Tuesday, August 31, 2010

one life

If you are just one person then I am sure there has come a time where you have often thought, "But I am just one person, how can I...." fill in the blank.

This book titled, What Difference Do It Make is the sequel to Same Kind of Different as Me and is the continuing story of two men whose lives were touched and impacted by one person, Mrs Deb Hall.
If you can remember, I reviewed Same Kind of Different back in April located here.

I want to encourage you to pick up both of these books either on Amazon (follow the links by clicking on their titles above) or by stopping at your local bookstore to get them.  They've made a huge impact on my life and as the stories tell, on so many others.
What Difference Do It Make continues the story of how the first book came to be written and follows the two men as they became famous throughout America.  It made me laugh (there is a hilarious incident at the White House), it made me cry (poverty and slavery still exists in America) but most importantly it changed the way I see homeless people.  
Now, I'm not going to say I've mastered the art of caring.  I still get nervous when I see homeless people and I often forget to put cash in my pockets with the thought of sharing that. My journey of caring for the homeless has been long and often confusing.  I remember, more than a year ago, my roommate buying a sandwich for a homeless man who she and her fiance had "adopted" in some ways.  When we went to drop the sandwich off, we stayed to talk to him.  I was so challenged and shocked by my friend but realized how easy it is to engage in conversation those who I was often scared of.
Ron Hall and Denver Moore's story takes you beyond the money issue. Do homeless people need money? Yes! But do they need to know they are loved and valuable people? Yes!
  What I learned from this book of story upon story was to become Jesus to the homeless and enter their worlds. The homeless have been on my mind since reading this book in June and I can't help but wonder where it's going to lead me this year. 

Will you pick up these two books, read how one life can change so many and be challenged?
We must never say, "But I'm just one life..."
for it's with this one life that we are given the ability to love, care for and minister to those less fortunate.  Next time you pass by a homeless person surprise yourself.  Don't just pass them your money, but as you pass them money ask them their name. Be a frequent visitor to where they sit.  Love on them the way Jesus loves on you.
Be changed and have your heart changed for them.

Monday, August 30, 2010


I once ranked "off the charts" for spontaneity.  I think I've told you that before... 
but anyway, I rather like little impulsive moments, it keeps life fresh and my hubs on his feet.
"What should we do for dinner," he asked last night.
"I'm thinking grilled food...." I said, having chicken already marinating in the fridge.
The only problem with this was we didn't have a grill.
No grill, no grilled food.
Although, if you are clued into my tenses here, you'll notice I used past tense.
Because after the above conversation I convinced my hubs to go with me at 6:00PM on a Sunday night to the local Lowe's and look at grills.
So we got ourselves a little Weber.
Isn't he adorable?

My man mans the little Weber

A little spontaneity never hurt anyone, right?

Speaking of impulses, I also picked up a home-canning kit while I was out. 
Tee hee hee
I hope everyone likes creamed corn for Christmas!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

made to cling

*For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name,  a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen* Jeremiah 13:11

 I ran across this verse today and it stopped me.  Stopped me in my tracks... wait, made to cling?
What does it look like to be made to cling?
I know what it looks like to cling to something in hard times.  I went boogie boarding earlier today and the waves and current were fierce, so I clung to my board.  I know what that looks like.
But to be made to cling, now what does that look like?

Too often I cling to the Lord only when times are rough.  I think it's okay to cling to God in hard times.  The bible even commends the man who finds refuge in the Lord. (Psalm 34:8) The bible says he is blessed.  So it's okay to cling to the Lord in hard times...
but is that enough?
If we were made to cling to the Lord, shouldn't we be clinging more than in just the bad times?  I don't think I've got this down yet.  I don't think I cling to the Lord in all times, yet.

To be honest, I'm reading a book by Vance Havner titled, "The Secret of Christian Joy" because I often rely on my feelings and when my feelings aren't there... well, it makes things harder.  Gosh, I'm such a feeler.  This is such a gift but such a darned thing too! :) Mikey always teases me when I give him directions and say, "Well, I feel like it's this way." and he says, "You feel like it's this way?"
I rely on my feelings a lot.
I guess you could say I cling to my feelings.
So I grabbed this book off my father's shelves because I'm curious.  What do people do when the feelings just aren't there?  I'm not questioning my faith, I know there is more to my walk then just feeling happy.  What I guess I'm wondering is, how to minister when I feel parched myself.  How do you give someone water when your own canteen is dry?

So through Havner's book and today's reading in Jeremiah I am realizing that I need to get back to the Source.  I need to cling to Jesus in more times than the bad.  Because by the time the bad times hit, I'm already in a flurry.  So I need some stability and consistency and the only place I'm going to get that, is with the One who made me.
Made to cling.

I may have more thoughts on this because I feel like I should sit and ponder this a bit more but from now on may we all cling a little bit tighter in the good times of life and remember that to truly know ourselves we must intimately know the One who made us and the purpose of our creation.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

little time

Since returning from Japan there seems to be little time to do any blogging.  Even though I said I was going to make this a priority, presently other things have taken over.

Mikey and I hosted Amy and Ben Taylor whilst they were on their honeymoon (postponed for a year) cruising the Pacific Coast Highway.
They did so many wonderful things and had a wonderfully unscheduled schedule that I am inspired to do more and be more relaxed about life and plans.
As cliched as it sounds, I want to make a list of things to do in the next year.
Have you ever done those? 
Have they worked?
I know a friend who made it her birthday gift to herself to get better in shape and then she treated herself to a trip to Hawaii... pretty impressive.

Anyway, if you have ever done a list of some sorts let me know what you did or if it worked or not... I'm super interested in doing one for this next year.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Change is good.
I need to remind myself of this frequently but overall, yes, change is good.

People say I've mellowed out since getting married to a mellow man.
they call him mellow yellow, that's right slick! 
As I was saying, frequently I get the comment, "You've changed."

And to be honest, I don't like it.  Nope, not at first.
It makes me want to balk and fight the system.  It makes me want to eat fiery hot things, jump into freezing rivers, eat a whole package of oreos and do other ridiculous things that I used to do just because.
I never said no to a dare.
And so somehow when people say I've changed, I'm worried I'm losing myself.  Worried I'll lose my gumption and my courage and turn into the Cowardly Lion.

But you know what?
A little change is good.
For example, marrying my mellow man has me feeling more relaxed and at peace.  I don't feel like I have to do everything all at once.
A little change is good in narrowing down my interests.  When I was in high school I did everything and wanted to be good at everything and I wasn't because I was doing too much. I couldn't quite settle down on one thing.

Now I'm more interested in certain things and desiring to grow in only those certain things.
I'm okay saying, gulp, "no" and realize at this point that I can't do everything and be everywhere and have everything.

And you know what, I'm okay with that!
A little change is in the air and I think for growing in my desires, one of the places I'll start is with my blog.  Thanks to Katie over at Flibby Design Cultivating blog has received a new and very appropriate look to it.
I couldn't say "Happy Anniversary" without a present, could I?
Enjoy the new look, let me know what you think and here's to another five years of learning.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

August 8th

five years ago i started a small blog.
it was called something else at that time... i think it was this little light or something about light and shining... and perhaps that wasn't even it's first name but either way, I didn't settle on "cultivating" as my beautiful title until later in blog life.

five years ago i didn't really think i had anything to say but i wanted to comment on my father's blog which needed a "username" to do so.
so i got an account and then i just signed up for a blog
just because.

five years ago i was fresh out of college and had the world as my oyster before me.
i didn't know anyone, seriously not a single soul from California.

 five years ago i was enchanted with big city living... 
now i can recognize the beauty of my upbringings and the value of home.

five years ago I was working at the gap, 
putting together some change and fundraising full time to get to Japan for a 2 year assignment.
I barely knew Mary.
I barely knew Jennifer.
I barely knew the Roods.
I barely knew myself.

five years ago i thought i was so grown up.
i had experienced college and graduated (thank you Lord) and that, in my mind, qualified me as a certified adult.

five years ago i couldn't separate my life from what Truth told me and what I felt
i knew that there was One person I wanted to live for and He took me as a student and has been teaching me ever since.

five years ago i had never known someone who was vibrantly alive one minute and pronounced dead the next.
i had never known such loneliness and yet the small green bud that grows in the cracked cement sidewalk of my heart.
there was never a moment without hope, although there has been moments of darkness.

five years ago i watched one of my closest friends suffer and knew I had no idea what it felt like to be her but that i wanted so badly to understand.

five years ago my Grandpa was alive and well and I believed whole-heartedly that heaven was going to be the best place and that no one should be sad when your friends or family die.
Now I struggle with the sadness of parting in this life from my loved ones and often go to scripture to remind myself that death is not the end.
I am often scared.

but five years ago the only thing that scared me was never falling in love
five years ago i had no idea how God was going to work in my love life when everyone I knew and was friends with were just that... friends.

five years ago i didn't know that my God thought that was funny and had a story ready to unfold when I was ready for it to be told.

five years ago, i didn't know my husband but i prayed for him and longed for him.

five years ago, i didn't know what i wanted in a man but God did and He totally blew my expectations and "want" list away.
five years ago, I thought I knew what "to be in love" meant

five years ago, I was fearless...
or so I thought.
five years ago, i dove into everything head first.
five years ago, i was "charted" as "dangerously spontaneous"
five years ago i loved sweatpants more than anything. (it's true and gross)

five years ago, a blog was started.  there wasn't much hope in it. just the ramblings of a young girl about to embark on her adventure.
She was about to grow up
and continue to find that instead of getting older,
her heart was getting younger.

And after five years, I know without a doubt that there is so much more to grow in and more beauty to give and more stories to tell.

five years ago I started this blog only to realize now, five years later, that I have only just begun telling the stories of God's love in my life.
How blessed am I to be here today, 5 years and so many adventures later.

Happy Anniversary Blog. 
Thanks for listening to me.

Saturday, August 07, 2010


I have been the object of undeserved love.
Let me explain.
This summer has been hard for me... it's been super amazing and full of new surprises but not at all what I was expecting.  It's always always better for God's best to rule in my life but it always takes me awhile to let go of my idea of "best".
I know I've told you this before and so it seems to be a common thread for at least this season of life. 
Letting go.

Anyway, I let go of this summer and hoped at one point just to survive the tiredness and the swirly-ness that was me this summer.
Swirly like you put me in a salad spinner.
In my tiredness I realized I wasn't very kind or thoughtful.
So although I wanted to love my team and love the students in our club, I wondered if I was able to push through the muck and tiredness to get to the sweetness of Jesus' love.
Was I communicating mercy, love and care or just tiredness and crankiness?
I really struggled with this because when you are tired and you aren't getting long times with Jesus, my flesh becomes strong and I tend to react out of my feelings and emotions instead of out of Love and Truth.

Yet, tonight at our debriefing, I was the object of many compliments and a showering of love as my teammates affirmed me and my summer.
This ministered deeply to my heart and I realized that I do not always believe the best about myself.  I believe only what I can see and that is sin.
But the Truth is that sin has been relinguished and redeemed in my life.  The Truth about me is that there is no more darkness but only Light.
And living in that Light and focusing on that Light helps me to be a Light to others.
My teammates who helped me to remember the Truth.
The Truth is, I am lovely. I am valued. I am a Lover of people.  I am a Lover of the Lord.
And the Truth is that you are too! You are lovely and valued. You are restored and you are given a Light.
Let us all take off the baskets of lies that cover the Truth of our Lights.
Shine! Shine! Shine!

Friday, August 06, 2010

July 2010

Wow, this is way overdue.  I'm sorry my precious pets that I have not updated you on July 2010 in the Wang family.  You see... we've been super busy.
We've been out and about.

climbing mountains

visiting old friends and falling in love...
with their bakery!

and super busy helping each other try to look good.
It was a festival and fireworks after all... we have to look our best.

And we've been super busy

and "oohing" and "ahhing"
(that keeps you really busy!)

But just when I wanted to sit down and write you a lovely post we got super busy
discovering new favorites.
This my friends is money! Green money in a delicious single serving cup!

So I'm sorry I haven't been here to write.  As you can see, we've been busy!
But more thoughts and pictures to come shortly!!