There’s so much I could say about the last 11 weeks and even the weeks leading up to them. Without being a crazy all-out trial, I can say this is definitely one of the hardest/most trying stretches of time we have been in and Kenny and I agreed, it is certainly the hardest stretch of time we’ve ever had during our relationship (and no, it’s not due to interpersonal conflict).

But instead of writing about why these past 11 weeks have been so difficult, I want to write instead about our dearest Kara Joy, my 2-month-old, my pi day baby, our second child. Time goes by so fast and I’m not delusional enough to think I’ll keep this up, but I at least want to have some recollection of the first days of Kara Joy’s life.

Anyway, this is just going to be a long data dump for my own future reference, but here’s a bunch of KJ related things.

  • Kara Joy’s name can mean a number of things, but the meaning we choose to go with is joy (chara) upon Joy; exceedingly great joy
  • I’ve always liked the name Kara, but Kenny was not a fan. So I prayed. And at the Seeds Christmas service, PKyle said chara, used in the Christmas account, means exceedingly great joy. At the end of the message, Gma received Christ. I remember thinking “well, if he doesn’t agree to Kara now, he’s never going to.” That night, he let me know that Kara it would be :)
    I had my craziest season of work at DoH leading up to KJ’s (we don’t call her that, but it’s easier to type) birth. I’ve never worked with such intensity at DoH and never for such a prolonged season even during my IMS/Zii days. There were a bunch of unexpected resignations plus I had to find someone for my maternity leave and I thought there was no way we’d fill all the positions. So I prayed in faith that we’d fill them all before I left. It came down to the wire, but the second to last day I was in the office, we had 4 new hires at orientation. Funny thing is I had forgotten about my prayer, but a coworker reminded me. I also went to gloat (for Jesus– gloating about Him and His faithfulness!) to our other coworker who had lovingly said I was delusional when I told him I was praying for all positions to be filled before leaving. :) I have never depended on God so much in my work. And though it was very hard and yes, stressful, I also had a lot more peace than usual and I was able to work really really hard with an undercurrent of reliance and joy. I say none of this to point to me, but to point out God’s Grace on me. Reflecting on my work journey, I am SO different now than I was before. Praise God– His sanctifying work continues in and despite me.
    I told many people KJ could not come before 3/14 and even asked some people to pray she’d stay in there til then. Lo and behold, on 3/13 I sent my last work email around 9pm, took a nap, then as I was getting ready to leave my parent’s house around 10pm, my water broke.
    At lunch the day I went into labor, Eva napped in my arms for over an hour. She NEVER does that anymore. It’s like she knew… or the Lord knew it was her last day as an only child.
    L&D was SO different this time around. My water broke, but I only had mild contractions. TMI, I know, but right before it broke, I texted Kenny saying I either was having contractions or a stomach ache and while in the bathroom I texted him again saying, yup just a stomach ache! Lol. As I was saying. L&D was so chill compared to last time. As we took surface streets from my parent’s to Kaiser (Kenny had to drive out to get me), we were joking around and I was majorly hoping we wouldn’t be sent home. We took a nice stroll in the cool air from the parking structure to L&D. Checking in was so very calm compared to last time. Praise God for a much better experience this time (not that last time was bad compared to other experiences I’ve heard). It was also strange that KJ was born when it was bright outside. And the end of delivery gets blurry, but now I’m realizing I don’t even know what time my daughter was born… will have to ask the husband tomorrow.
    First thoughts upon seeing KJ: wow she looks like Eva; I love her. Attachment and bonding was immediate this time, probably because I wasn’t in shock and knew what to expect. I’m sure I also noted she had a lot of hair, but I don’t remember that being her most notable quality until somewhat later.
    Another fun story: Pet was visiting and also had a short window when KJ could be born. It had to be after her work conference, but before her return flight. Turns out she was able to see KJ twice before leaving. And yes, it was also after her work conference. :)
    It’s harder to tell your child’s temperament with your first baby because you have nothing to compare him/her too. Temperament is more obvious with the second because it’s relative to your first. Almost immediately, we could tell that KJ was much more chill than Eva. I was shocked that from her first days, she wasn’t too fussed about diaper and clothing changes. It’s probably an exaggeration, but Kenny and I think Eva cried at almost every diaper change for her first year of life and certainly fought every change well past that. And she still cries out sometimes when she pulls her shirts over her head (I wonder where her flair for the dramatic comes from lol). Our dear little KJ in comparison is so laid back compared to her sister, though she has been super fussy (her version) the last few weeks since getting sick + getting her shots.
    KJ’s noises are also different from Eva. Eva talked a lot at this point. KJ’s voice is softer and I don’t know how to describe it, but she speaks more with squeaks and grunts and little noises. She also seems to grunt more than Eva. Which leads to the next bullet…
    It takes a LOT for KJ to get comfortable. This is the one thing she is not laid back about and probably why she’s not a great sleeper. She’ll toss and turn and fling her head around until she can find a comfortable position. It’s hilarious. I’ve never seen a baby put so much effort into getting comfortable.
    Overall, I’d say KJ is a very sweet baby. She’s not as smiley as Eva was from what I can recall at this point, but she’s quick to smile when you talk to her. She especially loves Eva and smiles most easily for her. Kenny and I keep saying she’s such a sweet girl. And it’s definitely a second child thing, but we just love letting her sleep in our arms and totally spoiled her (which we are absolutely paying for now as she only naps well now if you hold her… ugh!). I think the second time around you also enjoy things more too. For one, you know how fast the time passes so you want to savor every moment, but second, you’re also less shocked and less worried about every little thing. Kenny and I keep asking each other why this was so hard the first time haha (though granted Eva was also more difficult than KJ at this age… but again how much of that is a function of personality vs. parenting?).

Anyway that’s a ton of stuff (and side note, after all these years, I still can’t think of a better transition than “anyway”) for now.

I love you, baby Kara Joy! I thank God SO much for you! These past 11 weeks with have been so difficult for reasons mostly not associated with you (though, okay, lack of sleep has definitely not helped– we gotta work on that, girl!), but more than that, these past 11 weeks with you have been so special and I will treasure them forever. I love you so much and can’t believe you’ve only been here for two months because I already cannot imagine our family without you. What more can I say than I love you again and I’m so lucky that God entrusted me with you!!! Looking forward to everything else He has in store.

37 Weeks

37 Weeks

What a week it’s been! Definitely started out maternity leave at a very fast pace. It’s been fun, but glad that things have been slowing down the last few days!

Stayed with my parents Friday night through Monday while Kenny was at the Seeds leadership retreat. It was a lot of fun being a “kid” again haha and my amazing parents were so helpful in getting TONS of baby laundry done, overfeeding me, and taking me shopping! Did a lot of shopping walking (the best kind!), so I’ll be proud to report again tomorrow that I exercised more than usual this week!

Monday night I met up with Erika since I ended up canceling Friday. We decided this will be our last dship until June ish after baby Yee is out. Kind of sad, but I’m pretty sure the break is necessary haha and it’ll be nice to pick up again during the summer when everything else dies down schedule-wise.

And on that note, dship has been SUCH a blessing. As I mentioned before (I think), the last time I discipled anyone was almost 6 years ago!! Can’t believe it’s been that long. I think because it didn’t end on the best note and I was discouraged about not seeing as much fruit as I wanted, I had been very resistant to the idea of close-up life-on-life ministry. But God is so faithful and after MONTHS of putting Erika on my heart, He gave me the push I needed and I unexpectedly asked her if she wanted to be discipled. Funny thing is a couple weeks later, Pastor Kyle did a series on dship and it was affirmation for me that this is where God wanted me.

And it’s been such a joy! Sure, a lot of times I am tired especially with the baby, but the time almost always goes by so quickly and I leave so encouraged by God’s help and by Erika’s hunger for Him.

The biggest difference this go ’round? I think in the past 6 years God has taught me soooo much about dependence on Him and not doing things out of my own strength. In the past, I relied so much on myself to do ministry.  I relied on my own strength, I relied on what had worked in the past. I relied on my own knowledge and I was prideful because I felt I had done a good job in ministry before. So when things got hard and I didn’t see fruit, I became discouraged and felt bad about myself thinking “where did I go wrong?” and I also got frustrated with the girls. Why weren’t they thankful? Why weren’t they growing? Why didn’t they try harder?

I think all of that has taught me that anything I do in ministry MUST be motivated and powered by Jesus. For one,  God has humbled me and I don’t think I’m nearly as great anymore haha. In fact, I’ve come to realize I’m actually pretty terrible at shepherding. In my flesh, I’m selfish, I’m lazy, I’m flaky, I people-please and don’t correct… the list goes on. And secondly, there is NOTHING I can do to change people. Yes, I can point them in the right direction and be faithful to what God gives me to say to them, but true change can only come from Jesus. My only job is to be faithful to love and point them in His direction, then true lasting fruit, true change, can only come from the Holy Spirit working within.

So anyway that’s huge tangent.

Monday after dship I watched Kenny’s bball game. Figured this might be one of the last ones I go to for a while. Must say, I am so proud of my husband. There was a “situation” after the game and I was so proud of the way he handled it. As much as my husband may be a goofball and say ridiculous things, I think God has gifted him with incredible wisdom and discernment and the ability to be very direct with others in a way that’s loving/tactful. God has given him the ability to lead and I think that’s why people are drawn to him and often want to put him in leadership positions. I hope this isn’t bragging because we KNOW this only comes from Jesus and Kenny’s definitely come a long way haha, but just wanted to throw out some affirmation to my husband.

It was also so much fun to be in Mr. Yee’s classroom on Friday. His kids love him SO MUCH and he has such a great rapport with them. His classes are very interactive (on that note, I would’ve DIED being in his class as someone who pretty much never talked in class haha) and lively. Definitely made me realize I could never be a teacher (or at least not teach in the same style as him…) and now I know why he’s so tired at the end of each day and has such a hard time listening to me– we estimated that his name was called AT LEAST 100 times during the day!

Okay, jumping all around. Blame the preggo brain.

Tuesday was also tons of fun! Drove back out to Walnut for a Grandma Shower that my mom’s BSF leaders put on for her. It was so fun to meet them and see them honor my mom who pours out so much of herself into leading BSF every week. And it was a total surprise, which I think is quite a feat! I’m also blown away by how generous people have been with us in getting ready for the baby!! These women who at least I don’t even know showered our baby soooo generously.

Kenny and I talked about it last night. I realized recently that out of all the couples in our married couple group, we probably make the least BY FAR. And I like to think it’s not because we’re incompetent haha, but because of life decisions we have made with the Lord. And as much as we might be the lowest earning couple, there truly has been no lack in our lives by the grace of God. He provided us with an apartment that’s charging far below market value for rent. He’s given us TONS of baby hand-me-downs through church and Kenny’s sister. And He has showered us through our incredibly generous community with tons of new baby things (diapers, wipes for days, clothing, toys, and many other baby items). There truly is no lack. And yes, maybe it’s partially because we have walked in obedience to God following His leading for things like career, but even moreso it’s simply because He is so good and gracious

We talked last night too about sin and how both of us have fallen so short of God’s standard in so many different ways. We, or mostly I, confessed some things to Kenny about my own heart’s darkness that I hadn’t even shared before. And as we shared, I was just blown away by God’s grace. We are so undeserving. We do not deserve a second chance, let alone chances upon chances above that. Yet God, being rich in mercy, has chosen to forgive us and not only forgive us, but bless us beyond measure.

All right, like I said, jumping all over haha. Tuesday I also got to hang with Deb for a tiny bit (hopefully more to come pre-baby!), then closed out the night with BSF.

As for today, the plan is haircut soon, then clean clean clean clean and organize. Our place is a DISASTER. This morning I kid you not my prayer was for God to help me clean up haha. Also, got the labor bag and other things partially ready, but I also want to buy labor-approved snacks (apple sauce, jello, clear broth, plain pasta) as we get ready for the big day. On that note, okay def TMI but whatever I have no shame anymore, I think I saw part of the “mucus plug” this morning haha. Which means labor could be hours… or days… or a week away. But still! I’m excited to meet our baby. Only two more weeks til her due date!!!

How am I feeling?

For being almost full term, I’d say pretty darn good and actually a lot better than some weeks in the past! I just can’t believe we are ~2 weeks away!! And again, as much as I’m thankful to be pregnant, I am also SOOO excited to NOT be anymore. No more waddling! No more being out of breath all the time! No more hip pain (hopefully)! Much less acid reflux! I am so excited that this time in a few weeks there will no longer be a person inside of me hahaha.

And overall I’m just filled with excitement and anticipation. I cannot wait to meet our new little person. I think I’m trying to be fairly realistic too in that I know it’s going to be really hard and will not be all peachy and rosy and there may be times of even despairing, so I’m trying to prepare well spiritually so I can be as close to Jesus as I can heading into the next season.

What is God saying?

So I think I covered a lot above.

Biggest development is what I talked about last update how I think I’m finally able to understand and accept a tiny bit more God’s justice and mercy and how they work in tandem and both are demonstrations of His perfect and holy character.

Going to Evergreen on Sunday was also really good. Pastor Cory talked about repentance and confession and how death is an essential part of Christian living. He talked about how confession and repentance are now lost arts in the church and how as a community we are meant to celebrate both together. The church should be a place of corporate repentance and rejoicing over it, but instead we fail to confess our sins to one another because of pride and shame.

We fail to repent because shame has replaced joy.

We are so ashamed of our sins and of our past that we are paralyzed and unable to confess to one another and sometimes even to confess to God. Instead we want to stay in places of guilt and even feel like that’s what we deserve.

And at other times, we don’t repent simply because it doesn’t cross our mind to. We’re myopic when it comes to our own sin.

Repentance is essential to growth. Something must die before something new rises in its place.

I’ve been thinking about repentance and confession lately and how both are essential because they keep us dependent. They keep us in a state of being aware of how much we sin thus how much we need Him. And in turn, as we become increasingly aware of how much we sin, we grow even more in awe of His love and grace.

I’m reminded of this beautiful Tim Keller quote Duhee uses often at BSF:

The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.

How amazing, how beautiful it is to live in God’s grace and to be forgiven!

Lord, help me to grow in my confession and repentance and to never take for granted Your extravagant grace. Amen!!

Week 36 (& 2 Days)

Week 36 (& 2 Days)

First week of maternity leave and into week 37 meaning Baby Yee could come anytime now!

It’s been a full and fun week so far though I’ve gotten far less done than I would prefer haha.

Friday: last day of work!, prayer with Ms. A, sympathy coffee for coworkers :), youth group

Saturday: breakfast with Duhee and Gina, Steph and Kathy arrived, Flame Broiler lunch, Beijing pie, staying up late talking

Sunday: Seeds, Baby Shower!! (Thanks so much friends & fam!), hanging out with AACF at… Where else? Flame Broiler

Monday: cleaned, walked 2.5 miles with Steph, dinner and dessert with Kristie

Tuesday: dropped Steph off, Acai bowl and time with the Lord in Burbank, went for a walk, cleaned, BSF

Wednesday: Mom’s BSF class, birthday lunch/walk/mystery activity with Erwin, laundry haha and dinner with family

Thursday: doctor’s appointment (baby is on target!), then cleaned cleaned and cleaned some more yet why is our apartment still a mess!?

Friday: spending the day with Kenny at Gab sharing about nonprofits and DOH!, d-ship  tonight, then sleepover at my parents’ the whole weekend in case Baby Yee decides to some while Daddy is at Seeds leadership retreat

How am I feeling?

SOOO relieved to not have work anymore though I’ve dreamt about it several times so far haha. I told Kenny physically at the end of the day I still feel very tired, but mentally I feel a lot sharper. Also it’s been so much fun going through all the stuff for the baby and anticipating her arrival! Definitely don’t feel ready, but it is so fun and precious to look at all of her little gifts from the past few weeks. There’s this one outfit in particular from a co-worker with a navy dress and pink whale and Kenny MELTED when he saw it and proclaimed “I don’t stand a chance!!”

Acid reflux is unfortunately coming back with a vengeance as I think the baby is growing bigger and getting up in my intestines again. My left hip has been killing me too for some reason. I have been walking more so maybe that’s why?

Overall I’m just excited and can’t believe our baby is actually going to be here soon! It’s pretty unbelieveable that we will get to meet her soon!! Lately she’s been stretching a lot and our new favorite thing is feeling her feet as they protrude often from the right side of my stomach.

What is God saying?

I was telling Deb and Kenny after BSF that for some reason things kind of “clicked” this week for me in terms of the God of justice and the God of mercy being one in the same. I think the biggest thing I’ve seen through this past week’s lesson is how the Gospel demonstrates not just the love and mercy of God in Jesus dying for us, but also how it shows the Justice of God in that He punished Jesus fully with His full wrath for our sin. So as much as the Gospel is about grace it is also about Justice and God’s holiness and how sin must be punished.

Anyway more thoughts on the topic for sure, but that’s it for today. Time to talk to Mr. Yee’s kiddos again. And on that note, I must say I could NEVER be a teacher. And yes I do understand now why my husband is so tired at the end of each day and has a hard time listening to me lol.



It’s funny. Two days ago I wrote how I could totally continue working. As much as it’s partially true, I re-read a long, detailed email I sent to our COO yesterday, one that I went through at least 5 times before sending knowing that my brain’s been foggy, and to my horror I realized this morning that it was riddled with errors in grammar, punctuation, and clarity!

So yes. At least for the sake of my own work pride, it’s time for a maternity leave! Can’t believe there’s only one day left!!

Miraculously almost all of my projects are done. Only a few left and a few easy ones that I passed on to the girl covering me during my leave.

What I really wanted to write about though was the surprise baby shower work put on for me yesterday! I was almost completely surprised, but as I was walking into work, I ran into 3 of the gals from our DV site who happened to be carrying baby-themed gift bags haha. I was totally surprised and also horrified as 1) I hate being the center of attention and 2) I looked like a complete scrub with my Rainbows and lazy, old black Forever 21 shirt. I was also very thankful to God though that He gave me a little head’s up as I was able to slip into work quickly and try to freshen up in the bathroom (of course it was at this time that I noticed my lazy, old shirt not only looked lazy and old but also had two holes in it… ugh!).

After the “surprise,” which at this point everyone knew was actually not a surprise haha, we started with one of Ms. A’s famous breakfasts of Ethiopian-style eggs, bread, potatoes, and fruit. Then the staff shared touching and sometimes hilarious blessings, affirmations, and advice. After, to their glee, the guys were dismissed, and we played a game, opened presents, and finished with a time of prayer and blessing.

As much as I was very resistant to being the focal point of the morning and according to co-workers had a pained smile on my face for half of it (ha!), I must say I felt tremendously loved by the staff and by our Heavenly Father and greatly enjoyed celebrating what God has done in creating Baby Yee!

I know our org has shortcomings, and there is a lot to fix, but I would say the one thing DOH employees do is love one another well. Yes, there are still politics and there’s incredible dysfunction at times, and yes I tend to be very lazy when it comes to building close co-worker relationships, but at the end of the day, I think our staff truly embraces what it means to be the family of God. People always comment too on how diverse we are and that our staff is like the United Nations. I absolutely love that diversity and I think it shows what the Kingdom of God is like and what the Holy Spirit can do in bringing together vastly different people to love one another and work in unity for one common purpose.

I also just feel so grateful to be working at DOH. As I always say, I seriously prayed for this job for FOUR YEARS. I can’t imagine a position better suited to my strengths, skill set, and interests. I am always so proud when I tell people I work at DOH and so excited to share about our purpose and mission and the things God is allowing us to do.

On that note, a few years ago I would’ve thought my work preferences would have been a no-brainer post-baby, but it really might be hard for me to decide what it is that I want to do. Definitely something to start praying into during my leave. I’m going to need guidance and wisdom and I really do want to only pursue the plans of the Lord, whatever that means.

Ms. A shared a while ago that she got Isaiah 55 for DOH during her Christmas break and has been encouraging us to spend time pressing into it. In her words, when God gives her a passage she refuses to let it go. To be honest, the first couple times I read it probably over a month ago, I wasn’t that enthused haha. I mean it was good and there’s many great truths in there, but I was like hmm this isn’t really life-altering or anything. But it’s been interesting as I’ve noticed the verses from the passage coming up at random times, and as I’ve continued to read, in the past week or so, this is the verse that has been sticking out to me:

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.

Isaiah 55:2

What a shame it would be to live life without the Lord. To labor without Him for that which does not satisfy. To follow my own plans, what I think is best for me/my family, but neglect what God has for me, to miss out on what is good and rich and will bring true delight.

I want to be careful to really follow God’s lead as I determine my next steps career-wise. I had a plan years ago of stay at home mom-ing and more recently my plan has been seeing if I can swing something part-time (something I haven’t even explicitly discussed with my employer yet), however what is it that God really wants for me? Will I turn over control and invite Him to show me His plans for me?

And His plans might not even seem logical or delightful in the moment. I truly believe that prior to DOH, the 4 years spent at Zii were exactly where God wanted me to be career-wise, but oh my goodness they were often excruciating! Yet as I struggled to find purpose, struggled with feeling like I wasn’t living out my dreams, struggled with discontentment and co-workers (or mostly a co-worker) I couldn’t stand, God taught me so many things. He truly gave me (in the wording of the verse) food that was good for me.

He grew in me so many ways. He showed me the power of prayer: what it was like to ask Him daily for help in loving that co-worker I couldn’t stand, and that He really did have the power to change me when my heart was so callous. He showed me that it wasn’t my job that was causing heart problems, but it was me. I thought “when I get my perfect job, a job in ministry, a job in social services, then I’ll live for Him.” But God showed me that if I couldn’t live for Him in this job, it really meant my heart wasn’t right and I really wasn’t that into living for Him at all. I learned contentment and how to trust even when I felt forgotten and that my passions were for nothing. In the 4 years at Zii, God also gave me time to truly figure out what I was good at and enjoyed doing, which were actually very different than the things I thought I wanted to pursue when I first finished college and even in my first year of working.

Anyway, I had no idea when I started writing that this was the direction this post would take!

All this to say, I am truly thankful for my work and for God’s goodness and how He’s guided me thus far in my career. I know He has great plans for me regardless of what my future work life will look like, and I choose to trust in Him.

Lastly, I wish I had taken a picture of our staff at my work shower. If you want to see a picture, apparently I’m on DOH’s Snapchat. I won’t be checking though as I know I’ll probably be horrified and as the Marketing/PR Director said yesterday, “This is like your worst nightmare!” to which I responded, “Yes, this is.” Haha.

So thankful for my time so far at DOH. Excited for my last day tomorrow, but also very unexpectedly, but understandably, quite sad.

35 Weeks

35 Weeks

How do I feel?

Last week of work!!!!! Oh my gosh I can’t wait. I am so excited to sleep, clean, cook, get the baby room ready, spend time with the Lord (sad, I didn’t immediately write that one and had to add it in later… will talk about this in latter portion of post, but thankful that there’s grace!), and hang out with family/friends! I have been so tired this week (I know, I know, I sound like a broken record) and struggling to function in life and at work. Of course this weekend was packed so that’s probably part of it too.

Weird thing is like I mentioned in the last post, I don’t feel “disabled” at all and definitely think I could keep working. But after learning SDI covers 4 weeks before your due date, even though it’s not going to cover my entire salary, it’s kind of like why not? This is my last hurrah before a lifetime of child-rearing haha.

Other than tired and irritable, I feel relatively good though. I did have a bad stomach ache last night, but I realized since we’ve been so busy (seriously we’ve had something almost every single night this entire month… but of course now’s the time to do it!) I haven’t cooked anything in the last week, thus I’ve been eating very few vegetables. PTL though for good digestive movements today! No joke, I am sooo relieved/happy/thankful to the Lord haha.

Regarding the baby, I’m definitely still  excited to meet her, but I guess this past week there’s been this realization that things will never be the same again once she’s born, and honestly that is a little frightening. Of course there’s no turning back now and of course I wouldn’t want to(!!!), but I do feel a bit anxious thinking about how much everything is going to change for our little family!

Other Updates

Baby’s looking good! Movements are still frequent and strong! Yesterday she was relentless when I had my stomachache and wouldn’t stop kicking me right where it hurt! Doctors appointment went well this morning and she said Baby’s growth is on target and she should be around 6 lbs., 1 oz. right now give or take 15%.

As for this weekend, it was quite full. Highlight would be our 30th Anniversary Gala on Saturday night at Noor. It was a bit of a roller coaster and quite chaotic with very few staff there, but I thank God for His grace and help– I think my attitude could have been far far worse than it was and by the end of the night I realized I did have an enjoyable time, and the chaos, well, it was actually quite comical.

The biggest praise is that we raised over $150K, which was absolutely a miracle! And ultimately, the hope is that God received glory and praise for all that He has done to sustain our ministry over the past 30 years, despite our many mishaps and shortcomings (even the ones that very night!).

Not really a part of the weekend, but another highlight would be Staff Development on Monday. In my 1.5 years at DOH, it was seriously the best Staff Development I’ve attended. The workers from our DV site shared and it was eye-opening to learn more about victims of domestic violence, how to minister to them, and how the Gospel can bring tremendous hope in the face of devastating circumstances.

Startling facts about DV:

  • An average of 3 women are murdered every day by an intimate partner.
  • Nearly 1/3 of American women report being abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.
  • In California alone, domestic violence occurs in 436,000 households per year, exposing nearly 916,000 children to violence in the home per year.
  • When a battered woman leaves her abuser, there is a 50% chance her standard of living will drop below the poverty line.

Such mind-boggling and heartbreaking statistics. So proud to be a part of DOH and to support the ministry of these amazing ladies who work so hard to bring the hope and love of Christ to the broken-hearted.

What has God been saying?

Honestly it’s been another hard week and I’ve struggled to spend time with the Lord and press into Him. I think this is the first week I haven’t finished all of my BSF lesson before the day of class. It’s crazy because just one year ago I would do the back half of my lesson the day of class (meaning by Tuesday I’d have 50% done) and a year before that and all the prior years of BSF I would do almost all of my lesson the day of class. (As a side note, I can’t believe this is my SIXTH year of BSF. Say whaat!?)

To me, this is so indicative of God’s grace. For whatever reason, He has been giving me tremendous grace and help to spend time with Him this year and I can absolutely see how it’s been helping me in my walk and in life.

It’s not easy to spend time with the Lord. And I know I mentioned it before, but even our middle school youth girls say things like “I don’t have time for devo’s” or “It’s just so hard” or “I don’t get anything out of reading the Bible/praying” and my heart aches for them because I know it’s not going to get any easier, but oh how I hope and pray God gives them grace to start spending time with Him NOW. I’m not sure it will ever be easy. And though it makes me laugh when they say “I don’t have time to spend with God,” it reveals the human heart, for isn’t this the excuse we use in almost every season of life? I don’t have time. I’m too busy. Too tired. Even MIDDLE SCHOOLERS feel too busy to make time for God in their lives.

So I try to encourage them. It’s worth it. We’ll always feel too busy and guess what, in the next season you’ll be even busier no matter what age you are! We will always find excuses to not spend time with God and say “in the next season of life, then I’ll really pursue You.”

But the time is NOW. The time is now and it is worth it. Like I wrote earlier, I think by God’s grace this past year or so I’ve been able to see how spending time with Him daily, though it might not seem like it makes a significant impact immediately, really does help and fills me with more peace, more wisdom, more significance, and lends itself to growth.

So I guess this is an encouragement to myself to not give up. To keep pressing in. To know that it’s worth it. Especially as I head into what many consider the craziest season of life. (As so many people have said, the first year of having a baby is just a blur.)

Reminds me of these two verses:

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:14

& this one, which of course also reminds me of my dear friend Sung haha:

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

1 Corinthians 9:24

Lastly, I’ll end with this:

“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.”

Philippians 3:8

Lord, help me!!!!

34 Weeks

34 Weeks

We’re in the homestretch! Ish. Or so I like to think haha.

Tonight will also be our 3rd Lamaze class, so after its completion, we should be 3/4 ready for childbirth. Woohoo!

How am I feeling?

I honestly think last week may have been one of the toughest weeks of pregnancy with my acid reflux problems. I don’t know if I have been more miserable than I was last Wednesday and Thursday. But praise God, the reflux issues started dying down Thursday night and I honestly felt pretty great the whole weekend! I keep telling Kenny I will NEVER complain ever again about GERD/acid reflux once the baby’s out haha. What I had before was NOTHING compared to pregnancy reflux.

Other than that I’ve been feeling pretty darn good! I haven’t been waking up nearly as much and I realized too that I haven’t had leg cramps at night in ages. Thankful for sleep and trying to cash in as much as possible pre-baby.

I am also super excited to be ending work soon! Next Friday will be my last day and I can’t wait. So honestly, most of the time I feel like I could definitely work several more weeks and financially it might make more sense, but then I’ll make a bunch of dumb mistakes or forget what I’m doing or become overwhelmed by things that aren’t that overwhelming at all… and then I’m grateful that I can take a bit of time off and I think it really will be better for work this way. (Plus our nursery is still a mess so that will be my pre-baby project!) I talked about it with my boss during my review, but I just don’t feel like I handle stress very well anymore. I used to love fires and crave the variety, but since being pregnant, I get flustered much more easily and can’t deal with the crazy anymore. I’ve even noticed that lately I can’t handle the stress of being late (which is actually probably a good thing haha). In Steph’s words from when she visited last weekend, “Who are you!?!?”

Lastly, of course, I am very excited for the baby. I can’t wait to meet our little miss! I keep wondering who she’s going to look like, what her personality will be, where her interests will lie. This weekend when we visited All People’s Church in SD (it was BOMB btw), I noticed that the drummer was female and I added “worship team drummer” to the list of aspirations I have for our little one haha. Other aspirations include evangelist, prayer warrior, and of course, due to Daddy, baller. (We said hopefully she’ll get his offense and my defense. Oh and same goes for academics: my English, his math!)

Other Updates

Spent the weekend in SD for Annie & Emerson’s wedding, VDay, and our Babymoon!

The wedding was fun and it was so neat to see the Kairos building and how far the church has come. Spent a lot of time catching up with old friends and reliving the college days. As much as I loved college, it’s funny to realize now that I really would never go back. Definitely one of my favorite times in life, but maybe, just maybe, as Steph keeps asserting that really wasn’t the peak of my life and things really are going to continue getting better ;)


Didn’t get a picture with the couple unfortunately, but here’s one with my hot date!


On Sunday, we visited All People’s Church. It was an awesome time of refreshing through the amazing worship and Word. The pastor talked about what it looks like when the Spirit moves in the church and it definitely made us think about what it means to be a part of a Spirit-filled community.

After service, we hit up Lolita’s in Gaslamp and I got my pollo fries fix and you bet I was thankful that my AR had died down! Found some acai bowls for dessert and the kind worker gave us two bowls probably after seeing my preggo belly!


Someone was happy…
Ugh. To die for!


Took a nice long nap, then K got to watch the first part of Kobe’s last All-Star game. So yes, a big part of our Babymoon was watching TV and sleeping, but I figured hey, it’s Kenny’s Babymoon too and it would not be a true Kenny weekend if it didn’t include those two things!

For VDay dinner, we walked to Ocean Pacific Grille and had private patio seating (yay for late reservations!) which was actually quite lovely and then we roamed around the Gaslamp a bit more looking for dessert (ended up being gelato and crepes!).


VDay Dinner


We were both proud of ourselves for doing so much walking and said one way to make the Yee’s walk is by the prospect of having to pay for parking and appealing to our Chinese-ness!

Monday morning we both were in and out of sleep through 11:30 (I love it!!) and we ended the weekend with a hefty Broken Yolk brunch. I had an omelet and pancake… both the size of my face.

So thankful to spend a relaxing weekend with the husband. I am so grateful to have him as a companion and truly can’t imagine doing life with anyone else. He is kind, thoughtful, passionate, and a joy to be around. I appreciate that we can have deep conversations about the things we care about (Jesus, etc.), but that we also spend so much time having fun/joking around/laughing. Marriage is an incredible blessing. And though I know it will at times be tough and we don’t know the future will bring, I feel secure knowing that my husband is a man who pursues the Lord in all he does, and that ultimately God holds whatever is ahead for our family.


Beautiful SD! Thanks to Mama Yee for use of the timeshare!


What is God saying?

I feel like God is saying, “trust me.” That’s it. “Trust me.”

Reading Revelation this past year really has been no joke and it’s truly been tough to comprehend and read. Reading has stirred up the age old question of how could a loving God punish people? How do we reconcile the God of judgment with the God of grace and love?

It truly is difficult and I’ve been realizing more and more how essential it is to have faith. Though we can find answers to some of our questions, there will never be answers to all of them, and therefore, it is essential if we are to remain believers to have faith. Not sure if it’s true or not, but at least at this point in my life, I feel like there will always be some room for doubt, so faith is choosing to take the leap and believe.

In faith, I choose to trust God even when I don’t understand completely. In faith, I choose to take Him at His Word when He says He does not wish for any to perish. In faith, I choose that even when it seems unfair to me, sin truly does need to be punished and that God allows people to eventually have what they truly desire if they choose to reject Him: an eternity without Him.

It still seems unfair. It still is hard to believe. But what Duhee said last night in lecture did help. He said the only person who has the right to call God unfair is Jesus. And what did He say when faced with the greatest injustice of all time? “Not my will, but Yours be done.” And He unjustly took the full cup of wrath on the cross so that we who believe could be spared the very same thing.

God does love people. He does show extravagant grace. He does wish that all would be saved. But as with many things in our faith, salvation must be done on His terms. His way is most holy and His way is most loving. Sin must be punished. Evil must be dealt with.

Another thing that helped me is when Duhee said hell was created for Satan and his demons. Hell was not created for people. People were created to be with God and in His presence. Yet, in our sin, we chose a different way. And God still lets people choose a different way. He allows us to choose a life without Him and eventually an eternity of the same. And if we do not choose eternity with Him, then the alternative is an eternity separate from Him, which is hell.

So again, it’s not easy to comprehend, and it’s not easy to imagine, but the God of judgment and the God of love are one in the same. God’s characteristics do not contradict each other, instead they somehow go together in a way that is too difficult and perhaps even too wonderful for me to comprehend.

At this point, though I’ll continue to study and seek understanding, I think there still is something to just having faith in the end. It seems so textbook, simple, elementary, a cop-out even. But I’m led again to the place of realizing that faith is so necessary, so essential. So here I am, choosing to have faith in Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

33 Weeks

33 Weeks

How am I feeling?

The last few days I’ve been really struggling with acid reflux/heartburn. After a particularly bad bout, I swore off the following last night: chocolate, Cheetos, popcorn, and salsa. (And yes, this means I ate all of those things last night… in what I thought were very tiny quantities though!) How long did my resolve last for? Until this morning when I popped some M&M’s haha. But definitely going to keep my late night snacking to a minimum after last night’s misery. Also, online research suggests eating very small acid-free meals and not drinking liquids with meals will help the discomfort.

Kenny pointed out to me too that I’ve been carrying small, and our Lamaze teacher said that’s often worse because that means the baby is squished back into you and your organs are impacted even more. Given that Baby Yee is averaged sized according to the OBGYN, this definitely seems like a possibility.

In terms of other woes, I know it’s TMI, but I also have a mild yeast infection. Yay. Haha. Supposedly they’re very common during pregnancy due to hormone changes?

Sleep-wise I’ve actually been doing better! I’ve been sleeping through the night more regularly and not waking up as much.

Baby Yee continues to be active. Last night when I was sitting up quite late due to my acid reflux troubles, I was getting sleepy and slouched over to the side. Baby promptly kicked me with such aggression that it forced me into an upright position. It was as if she was saying, “hey man, you’re squishing me in here!”

Cravings-wise, I’ve noticed my cravings have morphed again. My new chocolate obsession is anything caramel-y, mostly Twix. Also after months and months of eating 5-6 Cuties a day (and I would’ve eaten more if 6+ didn’t give me gastro problems!), I’ve dropped the tangerine fixation and have been really into unsweetened apple sauce. Still really into fries too, but trying very hard to resist.

Other Updates

Thanks so much to Deb Han for throwing my family/Lifesong friends shower this weekend!! Had such a wonderful time with family and especially catching up with old Lifesong friends. I was reminded too of how good God was in using the Lifesong community to heal me back when I was really struggling (more on suffering/trials in the next section). As I’ve said many times, on the outside, attending Lifesong after college seemed to make very little sense, but God absolutely did use that redemptive community to simply love and heal me. So very, very grateful to Him.

Also, had the pleasure of hosting Miss Steph this weekend! Like fools, we stayed up until 2am? 3am? Friday night trying to relive our college days, and I think I’m STILL paying for it haha.


At Flame Broiler. This is the happiest I saw her all weekend.

What is God saying?

So as I mentioned in my last post, I had an especially hard time spending time with God last week. This week, it wasn’t as difficult, though Kenny and I did notice what seemed to be an increase in warfare around last night’s BSF, which was centered on the topic of suffering.

Suffering. Thankfully in this season, the worst I’ve had to “suffer” would be my symptoms of pregnancy, but as we reflected this past week on suffering, it was, well, informative? Interesting? Not sure how to describe it.

Last Wednesday, I really did not want to do my devo, but I kind of just resolved to do it and started the week’s BSF lesson on suffering. Amazingly, as God would have it, the things I reflected on that night came up the very next day as I met up with one of our youth kids. At the end of the night, both she and I marveled at how similar our lives were and how so many of the things I had gone through were paralleled in her life. I’m convinced that this is why God had me reflect on times of suffering the night before. In His sovereignty, He was helping me prepare to share with her. And I’m sure I could have shared with her even without the preparation, but I think because I had spent time considering the past the night before, I was better equipped to empathize and give her wise counsel.

Even now, years later and in a “good” season of life, it still is hard to look back at times of struggle and trial. Let’s face it. No one likes suffering, but it is a byproduct of a fallen world.

Every person who lives on this earth will eventually experience some type of suffering. Yes, some seem to have it worse than others, but there is not a single person who will not be touched at some point in their life by trials.

As Gina shared in lecture last night, how we react in times of trial reveals our hearts and what our relationship with God is like. If we are fully honest, there is not a person who would not cry out against God and question when suffering is thrust in our face. But it’s where we go from there that matters. Will we reject God? Will we press into Him? Will we still choose to trust Him even amidst pain?

As I shared with my young friend last Thursday, I’ve responded to pain in my life in different ways. Sometimes I did turn to God. Sometimes I turned to sin. Sometimes I chose to cry out to God and pray. Other times, I chose to masochistically dwell and stay in pain. I’ve tried stuffing pain, as Gina also covered yesterday. Stuffing it all down and pretending it’s not there.

Essentially, there are times when I handled trials well, allowing them the draw me closer into Jesus, and times when I did not handle them well, allowing them to pull me further away.

Looking back, I see two things:

1) I never regret the times that I turned to Jesus. Reflecting to just after senior year (and of course I didn’t handle that season perfectly), I am so grateful that I did turn to Jesus. I remember telling Him, “now what!? You’ve taken almost everything I care about away! What more could You take?” And yet, by His grace, though again I did waver at times, I tried my best to remain in Him.

2) There is grace. TREMENDOUS grace. Even in the times when I did not turn to Jesus and instead turned away from Him or even very blatantly turned to sin, I can see that there was/is so much grace for me.

A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness He will bring forth justice.

Isaiah 42:3

We can always turn back to Him. God is so full of love and grace and mercy for us. He is that father of the prodigal son, just pacing and looking and waiting for us to turn back to Him.

Even when we do let the worries and cares of this world or the heartaches and sufferings carry us away, God is still filled with love and grace. He understands. He knows. He empathizes with us. He realizes it is difficult when we endure hardship and don’t know why He would allow such pain.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

Suffering ultimately produces hope.

What is the hope in suffering? The hope is that one day we will no longer suffer. God is so concerned with our suffering and with our pain, that He sent His Son to walk among us, to be the “man of sorrows,” to suffer so that our suffering would have an end, and we can one day live in a reality that is free of pain.

The hope of suffering is that it also allows us to press into God through our pain in ways I don’t think we can any other way. Looking back on the little I have suffered, I realize that I wouldn’t trade those times of heartache and pain for anything.

Suffering allowed me to know God better, to see His all-sufficiency. Suffering refined me and rid me of relationship idolatry which was poisoning my relationships/me. Suffering filled me with a hatred for and vigilance over sexual sin. And though I’m still a work in progress in that area, I’ve experienced more and more freedom because of it. Suffering has helped me know Jesus better, understand Him more, and know the peace He promises even when it makes no sense. And suffering has helped me grow in how I love, understand, and empathize with others.

There is tremendous hope in suffering. And though at least in this season, I have not had to suffer much, my hope is that when suffering does touch me again, by God’s grace I will be able to suffer well and use it to press further into Him.