Thursday, August 13, 2015

New Beginnings

Hello fellow peeps!
It's been a while... A long, long while since I posted on my blog. It's not that I don't care about posting on this page, but I think that the momentum of finishing school last year carried over to the amount of time I focused on things like blogging. I don't think I'm someone who likes to externally think through the happenings of my ever so exciting (not exciting) life. I GRADUATED! So that's a thing. I also started a new teaching credential program this past Monday, and, so far, I've been loving it. The people are all interested in the same path as I am, invested in classes/students/schools, and the professors are genuinely passionate about teaching. I believe that getting into this program, passing all my tests, making all my deadlines were guided by God. There were so many times I felt helpless, convinced that I wouldn't get the spot, but in every step God revealed His intentions for me, opened all the right doors at the right time, and it humbled me to see that I don't have control over my life. I start student teaching next Thursday, and I am SO EXCITED to meet the students. The school that I'm working for actually has a lot of struggling students who didn't grow up in well-to-do families, and are expected to work jobs straight out of high school to support their families. After a mission trip to the inner city, my heart has grown for students who don't have stable backgrounds, and I hope that the support course I'm student teaching for goes well :). I'll keep this updated during my journey through the program!

Summer Part I (Every post I write in the upcoming weeks, I'll include a snippet of summer activities):

Utah Mission Trip:
Wow... My arrogant, prideful mindset was completely shattered after this mission trip. We went to Manti, Utah to minister to Latter Day Saints at one of the biggest LDS events, the Manti Pageant. No, not a beauty pageant, but more of a play based on the beginnings of the Mormon religion. I didn't really know much about the LDS religion, but it was really awesome to learn more about their mindset behind believing what they do. At the same time, I was heartbroken that they are so focused on good works, believing that the cross is not enough to redeem them of their sin. I pray that we were able to leave a "stone in their shoe," or leave them with a question that makes them question the truth of their faith. I was encouraged by their willingness to talk about spiritual topics, but at the same time, seeing them get so defensive and angry at our questions saddened me. This is all they know. This is all they were raised to believe, but there is a truth so much greater. I hope they are able to see that we aren't able to do anything to reach Heaven, but only through the truth of Jesus Christ alone, GRACE ALONE, can we live with our Heavenly Father for eternity.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Struggles of Identity

Sometimes I am surprised at how much of a sinner I am.

Today I got a midterm back in an English class. A class that isn't only filled with English majors, but with majors of all sorts. I felt like I needed to prove myself in this class because why should I be an English major if I can't get the grades to validate it? What made me qualified to be an English major? Well, I got smacked in the tush today. I think I've always waited for the day or the moment I would be slapped when it came to my grades. Freshmen and Sophomore year made me overly confident in my work. I thought I could be bold and confident in those classes because I was doing so well, but internally, I feared the day I would bomb a test or fail a class or say something stupid in class. Them English majors judge you hard core, naw'm sayin? It was bound to happen, right? I'm not saying that it has come to that, but I really felt inferior today as I sat there with my midterm and the fiery letter grade staring at me. It hit me really hard. Every time I do poorly on an essay, I sit there with tears welling up in my eyes because I feel like I'm worth nothing more than the grade that categorizes me. Dramatic, I know. It's the sad truth, though. My identity has become my grades, my looks, my personality, the clever things I can come up with on social media. Whenever I feel like I have failed in any of those categories, I internally curse myself. Well maybe not the social media part, but everything else. It's one bad grade, and I am literally contemplating my place as an English major. I am OBSESSED with the idea of proving myself. I don't even know why I am so obsessed with my grades. Even in high school, after everyone had given up their grades after being accepted into colleges, I felt a need to continue turning in all my homework and get A's in all my classes. At the root of it, I am self critical because I am trying to use grades as a way to justify my worth in society. How do I turn that self critical attitude into one that finds joy in studying? God gave us the opportunity to come to school and study and become refined young men and women. Why am I feeling so miserable? To be honest, I don't really know. How do I turn my heart completely towards God during this time?

Ephesians 1:3-14 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, ...







We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing ever from God. I think just the realization of this doesn't necessarily mean drop out of school, but it doesn't tie you down by the weight of grades and performance because God will equip you with what you need. He has given us His inheritance! What else do you need? I think that fact is something to consider and dwell on.

Happy Studying,

S. Park



Friday, February 27, 2015

Got Your Back

Hello,
I have so been avoiding this blog like the plague. Writing a blog post definitely calls for some reminiscing and processing yada yada aka I need to use my brain and control my feelings and all that good stuff. It's been a hard quarter so far. I think it's really hitting hard that I'm graduating this year. Though I'm not going to necessarily miss my classes, I'm going to miss the community here that I found not so long ago. I'm so sad that I need to start from the ground up again when I feel like I just started to feel a sense of belonging. Yes, I'm excited to start my new journey in teaching, but I still feel like I need a few years before I venture off into the real world. As career fair was a couple weeks ago, I felt an escalated feeling of inferiority to people who got internships with big tech or business companies. Though I continue to tell myself that God blesses people in different ways through different outlets, it's hard to feel a detachment from this feeling. I have a problem with feeling inferior in many aspects of my life. My problems, my ideas, my insecurities always seem to be less important than everyone else's. I was expressing this to Liv during discipleship and what she said encouraged me so much. We're hardest on ourselves. Though we think that people will judge us and call us stupid for the mistakes we make, our friends want more than anything to encourage us and help us carry the burden. Also, I've realized how the negativity I have towards myself translates how I view others. I want to be more encouraging and loving to others, and I hope that this quarter will be one that brings more of that rather than judgment.

-break-

The above portion I wrote about a month ago. That's how much I've been avoiding this processing process. Honestly, I didn't even go back to read what I wrote. Writing about what I'm going through hasn't been the easiest thing to do. I feel very unsure of where I am called to be. School's hard, life's hard, but I think everyone goes through that, and I know I need a stronger, more persistent heart. I'm drowning in work, but I know that God still loves me and wants to pursue me, though I choose to avoid Him. What's crazy, that I have been really thinking about, is the way God loves us. We are like those "friends" who continuously manipulate, ignore, and stab us in the back. Who likes or cares for those friends, let alone die for them? Forget about it! I want so much to seek and love the Lord the way He loves us, though, obviously, His love is unfathomable. HE JUST LOVES US SO MUCH! As much as I want to be perfect. Perfection wears us down. We drown in the impossibility of perfection. Though I've held on to attaining perfection for so long, I am learning to let go.

With a lighter load,
S. Park

Monday, December 15, 2014

Possibly, Probably Peace

Hello,
I am at home! Getting back into the 9pm-7am sleeping schedule, eating mama-made Korean food, and rolling around doing whatever I want because guess what? IT'S WINTER BREAK, Y'ALL! I am so relieved this past quarter is over and done, though I have yet to find out my grades (cue death music). I think processing this quarter has brought a lot of things into the light. Laying out all of the options I have for my future, I think I am most at peace with opportunities in the educational system. Sure, a nice, steady job in some big company would be awesome, but I think my desire to be hired in such a company was rooted in pride. As I have mentioned in some of my previous posts, I felt as though I was looked down upon for being an English major. Sure, I say that their words don't matter and that I'm not affected by them, but I am. I do care what people think about me. Of course I want people to respect me. Of course I want people to think I'm an intelligent person. Who wouldn't? Being hired at a company with a name would help me prove myself, right? Eh... I'm not so sure about that anymore. My obsession with the thoughts of others, which I don't even know to be true, have hindered me from looking at my strengths. With that, I honestly believe education is the route for me. Ever since San Francisco missions after my Freshmen year of college, I longed to serve at an urban school. Children are forced into gangs to support their families at the ripe old age of 7. Shocking, I know. I want to help students find something they are passionate about, strengths worth pursuing, outlets that don't involve violence. My high school English teachers constantly challenged me in ways that eventually made me love a subject I previously hated. I want that. Of course, economic stability, wealth, status are all fine and dandy, but I was looking at these God-given blessings without God in the picture at all. It took me a long time to let go of my materialistic, pride-driven desires to realize this. I definitely respect those working in business making our world technologically and economically possible, you all are extremely intelligent and talented in ways that my brain cannot fathom, but I just think everyone was gifted in different ways to do different things. Different passions may come with a lot of money or none at all, but I hope I learn to use my talents in ways that are glorifying to God, advancing His Kingdom rather than focusing on worldly expectations. Maybe God's mission field for me is within the school, while another's is in the workplace. I am so afraid of taking risks, making big decisions, but I think/hope this is right. Constant prayer is definitely mandatory. I just have to get through applications... Oh golly real life is so close. ACKKK...

Putting on her big girl pants,

S.Park


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Trust

Hello my lovely people,
I have literally been so uninvolved it's kind of ridiculous. I'm sitting here at work wondering why I have been so lazy about posting on this blog, and I, of course, can use the excuse of school as for usual, but honestly everyday just seems to be a haze. The same events occur, and I am just exhausted. I love my classes, and I find them all very fulfilling. Taking on so much this quarter has been mentally tiring, but oh so satisfying at the same time. I feel as though the end is within reach, but I still have so much to do. Dead week is so NOT dead, but is DEFINITELY dead to me. Sitting here I can complain a lot about how much reading I have to do, how I have invested myself too much in Epic, or how working on campus has taken about all the remaining time I have, but I won't. It's hard to see it in the moment I'm feeling down, but God has blessed me greatly with these opportunities. Yes, yes, it is cliche. However cliche it is, everyone, especially me, complains about the amount of work we have to do. Psalm 128:2 states "You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you." Because of these experiences, God has grown me in so many ways. However challenging being a freshmen community group leader has been, I was forced (in a good way) to study, analyze, and apply the Word in ways I have never experienced during my time as a Christian, practically all my life. I learned to be a bit more selfless and patient (still working on it) and more willing to invest myself in the girls. While I feel worn, I never once felt burnt out because of Epic. Physically laboring for the Lord can definitely be tiring, but one lesson that specifically resonated with me was the idea of sacrificial love. If you were to have a significant other or family member, you would not only be willing, but happy to serve the one you love. Because you love them, this physical weariness is canceled out by overwhelming joy the other person feels as a result of your hard labor. If this is the case for us humanoids, how much greater is God's joy for us? God gives us the choice to do our work to glorify Him, and I hope I grow in my relationship with Him enough for me to be constantly and unconditionally satisfied in the busyness that is a result of work. It's been difficult for me to understand what I want for my future. I have always thought teaching was my one path,  but what about all the other paths? Will I regret not taking opportunities in other fields? As of now, I honestly have no idea. As much as I want to trust wholly in the Lord, it is SO HARD. I have no idea what He has planned for me, but that goes to show my faith in Him. I need more haha! I am definitely not a perfect person, and it's really hard for me to showcase that to others, but I think that I am so unsure of why certain things were placed in my life, though I know these things align with God's perfect plan. More trust. 

-S. Park 


The Lovely Women of Epic at Women's Time


Pumpkins with Pumpkin


Sunrise Bishops Hike... No, No, No


Fergalicious Round Dos

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blame Stress

Hey!
So I have been seriously MIA for the past month, and I regret slacking so much because I feel like expressing what I have been going through on paper would have made everything so much more organized in my own mind. Anyways, enough with the excuses. This quarter has been non-stop fun, stressful, and outright tiring, however amidst all of the chaos, I feel like I continue to find joy through my friends, fellowship, family, and The Lord.  Juggling five classes, observing at a high school, serving as a small group leader, going to church, and work has not been easy, and I hope this quarter really helps me improve my organization and time management skills. Also, I started a second blog! Mostly for subjective projects, such as How-To's and Recipes, as well as some reviews on movies, books, shows, and performances. I'm actually really excited about it, and I hope it really grows me as a writer in other fields of writing. Being in English classes, I'm mainly exposed to analytical writing styles, maintaining a focused eye on the argument. On the other hand, my new blog will help me apply these skills to use writing more efficiently. I'm feeling pretty exhausted, and I currently have a headache. I never get headaches. What is happening to me? There has been a lot of uncertainty during this particular season, and I am striving to maintain a trusting relationship with the Lord. He will open the correct doors, and He knows what is planned for us in the future. Of course, I wonder what these plans are. I am still pretty anxious about it, but having the certainty that God will meet us wherever we are takes the weight off of our own shoulders and places it on His.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."
 Proverbs 3:5 

With a bit more peace,

S.Park

My beautiful freshmen beauties


Shaina and I pretending to be hip (expressing our rivalry through sportswear)


Nathania, my work buddy and co-leader for Community Groups (small group)


Sunday, October 5, 2014

My Anaconda Don't?

Hello people who think I'm probably extremely weird by now,
Things going to get weirder... Shaina and I made another video! Some people love it, and others love to hate it. I happen to think they are the videos that are going to play in the background of our individual weddings. People will probably be confused as to why the video is of the two of us and not of us and our husbands, but that's how much we love these things. They are so us. We are not ashamed. Shaina has been my rock throughout my experience at Cal Poly, and I am so grateful for her honest, unashamed, God loving, Sarah loving, coffee addicted, sports crazed, cooky, weird, wonderful self. I seriously would've transferred by now if it wasn't for her, and I am so happy that she is my roommate and pillow talk buddy every night. So, honestly, I don't care if you think the two of us have lost our minds in this video. I just don't, and trust me when I say that I am normally someone who cares a whole lot of what others think of me. THIS ONE IS FOR YOU SHAINS!