January 1st is always a day of reflection for me. I’ve put off reflecting back on 2012 for a long time because it’s been a very trying year for my family, and if I leave myself alone with my thoughts, my mind wanders, and a lot of emotions take over.
It’ll be helpful for me to walk through the year’s events, so let’s review the year Instagram style.
In January, I sampled beignets all over New Orleans, in February I became part of the LFCC Deaconate Team, and then in March, Tim I celebrated four years of marriage by eating lots of uni and ramen.
In the spring, I had some health issues taken care of, and everything in life seemed to halt while I recovered. I was very encouraged by everyone’s thoughts, prayers, food and flowers, and I took that time to nurture myself spiritually and physically. I also took the time to grow a little herb garden on my balcony.
Once I fully recovered and found myself back at work, things instantly sped up and it came time for our Asia trip, to visit Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. Tokyo was everything I imagined, and three days were simply not enough to experience all that I wanted…
I stopped blogging after I mentioned that my grandmother was very ill. The great news is that my grandmother has since left the hospital, and though she’s not fully recovered, she’s in stable condition and can live at home with some assistance. I’m thankful for the chance to spend time with both grandmothers this summer, and while all the food was great, the time spent with family meant much more.
Taiwan was another whirlwind of a trip. Even though we spent about a week there, we jumped from city to city so often, it felt like a nonstop night market. We sampled lots of stinky tofu, soup dumplings, beef noodle soup, mango shaved ice, bubble tea, delicious fruits, but we were fortunate to be accompanied by so many family members and family friends. Just like in Thailand, this trip was about family which made all the food taste better.
After the trip, we returned to another case of reverse culture shock, which was fixed by eating lots of ramen and Taiwanese breakfast, and lucky for us both are easily accessible here in New York. I also had the joy of coordinating two weddings in September for some extraordinary couples. Both were beautiful days, and they couldn’t have gone better.
In October, I had a fantastic birthday that started out with bacon, continued with a close peek at the Christopher Columbus statue, and ended with some bluegrass in Astoria. Tim also made me some amazing beef noodles. Seeing that the majority of the year was pretty awesome is just the reminder I need to get my mind off of the most recent events. Speaking of which…
October 29, 2012. Contrary to what most people thought, Hurricane Sandy did not turn out to be nothing. While we prepared as much as we could, we had no idea we would witness a huge surge come tearing through our neighborhood, into our garage, up through our lobby. And in no way did we anticipate that the storm would still be affecting us in the new year. Sandy’s effects were truly devastating to many, and I pray nobody will ever underestimate the danger of hurricanes again. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for, like our lives and a standing building, but it requires a conscious choice to acknowledge this as part of God’s will, and not to give up hope. It’s this hope that we must hold onto while we are still displaced and are battling countless things to be able to return home in 2013.
It’s been hard to get in the holiday spirit while dealing with Sandy’s aftermath, but we were able to make a trip to visit my parents in Houston, TX for Thanksgiving while we stayed in New York for a cozy Christmas with my in-laws. We were even able to celebrate my nephew’s first birthday, and it’s been a real joy to see how God has grown everyone through the year.
This year has been like a difficult bread recipe — one that requires a lot of kneading and waiting them some more kneading and more waiting. Eventually when the bread finally goes through the heat in the oven, the dough that was worked and waited on turns into a wonderful bread that fills the home with the aroma of freshly baked bread.
With all the storms I’ve encountered in life this year, I know now that it’s all part of a process, much like that bread recipe. And with that in mind, I can say with confidence that I do look forward to 2013. I pray I don’t encounter as many hardships as in 2012, but even if I do, I know it’ll just be another step in life. My hope is in Jesus Christ, and may He be the solid Rock on which I stand.
p.s. Happy 6th year to this little blog. May 2013 bring many more stories and motivation to continue the baking and blogging!