It’s been one hell of a week.  After a terrible night of retching from drinking too much wine (last Saturday), I caught my second cold in three weeks.  I woke up on Monday morning with a bowling ball in my cranium and a leaky faucet for a nose.  Despite feeling like a complete mess, I forced myself to go to work because I am just that dedicated.  No, really, I’m just too behind on all the stuff that I have to do.  I can’t bear the thought of losing a day’s work when I’m already struggling to catch up on all my self imposed deadlines.  Damn you, Asian upbringing!

It probably would’ve been better if I did stay home.  Because Tuesday night found me working late in lab when I discovered that all the work I’ve done that day was questionable, or useless.  It was one of those mistakes where pressing a wrong button in a few experiments led me to question my competence and qualifications to be a scientist.  Gawd, I sound so emo.  I blame it on the cold. 

I meant to keep this blog impersonal, reserving a private one to write about feelings.  But since what I believe is a big part of who I am, I will share a little about my Christian faith, especially since it’s Palm Sunday.  I don’t expect you to share the same perspectives, so you can skip down to the part with the pretty muffin pictures (scroll down and press the “read more.”)

I would be lying if I said that being a Christian is all peachy.  It’s not like shit happens while I sing, “Rejoice in the Lord always!”  No, and I don’t believe anyone who claims to do so.  I usually try to avoid questions about my faith.  Maybe because I didn’t grow up in the church, and I can still remember how I looked down on Christianity.  And frankly, when I tell people I’m Christian, I have to resist the urge to follow that statement up with, “Hey, but no judgment!  I support gay rights!” 

Recently, a friend asked me why I believe.  I could probably say a lot of crap about how Jesus saved my life or that I just feel his presence in the tingling of my fingers, but I’m tired of halfhearted cliches that sound like I’m meekly selling Christianity while struggling to justify God to myself at the same time. 

Who is Jesus to me?  Who do I say Jesus is?  Truth is, I’m still trying to figure that out myself.  Yea yea, I know the bible says He’s Creator of the world and Savior of humanity.  But on a personal level, how do I see Him in my life?  Sorry bud, I don’t have an amazing testimony for ya.  I can only tell you that I just believe.  You might scoff and dismiss it as just feelings.  And you might be right. There are plenty of times when I could probably convince myself the same thing, that I’m just believing in a nice lie. 

But I will tell you that even as I struggle to believe, I cannot help but believe.  Even as I mentally curse and wish bad things on people that annoy me on mornings when I feel like running away because I can’t bear the thought of walking through the goddamn cold to the subway on my 45 minute commute when I can’t even be excited about working in lab anymore and all I do is work and clean and sleep and when I find myself alone walking home late from work and I wish I had someone to talk to but can’t bring myself to find company so I skip church and bible study because I really don’t want to make the effort to chitchat with strangers and because I’m angry at all my Christian obligations.  Even when I can’t see God in any of that, I believe.  Either because I’m incredibly dense and stubborn, or the grace of God is upon me. 

I cannot tell you why Haiti happened or why kids are abused by sickos or even explain what a lot of the stuff in the Bible even means.  All I know is that—all cliches aside—I know why I’m here and who I am.  And that is to love others and God as a daughter of Christ. 

To live with freedom because I am no longer condemned or burdened by my sins.  Sins, not just stealing or killing, but all the hurtful things we’ve done and said to each other—slight remarks or intentional insults that we wish we could take back. 

Free, not because I’m not responsible for my actions, but free from the lie that we must carry this alone.  And redeemed so that I have a second chance. 

To acknowledge my imperfections and to be accepted as I am, knowing that God will guide me to become the person I’m meant to be. 

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

On another note, these strawberries have been sitting in my fridge for a week.  I meant to bake them earlier to share with coworkers but figured that would only facilitate the spread of The Nasty Cold. 

These muffins are by far my favorite things that I’ve made.  The smell of strawberries baking in the oven was the perfect complement to a sunny Saturday afternoon in the kitchen.  They are also incredibly easy and doesn’t require a electric mixer.  So if you feel like whipping up something for breakfast, you should definitely try this recipe

Before…

After!

The muffins were light and moist even after a day.  Although, it’s best to eat the fresh and warm, because the strawberries tend to shrivel overnight and they’re less aesthetically appealing.  I already ate three today…

I’m going to eat as much as I can and bring the rest to work, if anybody would have them. 

After making these babies, I took a walk outside my apartment by the river.  It was super chilly even though the skies were clear.  But it was nice to be able to take my time walking to nowhere in particular.  I can’t wait until it’s summer so I can quit my gym membership and just run by the river.  Anyways, thanks for reading this far.

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