our redeemer's hands, showing me how God can work in even seemingly hopeless situations. Thank you for being forgiving, patient and loving your very unloveable children. Thank you for having joy in life's circumstances and for trusting God with his plan for my life. Because I have come to trust him with yours.

Happy Mother's Day. : )

May 8, 2010

A Proverbs 31 Tribute {Part IV}

Ange is a well loved lady at our church. There are SO MANY things about her that allow you trust her enough to just pour out your heart and everything that you aren't sure about.
I have been fortunate enough to do that several times in the past few years.

Speaking the truth in love, with a gentle hug I would say that Ange is a wonderful mom to her four girls (and well, even some of us single ladies). I'm not sure how she manages it all: she grows in her own worship of God while raising four very different daughters and balancing ministry all while being a suitable helper to our faithful Pastor John. Their girls Jenna, Kara, Alyssa & Olivia are all at different stages of their lives (especially this next year) but I have been able to learn from her how to be patient and understanding as she mothers them, right where they are at.

Just like Carol (whom I shared about yesterday and happens to be Ange's big sister!) it's been a huge testimony of Angela & John's parenting and shepherding of their children when we've seen how much the girls have come to know about God... and truly start to make their relationship with God and the gospel a priority in their own lives. I love getting to hear her candid thoughts when we meet on Tuesday nights about how she thinks through things and is so supportive of each of the interests of each of the girls (ranging from cello, soccer to Ni Hao Kai Lan!) I can only imagine the prayer that went into and continues to go into teaching them God's word and how to live it out. The girls often make an effort to thank their parents for not only being their parents but for teaching them and ministering to they together, as a family, live out the gospel. They are currently preparing to move to San Jose this summer for our first LBC church plant - and this move means that they will be uprooting (have already sold their house) and starting over with a group of 20&30 somethings, away from their family (which is mainly in L.A. and San Diego.) You may ask why they would do such a thing - to themselves, to their daughters - so difficult! But there is only one answer that each member of their family would affirm: to glorify God. Not without sadness and bittersweetness, but with a complete trust in the Lord,

As I myself learn from Ange's example of making disciples of Christ...I only hope that I too can increase in glorifying God with part of my life and loving God more and more as the years pass.

May 7, 2010

A Proverbs 31 Tribute {part III}

I realize that this is a lot of writing for a P H O T O blog but I commend you for stickin' with me. I think this entry is potentially encouraging. :) It's so much about how I got to be who I am today. And a lot about who I want to be.

For the 10 months before I graduated from college, there was one thing I consistently prayed for: an older woman to disciple me. There were really no women in my life in the next life stage who could give me an idea of how to prepare for post-college life but I knew that I needed that. I just didn't know how God would answer my prayer.

As the story goes, God started answering my prayers one at a time (finding a job, finding a new home church, finding housing....) and along with that was finding that older woman who was further along in the faith and wiser that me. On my very first Sunday at Lighthouse. She and her daughters, Kristen & Stephanie, had just moved to San Diego after living for many years in Texas so that Stephanie could go to college at UCSD - because she wanted to become a member at Lighthouse... where Carol's family (her 3 siblings + their spouses and kids) were all attending. Carol made an impression on me from the first time we met...and through different times of hanging out and getting to know each other, I came to trust her...and ask her to disciple me about 4 months after we met. I was so nervous about asking her if we could meet up - but was so excited when she agreed. Further more I was floored when she added that she had been praying for a younger lady to invest in...while all this time, I had been praying for an older one! Carol was the answer to my prayers. And I had no idea. :)

We would meet every Tuesday at Coffee Bean and were able to cover soooooo many, love, family.... One thing that I came to appreciate about Carol is her straightforwardness and honesty. When there was something she wanted to know, she would ask me point blank and when I needed to be corrected, she was faithful in pointing out the things I was trying to hide but needed to change. Carol challenged me to recognize sinful thinking & worldiness for what it was - sin. She would share things about her life - how she and her husband Steve got together, the joys and difficulties in marriage (I realized its not a fairy tale!) and how as he was struggling with his health and still in living in Texas until the arrangements could be made for him to join their family in San Diego, she was learning how to pray and trust God in his perfect timing. I too learned to pray intently as I joined the girls in praying for Steve to make the move for two years before he did. Carol is realistic about life and honest about sin - she's been there for through some of the most difficult times I experienced over the past four years...and didn't let me wallow in self-pity. No, Carol has always helped me to turn from my own folly to embrace the word of God and God's plans for my life as I learned how to be an adult. My view on loving and serving the younger ladies in my life has been undoubtedly shaped by how Carol discipled me...oh, and told me to do it too. From the very beginning. :)

Honestly, I think I could write a book about all the things I've learned from her. Now as her own daughters are adults (with her oldest, Steph, just getting married a month ago!!) her family is still impacting me and challenging me to love the Lord with all my heart, my soul and mind. She and Steve have raised beautiful daughters that truly carry on a legacy of living in light of the gospel. As I grow up (even more), I truly want to live that way as well.

{Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. - Titus 2:3}

May 6, 2010

A Proverbs 31 Tribute {part II}

Thanks for joining me for the second part of our series on appreciating mothers. :)
Today I wanted to share about some moms that I get to see on a weekly basis and interact with frequently as we are all a part of the staff our the college group at our church, Lighthouse. These two ladies were friends way before I met either of them, having been at LBC during their OWN college days at UCSD...since then, they have both married some very godly men and now they raising their families and continuing to serve our church as some of the most faithful  members.

Now, I really must tell you about Angella (or Lala as some of us call her). I think from the beginning of my time in San Diego, she was one person that I heard a lot about because she was a part of the lives of the girls who were my age...but didn't actually meet until much later. She met her husband Hansol while they were themselves in college (he at SDSU and she at UCSD) they have two adorable sons - Jonas & Elijah you may know well by now...and they have #3 on the way!

One of my favorite things to do is coming over to play with Lala, Jo & Elijah... and I've learned a lot about communicating with kids through watching Lala interact with the boys. Most kids love their mommy, but its no wonder that these guys love their mama... she plays with them and talks to them in a calm tone even when they may need discipline or are getting upset. I've never heard her raise her voice or yell at them and finds the things that they do to be humourous. Lala will recount stories to me with a smile and a laugh. Nothing seems to rock their world (even their big move to a new house this past year) but they take it with a grain of sand...because they truly acknowledge God to be the rock of their lives, and the provider of everything that they need.

{Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. - Proverbs 31:25-26}

Christine and her husband Patrick...How do I start to tell you abou them?  One thing about them that is so evident - they treasure each other, and they love being together... in the everyday things and in ministry as well. Teammates, I would say.

The whole time I've been at LBC, Patrick has been our college pastor and starting this summer will be the senior pastor of Lighthouse. Even telling you about that process and what that means for their family could take days but I can tell you that Christine is a woman that stands by her man. Through preparing to step into those big shoes, I've seen how much Patrick has been  encouraged by her love and support...and she Christine has been a picture of strength and dignity to me...yet still very much herself. They have an AWESOME sense of humor and you may not be able to tell but Christine LOVES football and is crazy good at playing  while Patrick is always on the sideline coaching and cheering. I've seen their daughter Eden grow the last (almost) 2 years and while her mama has taught her some pretty cool things (like how to "raise the roof", the hand motions to "all the single ladies" just to name a few) I know she's been diligent to teach and discipline her daughter from a very early age about right and wrong.  The ladies of collegelife have certainly been impacted by Christine as well....going to her for counsel and I myself am SUPER thankful because I know that she is giving them not only perspective but direction in God's truth for their lives. As they are in a season of change and transition in terms of how they serve and minister at church, I've seen so much trust and faith in their lives, desiring to glorify God and to do it side by side. When I grow up ;) I want to be able to serve along side my husband and aid him just as Christine has been able to do for Patrick.

{The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. - Proverbs 31:11-12

May 5, 2010

A Proverbs 31 Tribute {part I}

I had grand plans to start this series on Monday and to continue throughout the whole week...
While there are still enough tributes to take us well into Sunday and beyond and not enough days for each, I thought that I would just double up...

As I've gotten older, I have come to appreciate God's plan for women... and that includes being wives and mothers. It's not always easy to accept his plan - especially in our day and age. I'm not going to get into all the issues and controversies surrounding motherhood and women's roles but I simply want to recognize and share about some ladies that have been instrumental in my own life in teaching me about being a godly woman, with priorities shaped by the Bible and striving to carry out its instruction in how they live. You may not agree with those same priorities but we can all agree that loving your children is a beautiful thing.
So I hope you enjoy these little tributes and are inspired to recognize the women in your life who are loving and serving their families as well. :)

Jocelyn is beautiful, smart and hardworking. As a lawyer married to Dr. Jeff , that would easily make them a power couple, especially in the world's system of prestige. However as several of us got to hear her share this past Sunday at church, they made the decision that she would stay home with their son, Jacob, after he was born and she has continued to do so as he continues to grow into the handsome little man that he is. Jocelyn shared that while it was easy to make the initial decision to stay home at the end of her pregnancy, it has been harder to keep living out the heart behind staying home instead of going back to work. However her motivation is to be able to teach the gospel to Jacob, and to do her job as a mom to shape him into a disciple of Christ.

RIGHT before he was born, she was my small group leader at church and weekly shaping me, Joyce, Yoonjee & Jenie into some women that would love God and love people - even more than our careers, as well. (You can see pictures of our small group above, including the minishower we threw for her. :D). Now, she is continuing that work of exalting God to the next generation, in putting the things of God as more important than the things of this world as she loves Jacob and puts his salvation far above achieving riches, power and fame.
{Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.  - Phillippians 3:8}

Lynn and her husband Steve have four creative, funny and energetic kids ranging from high school to elementary school. I first met them when they came to Lighthouse and was so excited to have another family of elementary school kids added to the church family. (We had a LOT of babies but not as many older kids at the time.) I've gotten to know them and serve with them over the past few years and love to visit their home for a session of Rockband with Cameron & Jordan (the youngest two). I've gotten to hear the amazing stories of how God saved both Steve & Lynn after they were married as well as how God brought them to a Bible teaching church and has been working in through their parenting to teach the gospel to their children and its implications in how they live.

I first got to know Lynn through playing together on our footbal team (YES, she is our awesome running back!!!) and have gotten to hear how she serves her kids - four different personalities and interests...equals four different sets of activities! Her license plate frame reads "2 Boys, 2 Girls.... TOO TIRED" but you would never know by her sweet smile and how excited she is when her kids achieve different things because THEY are excited.  Lynn is Supermom: active in the PTA at the elementary school, and music lessons, orchestra, sports practices galore, and still serves in the nursery at church, caring for some of the other babies. We all know moms that are tired (maybe even including Lynn) but I am encouraged and challenged by how she serves her kids in being there for them and serving them through listening to their stories, shouldering their struggles with an understanding ear and even practically driving them to all their lessons. I hope to be a non-complaining, supportive mom like Lynn someday. :)

{Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humilty of mind regard one another as more important than yourslves; do not merely look out for your own interest but also for the interests of others. - Phillipians 2:3-4 NASB}

May 3, 2010

happy happy happy

A happy groom and a gorgeous bride...
on a long awaited day (7 years in the making!)

happy parents, fully blessing their marriage...

and of course, some VERY happy girlfriends!

{taking some photos at their very purple and gold wedding in darkness during Tommy  Liz's romantic first dance under some twinkle lights confirmed that I LOVE the 85mm 1.8!}

May 2, 2010

scenic sunday {edition II}

I'm playing outside today {love me some football with my lbc ladies}

...hope you are too!