Dear Hannah

Anger is an emotion I’ve had to work on over the years. It’s the emotion that rumbles and bubbles when something unfortunate happens or when I have felt provoked in some way. At first, I thought that feeling anger was terrible and tried to suppress it as much as I could. Eventually that didn’t work because anger can sometimes grow into resentment or arrogance when left unmanaged. Anger prevents empathy from shining the light to a different perspective. If you ask me, I’d rather deal with anger than resentment or arrogance. Better yet, I’d rather repent for self-righteousness and pray for discernment!

Reading about your story amazed me. Not just because of the faithfulness you’ve shown to God’s promise and goodness. I marvelled in the grace and wisdom you expressed when it would have been understandably easy to get angry. 

And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.

1 Samuel 1:6

Out of the two chapters that told your story, that was the line that stood out the most. A big part of me felt infuriated with Penninah for you. How dare she dig at you like that? Yet there was no follow up verse that talked of your retaliation. Instead, you went to God and prayed in sorrow and poured out your heart’s greatest desires openly without seeking some form of retribution from Penninah’s taunting. And even then, Eli accused you of being drunk! You saw past the jealousy, the sadness Penninah carried.

Nonetheless over time, you’ve shown patience and trust in God that He will deliver you from the disappointment you had been feeling for many years. Unlike your predecessor Sarah, you didn’t take matters into your own hands. You didn’t let time be a factor of the perseverance of your faith. You didn’t let frustration cloud your judgement, rather you’ve repeatedly shown humility. All while God continued to work behind the scenes to make space for miracles. Little did you know that He set you apart to be Samuel’s mother and abundantly gave you more children down the road. Gifts that exceeded your request, and quite possibly your expectations. 

As I continue to grow into becoming a woman of faith, your story is one I intend to remember. Perhaps, one day myself, you and Ruth can go out for a lunch date? Something tells me we’ll have a great conversation! 

Always,

K

P.S. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Part 2: 18 Thoughts I Should Probably Say Out Loud

A few years ago I wrote  a blog post called ‘18 thoughts I should probably say out loud’ to get out of my own head. It was a way for me to not let some recurring thoughts run amuck. Social distancing as we try to reduce risks for COVID may also mean a more isolated experience for others; more time to think and overanalyze. 

Thoughts are powerful. What we do with them is just if not more impactful. 

  1. I will always choose love over pain, anger, frustration, disappointment, fear and confusion. It’s just who I am.
  2. I don’t recognize the man you’ve become. I don’t know you anymore.
  3. How you get consumed by fear and doubt is up to you. Looking for instances to justify those fears/doubts is a sign that you’ve already been consumed by them. Can you find objective proof? Are you seeing things with empathetic eyes?
  4. “GDP does not measure value, it measures what we value.” (quote from a presentation)
  5. I miss playing outside with my niece.
  6. God is my refuge.
  7. If tomorrow was the last day, how and who will you spend it with?
  8. How can we make sure that those who need it most can continue to find access to meals?
  9. I hope you learn to forgive your demons.
  10. What’s next? How do I keep growing?
  11. Just because something was said under your breath does not make it less painful. Is this the same attitude that you like to receive?
  12. Everybody is just doing their best.
  13. How are you acting on your values today?
  14. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
  15. Self-sabotage is a real thing. Regardless of how intangible it may seem.
  16. I wish you had faith in me. Even just a little bit.
  17. It’s really hard to take the high road all the time. Correction: exhausting.
  18. Accepting love can be just as difficult as giving it, but happy endings do exist. They are just not as utopic as the rom-com movies depict them to be.

Some thoughts should be challenged or better off letting go, while others are better acting on. Choose wisely. Choose thoughts with positive impact. 

Always, 

K

P.S. “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” – Marianne Williamson

Dear 17-year old me

February 22, 2020: Last day of your first culinary arts course

It only took us 10 years before taking our first culinary class at an actual culinary school. It was worth the wait! It only goes to show that oftentimes the thing we always wanted, truly wanted, will come with patience and faith. 

Looking back, had you taken that road defiantly would have changed your passion and appreciation for food. You had to learn over the course of ten years why it matters, how cooking makes you feel, and what about food makes it a big part of your identity. The uncertainty of waiting, yearning for the thing you wanted to do only made the experience that much richer. 

Wearing the pristine white chef’s coat, top hat, and apron for the first time became a proclamation to genuinely and openly put yourself into the world with confidence. 

This is me. This is the woman that God is making me to be.

And what an exhilarating feeling it was! The 6:30 AM wake up routine during cold winter Saturdays won’t matter. Showing up was more important. Acting on your values with integrity matters. 

Though the next 10 years of waiting for this moment may seem too long, frustrating, and most of all exhaustive, the day will come at the right moment. You will feel with every bone in your body that this moment is the right moment. So simmer down. Take time to discover. Making a master stock requires the right ingredients, time and patience to marry all the flavours together. So do you. 

Always, 

K

P.S. Faith is the salt that will help you heal, bring you hope and determination. Sprinkle it in every aspect of your life, generously. 

To my future husband

I don’t know where you are, when we’ll meet or whether we’ve already met. But I do know that I will always choose to love you when the time comes. Every single day. Until then, this is an open letter I’ll keep close to my heart.

Dear K, 

You will fall deeply and unconditionally in love with a man who cares to understand and accept you. He will show his empathy towards you through his speech and actions. He will love you unconditionally and faithfully, the same way you’ve fallen in love with him. He knows the value of a good woman and will choose you, and only you, especially in moments of fear, anger or disappointment.

When it comes to his time, he will show you that you are a priority. No work could ever be big enough or more important. Nonetheless, you will show him respect as work and his ambitious goals are equally important as yours. He will similarly treat you with respect and admiration. And he will not be ashamed, but proud of you as his partner and best friend. 

Over time you will grow together and align in values. You will have beautiful children and build a home together. This man will not only want you to be a part of his life, he will build and cultivate a Christ-centered life with you. A choice he is not hesitant to make because having a family is something he has truly wanted for himself. He will never leave you or make you feel alone. He will protect you and care for you and your family as a symbol of his appreciation and gratitude for your life together. He will not take you, your commitment and love for granted.

You will grow old and have wonderful squishy little grandchildren running all around the house. Each day may not be perfect but always filled with a grateful heart and a joyous smile. 

Stay hopeful. Have patience. 

Love always,

K

P.S. This letter is to those relentlessly putting their hearts on the line with the hope of a happier ending. Loving someone is the most courageous choice and action any of us can take. It requires trust, hope, friendship, integrity, vulnerability, commitment, and most of all, faith. 

Your day will come, just be ready to receive and accept the love freely given to you.