Notes:


November 2011 will be dedicated to the people who have touched my life in a unique way. Come and share in my gratitude and praise God for these people. These are not in any particular order. I write about the persons as God reveal them to me. Also, I have not talked to those people and obtain their permission to share their stories. However, if you see your story and do not agree and would like me to take you out, just let me know. May God grant your heart with gratitude for all the people who took part in your life as these have taken part in my life-they may not have realized how positively they have played the part in my life.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zoua

Ever since I was young, I had always admired my sister. She has always been good to everyone. She had a great smile and she always shown it, even when she was sad.

We were separated for several years during the Vietnam War, so the most crucial years were stolen from us. She was the second child and I was the last of five. We were 2-3 years apart, so she’s ten years older. Therefore, the closeness was not there-and the separation didn’t help any.

However, she cared for me. She helped my mom buy my first car for my high school graduation present. She loaned me money to start my quilting business. But what I admired most about my sister was that she always passed her sound advices to me.

One of her advice to me was, “Don’t engage in talks about your husband,” (that was before I got married). She said when other people brags about their husbands don’t brag about yours, it will only lead to jealousy. And when they talk bad about their husbands, don’t talk about yours in such a manner, it would mar his reputation and your devotion to him.

The most recent advice she gave me was just before my father-in-law passed away. She said, “your family is not mom (my mom was sick with liver cirrhosis and on hospice care), but your husband and his family. Go take care of your duties to your father. [Charlie] and I will take care of mom. If anything happens we will call you.” I was heart-sick to leave my mom, but at the same time I was confident she would do as she said.

You’ll have to be Hmong to understand this particular advice. But I appreciated it so much. I knew that her care of my mom would not take my place, but she did her best. Because of her encouragement I was able to help with my father-in-law’s funeral, providing the best I knew how to honor him. When my mom passed away (the Sunday after we buried my father-in-law), she put mats on the floor in her living room and slept there while I slept on her futon in order to keep me out of fear. She was and is always thoughtful and considerate.

Zoua does not know the Lord and she’s not well versed in English, but I know that if her daughters read this they would be very proud of their mother and hopefully share it with her. I hope you will join me in prayer for her and her family’s salvation.

Maum, kuv zoo siab ua Vajtswv tsaug uas kuv muaj ib tug niam laus uas zoo tshaj plaws. Ua koj tsaug rau koj txoj kev hlub kuv. Txawm yog wb ib leeg taug ib txoj kev los, kuv paub koj yeej hlub kuv. Thov Vajtswv foom koob hmoov rau txiv laus neb kom noj qab nyob zoo thaib khwv tau nyiaj txiag los duav neb lub neej tsis tu ncua. Kuv hlub koj.


“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” ~ John 3:36

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Mother-in-law

Note: I wasn’t going to blog about my mother-in-law because I was saving her for Mother’s Day, but the Lord is persistent in promenading her in my head. The thank you part to her will be written in Hmong so that whoever read it to her will not have to translate.


One of the things I appreciate most about my mother-in-law is that she’s very generous with her advice. She encouraged me to drive a stick-shift car. She said so and so drive stick, “so you can do it, too, you’re bright and intelligent. It’s nothing.” If she hadn’t said so I probably made all kinds of excuses and missed out on all of the fun.

She once said to me that in order for a family to succeed in life the wife has to take an active role in her family-she must do the leading. At the time I was offended, because I’ve always heard others said that a man should take lead in his family. I started to disagree, but she was adamant about her statement, so I dropped the subject. Years later as my relationship with Christ grew more personal, I began to understand what she was saying. And, I agreed.

Although she doesn’t drive or even know how to dial the telephone, she has a good common sense about life. She’s not afraid to dish out her opinions where it is most needed. And, she’s not afraid to be herself.

However, the greatest gift she gave me was four days with my mom before she passed away in August 2011. She put aside her mourning for her husband- we just buried him on Monday, August 8, 2011, and on Wednesday I flew to see my mother who passed away on Sunday, August 14-to babysit our children so my husband could return to work and I go visit my mom. Those four days with my mom were more precious than gold. I’m so glad I listened to her advice, otherwise I would never have seen my mother before her passing.

Niam, Kuv zoo siab ua koj tsaug uas koj muaj kev hlub kuv. Koj txhawb kom kuv mus xyuas kuv niam, kuv thiaj tau mus tus nws ob peb hnub ua ntej nws tu siav. Vim yog koj muaj kev hlub koj thiaj muab koj txoj kev quaj txiv thawb ntiag rau tom qab es koj tuaj pab Txhiaj Vuab wb zov wb cov menyuam kuv thiaj tau mus xyuas kuv niam. Qhov uas koj ua nov zoo tshaj nyiaj thiab kub. Kuv yuav nco ntsoov mus txog hnub tsis muaj kuv.

Ib xyoo tim nkaus los txog lub kaum ib hlis ntuaj uas yob lub tebchaws Mekas no los nco txiaj ntsim ntawm lawv lub neej. Kuv thov qhia rau koj hais tias kuv zoo siab uas Vajtswv pub kuv los ua koj tus nyab. Kuv yog tu tau koobhmoov vim koj yog ib leej niam uas zoo. Ua koj tsaug rau koj txoj kev hlub peb txhua tus uas yog koj cov menyuam. Thov Vajtswv foom koobhmoov rau
koj.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live,…to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. ~Titus 2:3-5

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Abia

Abia. What can I say my awesome daughter? As she said, she’s forced to grow up fast. She’s had her challenges just like all the other teenagers. She’s had her ups and owns, but she’s always fast about turning around. She gets mad quick (short temper), but she’s quick to forgive and forget. She lives the verse in Ephesians 4:26, “…Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” She doesn’t even let the sun go down. She just bounces right back.

However, what awes me the most about her is her passion for righteous living. She speaks out about her peers when she sees they do something against the rules and regulations or the unspoken moral rules. For example, one year one of her “friends” was acting pretty intimate on the bus with another boy. It bothered her so much that she told the teacher about it. And, when he didn’t do anything about it, she was so upset she came home crying and told me how awful and mad she was at her friend for acting so disrespectful in public.

She has a lot of acquaintances, but no close friends. Her perspective of life just doesn’t fit in with the society. And, she gets lonely and sometimes, she wonders why, but she doesn’t mourn about it. She knows and understands that she’s chosen the narrow path and she refuses to compromise. I am so proud of her.

She has always been very definite about her path of life and career choices. She’s got a great plan in place and looking forward to accomplishing it. She motivates herself to succeed and works hard to improve. She’s the parent when we go shopping, because she would remind me that if it is not a need, I need to put it back on the rack. If I make a list of things to buy, she will stick to it better than me.

She is a good cook. Whatever I want to eat, she can cook. Sometimes, she gets burn out about cooking, especially during the summer when she has to cook for her siblings. But, she does it and they love her cooking. Her father encourages her about cooking better than her mother. Darn.

Abia, I appreciate you. You are growing quickly into a woman of faith and righteous living. I love you. I am proud of you. I know you will observe the laws of the Lord and live to give Him glory.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Maysia


Disclaimer: I do not obtain permission for praises. So, if you see your name and you don’t agree, please talk to me. I will pull your article out. These names are not organized in any order. I prayed for God’s recognition of people who has made an impression in my life and I simply write as the names come up.

And, I’m sorry for the missing days. I was sick and then fall behind because of that.

Maysia. I’ve known her for six years and of her for about 10+ years. I’ve never taken the time to sit down with her. She’s younger and we don’t have quite as much in common. She’s quiet and I’m loud and talkative. She’s calm and I’m pensive.

She’s been in my Bible study class for the past three to four years. I’ve observed how she responded to each question and most of them are quite measured. She’s very observant and thoughtful. She’s gifted with children and crafts.

One of the things that she made an impression on me is the way she answered her study questions. Some of her answers awed me. And, she didn’t answer often, but when she did, her answers were carefully worded. Another thing is she’ll do something unexpected, whether it is with a phone call or a gift. She’s always surprised me. She has a very quiet spirit.

Maysia, I appreciate all you’ve done as a student and friend. You are thoughtful and kind. I am grateful the Lord has brought us together as a family and friends. It has been an honor to know and study His Word with you. It was such a blessing for you to call me when my mother passed
away, even though I didn’t actually talk to you, it was good to hear your voice and that you cared enough to take the time to call. I truly appreciate that. Thank you for always being thoughtful and kind.

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their
heartfelt advice. ~Proverbs 27:9




Saturday, November 5, 2011

SR


SR

November 5, 2011

SR is a recent college graduate, currently working with children in her community. I met her on my flight to Springfield, MO to visit my sick mother. She was my seatmate.

We were strangers, but she talked to me. And, I found out we had a lot in common. When the plain had a few rough bumps, she reached out to make sure I was okay. And, when we were ready to land, she prayed for my mom and me. She had great conviction. She gave me her cell phone number and email address so that I can let her know the outcome of my mom’s health. She is a strong witness to everyone she meets and the children she works with.

SR, I’m not sure we will ever meet again, but I want to thank you for helping me hold on to my faith and listen to the voice of my God with extra care. Though my mom went home to Jesus, I will always remember you and pray for you. May everyday that you live bring God great glory.

The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. ~Isaiah 52:10

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kristina


November 4, 2011


When we were younger, she was one of the girls sitting inthe back of the room, putting on make-up and giggling with silly jokes. I remember it used to irritate me so much that I wanted to send her out to the hallway. But, I don’t ever remember it bothered her a bit that her actions bothered me. She was just there to meet her friends and have a good time. And,she was faithful to show up for every church and youth events.

When I married my husband and came back to finish my last semester, she approached me and said she needed to talk. We took a walk and she opened her heart to me for the first time. Shortly, afterward, she married her husband and moved away. We were thousands of miles away from each other. I thought I would never see or hear from her again.

But, years later, when I moved to South Carolina, she found my phone number and called me. She wanted my husband and me to go talk to her husband about God. We didn’t feel it would be right for us to tread on someone else’s territory, so we referred her to a local pastor of our denomination. However, she was determined to have us over. After much prayer and discussions and a few more calls from her, we decided to meet with her and her husband.

The trip was three hours away, so we decided to leave on Friday night in order to spend more time with her family. When we arrived, it was quite late, but her husband was still at work because he worked third shift. She waited up with her children. I should’ve known the enemy would compete to steal our time with her. She was busy trying to engage us with home movies. I thought, “Something is very strange about her behavior.” She acted as though she was trying to avoid the very subject she invited us over. So, after everyone went to bed, I walked through her house and prayed.

The next morning, after breakfast, I urged my husband to sit them down for a talk for she was still being Martha. And he did-a very good job. He said he would contact the local pastor for a follow-up. A few months after our visit, Kristina’s husband accepted Christ and attended church with her. Though, he’s not very active, she never gave up and continued to keep in touch with me on a regular basis.

She’s a changed woman. Her ministry to senior adults is compelling. She has six children, is self-employed; sells life insurance and estates, but she makes time to transport the seniors in her community to the stores, to doctor appointments and translate for them-for free, of course. When I visited her, I had to go with her on her errands to a spend time with her. She makes herself available for her family, extended family, friends and her community and, now her church. She is Mrs. Proverbs 31 in my eyes. But, she doesn’t think of herself that way. She gets frustrated, stressed out and bummed out, but I know none of them, only from hearing her say so.

Every time I see or talk to her, she’s always on the way to a business meeting, to an appointment with a client, or run an errand for someone. I’ve never been able to enjoy a still moment with her. She’s so full of life. She’s thoughtful and generous with everyone. And, she has no servant.

I just had a conversation with her last night. (While we were talking, she was making eggrolls for her daughter’s soccer team’s victory celebration.) She said her friends from our youth changed. She felt like they don’t have much in common anymore. I told her I believe she’s the changed one. She’s become mature and responsible. I always learn something from her through our conversations.

Kristina, I am impressed and proud of the woman you’ve become. I am grateful to the Lord for bringing you into my life. If I am authorized by God to crown you Mrs. Proverbs 31, I would. You’ve developed a closer walk with God and become an example for your family, friends and community. I am privileged to be your friend. May God bless you!

Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. ~Proverbs 31:31

Thursday, November 3, 2011

So sorry for today

I'm sorry, my reader friends. I'm feeling a little under the weather. I do not feel I can do the next person justice if I post her tonight. I'm going to sleep so I can be clear-headed tomorrow and do a good job at it. I'll be back.