Monday, March 31, 2014

Meaningless

Hello!
I know it's kind of weird, but whilst stalking myself on this blog, sifting through my not-so-many posts, I have realized how long my posts have gradually been getting. They started out with simple complaints about being a new college student, to much deeper and emotion-filled content. Maybe I'm just becoming more sensitive lol. Never thought that day would come. Anyways, a particular book in the Bible has constantly been appearing in my daily life this past quarter and throughout this break. Ecclesiastes. I have never even touched that book. I was just minding my own business when this book decided to slap me across the face. It all started with discipleship when Olivia informed me that Ecclesiastes would be the topic of the quarter. Upon reading the first chapter, the words "everything is meaningless" stuck out like an Asian at Cal Poly. WOWZA. Not only have we been going over this book in discipleship, but also in Bible Study and my home church has been going through a series on it, as well. I'm thinking God is telling me something haha. I feel as though this past year has really revealed how much I was living for myself and for the acceptance of other people. Where did God play a role in all of this? There wasn't much room for God when my heart was filled with the thought of fulfilling my own strivings with my own strength. Where will all of my hard work go? To the ground with me when I die. Something that Olivia said that really resonated with me was the fact that future generations, even just two generations later, will not remember me nor what I have done in this life. Shoot, gurl, like, ouch. Soooo why does it matter what people think of me or how I look or the dollar bills I make in the future? It's all meaningless. ALL MEANINGLESS! Though it seems to be a sad reality, there is so much freedom in saying that! Why is it all meaningless? Because we have God, a Savior who loves us for us, and sent His Son to die for us. It's just all this simple, but sin makes it so hard, doesn't it? Now I'm not here to preach about how my life has suddenly turned for the better, and that I am now a completely changed woman. That is not the case. I have chased vanity for my whole, entire life. I have looked at myself and picked out things that I did not like, and I have cursed myself when I didn't get good grades. It is just oh so easy to do. However, day by day, I remind myself of this book. Solomon had everything he could have ever wanted, materialistically. When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. He had thousands of women, a palace, land, animals, parties. You name it, he had it. However, after having all of these things, he found them all to be meaningless, nothing of worth, nada. So why do I seek after these things? To impress people? To prove to myself that I could do it? I struggle everyday with self-image and the way I look to people, and I know I will continue to struggle with it, quite possibly, for the rest of my life, but I hope that my heart will slowly change towards these worldly things, and focus on what God has done for me. It's a long road ahead, but God works in amazing ways! Also, spring break is over :(, but here's to a new quarter! 

-S.Park

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mumbo Jumbo

Yay!!! Spring break, y'all :)
I was so excited and hungry (literally and figuratively) for this break. Not only has it been the most tiring academically, but this quarter has also been draining emotionally and spiritually. It's hard to admit that I've had a rough quarter because it makes it seem all too real, but I guess accepting it has helped me process everything that went on throughout the past few months. I think I'm a pretty optimistic person when it comes to my friendships, hoping that everyone will get along and everything will work out the way I planned it. However, that is far from the truth. I feel as though I walked an easy path for my whole life, I haven't had some massive struggle thrown at me all at once, but I know that God doesn't make your life easy peasy lemon squeezy. Though I haven't gone through anything significantly dramatic, I think a lot of stress and pressure has been slowly building up in me to the point where I'm so excited that break came when it did. I'm just waiting for my professors to put up my score online. Can't truly relax until then...sighhh.
My community in EPIC has been such a blessing, though imperfect (what fellowship is perfect?), I have found that going to EPIC really helps me grow in my servitude and attitude towards God. Do I always want to do slides? Not necessarily. It's hard when there's miscommunication and schoolwork due the next day, but is my complaining glorifying God? Nope. If I'm going to do it, I want to do it with a joyful heart. It's a challenge, but EPIC has really shown me how to be patient and loving towards my brothers and sisters, and I hope to be more positive in the upcoming quarter and the years to come. It's easy to write, but doing it and acting it out is going to be a million times harder. I have found myself constantly doing a half-butt job and become irritable at people who were trying to help. Talking about it negatively and being dragged into the negative viewpoint of this and that is extremely easy. I'm not in some honeymoon phase where everything seems to be unicorns, butterflies, and rainbows. Seriously though, I know there are things that could be done differently. I know that there are holes that can be patched. I also know, however, that this isn't going to happen if everyone decides to leave. If I have a problem with something, maybe I should suggest a solution rather than cursing. This is for God, not myself, not the acceptance of man, and not for self-glorification.
School. School. School. Oh how I love to hate thee. It's been a rough quarter. First off, I only really enjoyed one out of my four classes this quarter. The only class with a teacher I didn't want to throw tomatoes at, honestly. Going through Ecclesiastes this quarter, and today at church, I am constantly reminded that everything we work for is vanity, and work is used to glorify God in joy. This. is. so. HARD. So many times I compare my workload with engineers because I feel as though I have to act like my major is equal to theirs. It's not. English is soooo much different than engineering, quite the opposite, actually. I need to focus on the ways in which I can joyfully do what I love, rather than torturing myself in comparing my work to theirs. It will never match up. You cannot compare apples and oranges, and I'm going to stop doing so. On the upside, writing is something I'm definitely passionate about, and I totally found that out through my creative non-fiction writing class. It's a bit different than writing about your feelings on a blog, but creatively getting your juices flowing, and putting your experiences onto paper is an amazing feeling. Professor Coffman's English 386 Section 1 class, you will always and forever be my favorite group of people and my favorite class. What kind of class do you go to where you can confidently say hi to any one of the 30 people outside of class or in the hallways? It's just so rare! Never have I seen such vulnerability in a room of strangers, and it got me so inspired! You go, class, you go. I wish I could take that class for the rest of my college experience. IT WAS JUST THAT GOOD! A kind of treasure amongst a pile of rubbish, I suppose. Gosh, I could talk about that class for daysssss, but I'm also excited for a new start in a fresh new quarter. Hopefully a healthier one, too.
Golly this post is getting long so I'll wrap it up here. Such a mish mosh of weirdness and emotions, but this blog has helped me process so many things, it's cray cray.
With a mushy brain,
S.Park
Women's Time: Sophomore Edition
All smiles. Coffee date with Lena leenie :) 
Avila Beach at sunset with these lovelies
YOLO Hair dye edition

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Joy, You Say?

This quarter I've been scared. Scared of my future, scared of what people think about me, scared of gaining weight, scared of getting bad grades, so on and so forth. I don't want to step on any toes, and I do not want to disappoint God, myself, and those who are counting on me to do well. I think a part of me just wants to be myself, not caring about judgement. Just do me, ya dig? However, I am terrified of people.  People are mean. People watch your every move. People will talk. I know this because I find myself, many times, being critical of other people. I know many times this is because I seek flaws in people who I envy. Oh that girl got an A on that essay? Pshh, well, well, I'm better than her in math, so whatever. I'm an English major, math isn't even relevant, however, these little things I nitpick because I want to be the top of my class, because I want people to see me as worthy of their friendship. I constantly analyze every interaction I have with a person. Oh that girl cut me off, she doesn't think my story is important. OMG it's been like 2 minutes since she's opened my Snapchat, she must think I'm annoying. Overdramatic? Even I think, yes, but I can't help being overcome with worry and anxiety. I know my worth should be built around God, however, I constantly wonder why I can't just shut off my own brain and seek the Lord.
Why is it that I seek man's approval over the grace and the mercy God has shown over me? His love is free, btdubs. And he loves my imperfect self. This week has especially been a struggle, however, in this, I have found many reasons to feel completely blessed. In the past I felt as though my issues and problems didn't compare to the problems of other people. "Sarah your insecurities are like nothing. It shouldn't even be worth mentioning. Your problems have always been the same, so stop pestering people about it, they don't care anymore" is what I have been telling myself. One night I just couldn't. I let it all spill out onto Shaina, my loving, understanding, wonderful, and wise roommate. She just plopped on my bed and I let it rip faster than flatulence. Guess what? She listened, and genuinely cared. You know that look people get when they are actually paying attention? Yeah, she had that face. Not to mention, wise 'ol Shaina whips out her black book full of verses and shares the ones that were relevant to my situation. Lastly, she told me to "choose joy."
HMMM "choose joy." Two little words have so much impact. I hope everyday I wake up, I find the joy in living. After reading Ecclesiastes, I have realized that everything we work for is meaningless, and will die with us. This does not mean we should flip the table and leave. God calls us to find JOY in the work He gave to us, whether it be school or that 9 to 5 I know y'alls don't like. He calls us to love Him, and spread that love He has for us in our everyday life, rather than make the world our idol and the basis of our worth. It's hard, and, honey boo boo child, I am NOT close to being joyful everyday, but I hope that everyday He will be the reminder for us to CHOOSE JOY!

With a complicated mind and an empty stomach,

S.Park

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wings, Bro

A couple of my friends invited me to dinner (and a Frozen screening :)) at their apartment, and one friend in particular wanted to try a new recipe for hot wings. This combination of ingredients was the best I've ever made by far. We wanted something sweet, something savory, and, of course, a little somethin, somethin spicy. Here's the recipe!

Spicy Garlic Honey Wings

Ingredients:
2 Packs of Chicken Wings (about 25 wings)
1 Tbs Honey
1 Tbs Molasses
1/2 Tbs Garlic Salt
6 Cloves of Garlic
1 Tbs Sriracha (Or more, I'm not judging you)
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Water
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1 1/2 Tbs Brown Sugar

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Once pre-heated, place the chicken wings on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet and put them in for approximately 40 minutes or until the wings are golden brown and thoroughly cooked on the inside.

Mince the garlic cloves, and while the chicken is cooking, mix the rest of the ingredients together in a pot.

About 10 minutes before the wings are ready, simmer the ingredients on medium until the sauce reduces and thickens.

Take the wings out of the oven and toss them in the sauce.

Voila! Ready to eat! Trust me, they were gone in like two seconds. Not even exaggerating a lot!

With a happy tummy,
S.Park

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Work Hard, Play Hard

Hello interweb, I have been MIA due to an extremely stressful week of nonstop work and studying. Today I can finally say... I AM FREE! For now, that is. My English core class has been a pain in the you know where; the midterm is filled with quote identification, date memorization, character analysis, and, to top it off, an essay! Sounds fun, right? Super. However, as of 10 o'clock this morning, I am a free woman, and as happy as I am when I'm eating, well maybe not to that extent, but pretty darn close. Throughout these stressful times, however much I complain, I am thankful for the eduction I am thoroughly blessed with and a family that never fails to love and support me. On that note, my mother drove two and a half hours north to come visit me in SLO! Just a spontaneous little visit, bringing me one of my favorite Korean soups, eating lunch with me at my favorite sushi spot in SLO, and frolicking around Pismo Beach. I am so undeserving. God has blessed me so, so, so much, and I know His love is unconditional.
On another note, Shaina Bo Baina and I celebrated our friendaversary (four months late, might I add) at a fancy shmancy outdoor restaurant, Novo's for their restaurant prix fix menu. It was delightful! My mouth waters when I think about the tender, soft, fall-off-the-bone beef short ribs and the spicy sweet combination of chicken Piri Piri and apple slaw. Shaina has been more than a great friend to me, and has listened to all my worries, struggles, and complaints, and is able to celebrate my accomplishments, as well. I realized how important it is to have a friend you can YOLO with, while being able to talk to them about faith and struggles. It's all about the give and take. Sometimes you listen, sometimes you talk. Sometimes you give, sometimes you receive, and I believe my friendship with Shaina has been one of the most balanced friendships I have had. You feelin sentimental yet?

-S.Park
Friendship Date Night at Novo's! 

We ate outside, right by the creek
Tried Doc Burnstein's for the first time... went kinda crazy with the scoops... the more the merrier, right?
Mommy Park and the best Sukiyaki ever... why doesn't she get older sheesh
Deep talk with Cacs at Scout 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Made

I went to San Diego for Epic Conference this weekend without expectations, excitement, nothing. Honestly, I didn't even know what the theme was going to be about. The first day I came into conference tired and frustrated, coming out of a ten hour adventure from SLO to SD. My heart wasn't in it, my head wasn't in it. All I could think about was me on my bed, asleep. Second day comes around. Seminars. The first seminar I chose was a women's seminar on relationships. Now I know what you're thinking. "OOOOH BOYYYYS!" Sure, sure, we talked about our relationship with boys, but, more importantly, we talked about our relationships with other women. I put a lot of effort into my relationships with my friends, but I realized how easy it is to slip into emotional dependence. Many times I tell them every inch of my life, and this causes an emptiness when they aren't available to talk. Rather than leaning on them, I learned that I needed to lean on God who will guide my relationships with girls (and boys). My second choice was a seminar on perfectionism. I'm not perfect in any sense of the word. I don't get straight A's, I am too fast to speak, I snore. However, throughout the years I realized I placed my worth on what other people thought of me, beating myself up every single time I thought I made a mistake. "What if that person doesn't like me anymore? What if they see me differently? I must impress these people so that I can be accepted" were constantly running through my mind. I'm not going to sit here and lie; I still have these thoughts. However, I recognized the fact that my approval from man was placed on a pedestal above my worth in Christ. Through prayer, I hope that I can grow my relationship with God. It's hard not to see myself as unworthy many times, and it's hard for me to see any change in heart, but I know God moves mountains, and He is someone I can depend on. The whole conference was based on our worth and how HE MADE us all differently to be used to glorify Him in different ways.
My lovely sophomore brothers and sisters

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

How ADORABLE is Frozen? Sure, Flynn Rider is an absolute hunk, but there is just no equivalent to Olaf. Not only that, but the music is addicting... who knew Kristin Bell could sing like that? I definitely annoy my roommates with my constant "LET IT GOOOO, LET IT GOOOO." I so wanted to watch the movie again, that I went the second time with a group of people I wouldn't have thought of hanging out with. Totally spontaneous and unexpected, but surprisingly fun! This really goes to show how much a little effort and going outside of your comfort zone can go in getting to know and open up to other people. Now I'm not saying that you'll become best friends forever with a person you hang out with one time, but I think that I've been living inside of a comfort bubble with people I know accept me the way I am. Rather than worrying about whether or not a person likes you, I realized that I never gave people a chance. Sure, not everyone gets along, and that is just an inevitability. However, I look forward to getting to know the people in my class this quarter! Yay to new friendships and yay to a great start on a soon to be hard quarter!