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These are the six amazing people Dad has given me the great privilege of living with for the first four weeks of my trip. I’ll slowly attempt to describe the awesomeness of their characters and the facets of Dad that I’ve seen in each of them, and hopefully, you will forgive me for spending my time with them instead of Tumblr (which has been giving me trouble with my pictures, by the way, but that’s probably more the fault of my slow internet tunnel).

I have never been one to dread goodbyes. There’s an inevitable sense of instability that each of His children need to prepare for when Dad calls us to love and follow Him over any other human ties. I believe that in His infinite sovereignty, Dad has orchestrated my childhood to teach me how to enjoy the different people that He brings into each stage of my life, no matter how brief an encounter. Yet, as He allows me to move through the spheres of this far-spread community that He’s built here in Yunnan, I find my heart longing to stay at each flame and simply bask in and add to their warmth. But, an hour here and there, a grasp of a hand, a squeeze of a shoulder, a brisk six weeks, and His hand will whisk me elsewhere. I have only a week left here in China. Wind, teach me to kiss and drink deeply of each flower that you carry me to, to love, affirm, and encourage even if the moment lasts only a single breath, and I never see that flower again in this life. Dad can surely work powerfully in those moments, and I need to let Him pick my earthly contexts. Oh, for the day when we all meet again and rejoice in His fields of grace!

B’s Kunming residence, day that Steph flew in

left to right: Michael B (19), me (23 now!), Marie B (14), Geerke vdB (14), Nicole B (20), Michaele B; in back: Dr. Doug B

taken by: Steph Chiao

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Temple Grandin! You all need to know who this woman is.
Eufu

Temple Grandin! You all need to know who this woman is.

Eufu

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"Criticism is necessary and useful; it is often indispensable; but it can never take the place of action, or be even a poor substitute for it. It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

- Theodore Roosevelt
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Chat
  • me: in the future, it's gonna cost a fortune to send a hard copy letter to anyone
  • swr: in the future, no one's gonna know what a snail mail is
  • me: pencil and paper, what? and you have to LICK it?
  • swr: and what's a stamp? is that like a sticker?
  • me: i remember when you had to lick stamps too!
  • swr: wait really?
  • me: yeah!!
  • swr: that is news to me
  • swr: haha wow you are old
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Today I had my first Vietnamese coffee (aka delicious massive shot of caffeine) at lunch with my lab! Lots of fun introducing the grad student from Kansas to Vietnamese cuisine and chopsticks. We also talked about glowing GDF mice (!!) and RNA isolations. Go figure.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this java lowers thought inhibitions though. Mental note to self: drink in moderation, and process externally with a designated pragmatist.
Eufu :)

Today I had my first Vietnamese coffee (aka delicious massive shot of caffeine) at lunch with my lab! Lots of fun introducing the grad student from Kansas to Vietnamese cuisine and chopsticks. We also talked about glowing GDF mice (!!) and RNA isolations. Go figure.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this java lowers thought inhibitions though. Mental note to self: drink in moderation, and process externally with a designated pragmatist.

Eufu :)

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Inspiration for the Day

Being good at what you do gives voice to the rest of your life. Live it loud, my friends.

eufu

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Ending your second decade of life can be a little anticlimactic. You’re not quite a kid anymore, yet you’re not exactly an adult either. You’re not a teenager anymore, yet you’re still not old enough to drink. The two oh is kind of like the compression end point of a spring; all those awkward teen years of discovering who you are, who God is, and what life’s all about - pushing, hardening, refining. It’s the trailing remnants of a childish era, the fresh advent of a new one that you’ve only heard is supposed to be the prime of your life. Now, the day you shed your adolescent innocence is also the day you’re expected to suddenly shed your naivete too - to spring forward and all at once, mesh your teenage mistakes with your barely developing beard (in your case, literally bare-ly) of wisdom and think, talk, and walk like a wizened adult.

This is us scrubbing in our newly remodeled kitchen. 

And in its own way, graduation feels the same. Four years of tuition, four years of tempering through problem sets, semester projects, grueling allnighters, the best possible engineering education in the known universe (or so they stressed incessantly at the graduation ceremony). Four years of spiritual awakening, reclaiming, reshaping. Push, harden, refine. Brand new shiny degree. Now, it’s time to make money, change the world, know where you’re going to be, what you’re going to do. It’s time to bring His abundance and justice to the destitute and build His Church. Yet, I’m stuck at home, jobless, and on the wrong side of the medical school application process when I’d rather be in Berkeley, financially independent, and confidently kicking writer’s block in the butt.

Oh, how difficult it is to grow up, to thrive in the inbetween, the process. We’ve been thrown off the first train and it’s up to us to catch the next one. But the time between times is also a time in itself. It’s the time for waiting, and it’s the time for faith. So let’s wait, remember, and believe.

Love you, dewww. Even if you never look like you actually maybe kinda sorta like me a little bit too.

No matter what we’ve already experienced or are experiencing, His best is always still to come. In the midst of the world’s expectations, our parents’ expectations, our own expectations, may we have ears that are keen for only His. So, here’s to transition and its process for us both. Happy birthday, little bro.

eufu

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thankful for friends who love and friends to love! it’s not often an engineer gets to work out the right side of her brain :)

eufu

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food of choice for IV’s future healthcare professionals!

eufu