Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving with the Choi Family

Hey Everyone!

I hope you guys all had a great Thanksgiving weekend!
Mine was filled with great food, music, and company.

Last Tuesday I decided to write down 50 things I was thankful for this year to follow what I wrote last week (click here to read) .  The first 20 were easy to list but I had to really think about the last 30.  It was a great experience because it made me appreciate things that I usually take for granted.  For example, as I was writing my list I was reminded of how lucky I was to be able to speak, hear, touch, see, run, walk, and many more.  Those things seem so simple and that's why it's easily ignored.  It was a great time to truly reflect and appreciate even the little things that God has given me which all sums up to great things.

Next, I called a few of my friends I haven't talked to in a while and chatted for a few hours.  It was nice catching up and talking about old times.  Also, I wrote a thank you note to everyone in my family to show love and appreciation.  They thought it was a bit silly at first but I saw the smiles on their faces after they read the notes.  It's amazing how a simple thank you note can bring giggles and smiles to someone's face which is irreplaceable. 

Here are some pictures of few of my family members from Thanksgiving Day:

My wonderful Husband!

My beautiful sister #2
(My 3rd sister went to her in-laws this year and my oldest was busy cooking)

My handsome brother in law #2

My cute mom and dad

This is me from the night before at my friends b-day party. I forgot to take a picture of myself on Thanksgiving Day =)

I hope you guys had a great vacation. Now, it's time to get ready for Christmas!!
Christmas is my favorite time of the year!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let's Give Thanks on Thanksgiving Day

Hi Friends,

I received this email from Chris today by Little Things Matter and I wanted to share it with you guys.  A few day's ago I was reminded of what Thanksgiving Day was all about.  This whole time I kept thinking about all the yummy food I was going to eat and not having to go to work that I forgot what the true meaning of this day was. So, I wanted to take this opportunity to observe Thanksgiving Day with everyone.  This post humbly reminded me of what I should truly be celebrating on Thanksgiving Day and and I hope it does the same for you guys as well. Who's up for the challenge?

Thanksgiving Day Long Ago
For 66 days a sailing vessel called the Mayflower carried 102 pilgrims across the stormy Atlantic Ocean and landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts on December 11, 1620. During that first cold winter, 46 pilgrims died. In the spring of 1621, the Wampanoag Indians taught the pilgrims how to cultivate the land—growing corn, beans, and pumpkins which helped them survive. At harvest time the colonists were so grateful for their bountiful crops that Governor William Bradford organized the first Thanksgiving feast, inviting their neighbors—Wampanoag Indians. With joy and thanksgiving, they expressed their gratitude and appreciation to God for their bountiful harvest.
Many years later, in 1789, President George Washington wrote a proclamation, recommending to the “people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God . . . Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November . . . that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country . . .”
Thanksgiving Day Today
So it has been that for over two centuries. Thanksgiving Day has become a joyous festival celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. People have gathered together to thank God for His past blessings and to enjoy the warm fellowship of family and friends.
However, over the last 50 years Thanksgiving Day has lost its original significance. For many people, it has simply become a time when families come together to eat turkey and watch football.
As we prepare to celebrate this Thanksgiving with our family and friends, I encourage you, regardless of where you live in the world, to stop and reflect on the things for which you are grateful.
In our busy and demanding lives, it’s easy to focus on our challenges and overlook the things we are truly blessed to enjoy. It’s easy to lament what we don’t have, rather than appreciate what we do have. We would all benefit from the words of Epictetus, a stoic Greek philosopher, who said, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”
When we focus on all the positive things in our lives, we will find more joy, satisfaction, and happiness. Our lives will take on greater meaning and our hearts will be filled with love and gratitude.
My Challenge to You
1.  Make a list of all the things for which you are thankful. Stretch yourself to make a list of 50 people, things, or events. This can include the names of family, friends, co-workers and others whose relationships you value. Include your religious affiliations, your pastor or priest. Include our country and the servicemen who are protecting our land and our rights. It can also include your physical being, material possessions, and conveniences we so often take for granted. Parents, let me encourage you to have your children participate in this exercise.
2.  After making this list take some quiet time and reflect on everything you have listed. In the words of Thornton Wilder, “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
3.  Express your gratitude to the people you’ve listed. It could be a hand-written note, a personalized email, a text message, or a phone call. Whatever method you choose to use, make it personal and heartfelt. Let these people know how you feel about them and how special they are to you.
If the weight of your challenges makes it difficult to give thanks, reflect back how the pilgrims must have felt. “The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than those who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.” H. U. Westermayer.
Don’t take anything you have for granted.
Instead express your gratitude for all your many blessings—great and small.

BY: Little Things Matter

Did you guys make your list?  If you guys did, please share your experience with me. I would love to hear all about it. You can read about my experience (here).


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Conneciton to Tony Robbins "Breakthrough" TV Show Ep.1

“The worst thing you can do for the people you love is doing things that they can do for themselves”
I watched the first episode of Breakthrough by Tony Robbins today and learned a lot about how to be a stronger person not only for myself but for people I love as well. Breakthrough is a TV show about Tony Robbins helping people make positive turns in their life by series of breakthrough events.  He shows them that their life can change and there is hope.
The first episode is about a married couple name Frank and Karen Alioto whose lives changed dramatically on the day of their wedding when Frank fell into the pool and became paralyzed.  Since that day they both lived with grief, guilt, and sorrow because they thought they could never have the life they planned for themselves.  Karen felt extremely overwhelmed with everything in her life and because she loved Frank so much it broke her heart to see him so vulnerable everyday.  It was extremely hard for Frank to see Karen go through so much pain and he felt guilty for not being able to provide the life he promised her. This is when Tony comes into their life to show them that their story hasn’t ended yet.
Tony gives both of them a series of challenges to overcome and through those challenges you start to see hope in their eyes again. One of my favorite part is when Tony talks to Franks family and friends about allowing Frank to struggle.  He mentions the worst thing we can do for the people we love is doing things that they can do for themselves and by doing so we end up being handicapped.  Frank might struggle at first but he’ll figure it out and it would no longer be a struggle for him.  That was a great life lesson to learn.  This was a great reminder that tough love is a form of love that's needed in certain moments of our lives.  This is definitely something I need to practice as well.  I want to make sure I don't handicap the people I love from becoming greater than they think they can be. 
You can watch EP.1-1 below. I encourage you to watch the rest!
Have a blessed week everyone!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Connection to LOVE by Jaeson Ma (feat. Bruno Mars)

The lyrics to this song always humbles me and makes me think.  I even cried a few times listening to this song by myself in my car.  I’m sure you guys all have done before. =)
 I think I listened to it at least 5 times a day for 2 weeks straight.  There are so many parts on this song that spoke out to me.  It really speaks the truth and because it does it’s very humbling and challenging at the same time. 
Whenever I listen to this song it makes me think about the kind of love that my life is reflecting.  Would I be able to die for my enemies?  Does my love keep no record of wrongs?  The truth is I’ve been struggling with showing love to two specific people in my life the past year.  I see them every day because I work with them and every day I tell myself it’s a new day and I’m going to show love to them.  Then I get into the office and they do something to annoy me.  So, all the promises and prayers goes straight out the door.  Their personality is completely different from mine so their work ethic frustrates me sometimes.  I’ve been asking God to give me strength to show love to them but it’s been a real challenge.  Although it’s not easy I will not give up because I know God is working in me.  I also know that the only way anything will change is if I decide to change.  So, I decided to start praying for them and their family.  It’s a commitment but I feel like God is telling me to start there.
The other part that brings tears of joy to my eyes is the way it describes what perfect love is.  It’s so refreshing and humbling.  It also gives me a lot of hope.  Sometimes I think I got it right and I let my ego get the best of me.  Then, I think about how God portrayed his love for us it humbles me.   It truly is unthinkable to think about what Jesus Christ did for us.  That is truly perfect love.
I think if we try to do what the chorus say's, it'll help us along this journey.  It’s not easy with all the temptation around us but there’s no temptation big enough that love can’t fight.  This will be a continuous mission and journey for me but I’m looking forward to learning and growing every step of the way.  I’ll let you guys know how it turns out with my coworkers in a few months.  Please keep me in your prayers.

I also follow Jaeson Ma's blog which has great inspiring stories. You may want to check it out
Thanks for reading everyone and please share some trials and triumphs you've had as well.  What was your connection to this song?

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Deeper Look into My Heart

Hey Guys,

I wanted to take this time to share about my inner passion to fight against human trafficking.  I first heard about human trafficking 3 or 4 years ago in church through a spokesperson from Oasis.   At the time, I didn’t know something like this was possible and it was all incredibly new to me.  Back then when I thought about slavery I thought about the stories we read in our history books.  I never thought it could be happening now.  I learned about different forms of slavery and they are all equally horrible but the one that broke my heart the most was sex trafficking.  Maybe it's because I'm a woman but the thought of young children and women being sold as prostitutes really bothered my soul.  It was horrible enough to know that people from third world countries were being trafficked but it really boggled my mind when I found out that people in California were being kidnapped and tricked into slavery as well.  Although my heart cried out for these people I didn't decide to get involved until I watched the movie "Taken".  This movie is about a father who goes to the ends of the earth to get his daughter back who was trafficked into prostitution.  I cried uncontrollably after watching this movie because I knew this was happening in real life. I prayed and asked God how something like this could be happening in our world.  Then in return I asked myself or God asked me what I was going to do to make it better.  That's when I decided that I needed to do something to help any way I can.  Through a friend I was able to get a hold of the founder of CAS (California Against Slavery) and I started to get involved with what they were doing to end slavery in California.

This crime seems impossible to end when you look at the growing population of people being trafficked each year.  Even so I truly have faith that this horrible crime would come to an end.   I'm not sure when that'll be but I have faith that it will because I saw it happen in my dream.   A few months ago I had a dream that I was sold as a sex slave because my family was tricked into thinking that they were sending me to a really great school.   The emotions I felt when I found out what happened were so real.  I felt lost, scared, betrayed, and my whole world was spinning.  I asked people to help me but they were so scared of the scary man (the guy in charge) that they ignored me.  Not even the police was able to do anything.  The people who worked for him told me I had to sleep with the scary man and the thought of that made me sick.  I remember praying in my dream and asking God why this happened to me.   I was mad at God but I also knew He was the only one who could save me.   So, I prayed earnestly for a miracle.  Then the next day and I had to go see the scary man.   I remember feeling terrified standing outside his room.  Then, something happened.  The scary man came out and told me I was free to go.  It was words of disbelief, happiness, and hope.   It was a miracle. Then he told me again, “You’re free to go.”  So, I walked out of there as a free woman.  I remember seeing the brightest light when the doors opened.  After that dream I had ultimate faith that this horrible crime would come to an end.  It was my confirmation and I can’t wait for that day.

If you want to know more information or find out how you can help support CAS please visit our website:
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