Tell Me The Dream Again

Reflections on Family, Ethnicity & the Sacred Work of Belonging

This is the year that my book will make its way into the world.

It’s been a little over two years since I signed the contract for a book deal for this book. Like most things, stories cannot be rushed or controlled.

I wrote about the cover for my newsletter community, Shalomsick Notes, a couple of months ago. If you aren’t already subscribed there, that’s where I share book news first, along with regular thoughts on being shalomsick.

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to see the cover, here it is!

Isn’t it beautiful? I can’t wait to hold it in my hands.

Tell Me the Dream Again releases in May, but is now available for pre-order wherever books are sold!

I am a Threshold of Flesh and Blood

Image Credit: Foundry Co from Pixabay

Originally written for The Mudroom.

I was young when I first realized that my biracial existence inhabits liminal space. 

We piled into the sticky church van, and left the Californian mountains where I’d spent a week at an Asian American Christian summer camp. It was my first experience at a summer camp, my first experience with a large group of Christians, and my first time exclusively surrounded by other Asian Americans. As we drove down the mountain, away from late night campfire worship songs and Bible stories I’d heard for the first time in my life, a friend in the van turned towards me and announced, “You should’ve heard how some of the boys talked about you in our cabin last night. They are obsessed with mixed girls like you.” I could tell he thought the comment was something I should be happy about, but all I felt was the heat rising between my skin and cheekbones.

Years later, thinking about that comment would make me feel small and shriveled up inside. It weaved itself into everything. It was clear that being obsessed with “mixed girls like me” meant being obsessed with the power of whiteness more than anything. I tell a friend about it, but she asks why I’m upset and making things about race, and claims she would be happy to have the attention—however it comes.

Even before I knew his name, white supremacy was waging a war around me and within me.

Without any formal training, I learned to resist my Koreanness like I was on a strict diet. I cut things out, hid what felt most like home, brushed and beat the wild out of my mixed hair, and said no to things I’d always loved. I tried to starve the Imago Dei in me. 

It took many long years before I began to realize that my biracial body was a beautiful bridge of existence.

Head on over to The Mudroom to read the rest of the post!

The Destiny in Our Daydreams

She scurried over to the rice cooker and opened it. Using a rice paddle to scoop out a few grains of day-old rice with her right hand, she then picked them off of the paddle with her left, squishing them together between her slender thumb and forefinger. I watched her move quickly and silently, her dark eyes focused and on task.

I am the daughter who was ever seeing but never understanding. I listened to stories and yearned for more answers. The barrier between us has been hard, at times as unyielding as concrete. It’s thick middle fortified by cultural misunderstanding, language lost in translation, hidden stories, the grief of lives stolen and the gift of lives given.

Moments before she had shifted her focus towards the rice cooker, I had rolled my eyes and declared we couldn’t go to the event we’d been invited to. The gift that had been carefully picked out months before couldn’t be wrapped because we couldn’t find tape anywhere in the house. Why was there always some needed item missing? We were already going to be late as it was, and at the time, I couldn’t fathom attending the event without a proper gift, wrapped like all the others would be. I didn’t want to be the one who stood out again, who didn’t know the protocol again, who might have to explain not having something as simple as a roll of extra tape on hand, because so much of life was busy trying to figure out how to fit in as the multicultural family we were.

Read the rest over at (in)courage

God Sings Over Me in My Mother’s Language


I have these memories of my mom making hand motions while singing San Toki, Toki Ya when I was sad or right before I went to sleep as a little girl. She would hold one arm up to symbolize a horizontal path and then prop her other hand behind it with her first two fingers peeking up from behind her first arm like a rabbit’s ears. She moved her finger-made rabbit up and down to show it bouncing away and then bouncing back again. It was this one song she sung to me in Korean about a bunny who ran away and came back home again that attached itself to my heart and never let go.

We didn’t speak Korean to one another at home when I was young. I’ve heard different reasons for why this was. And while this might be bold to say, considering the fact that I cannot have a conversation with anyone in Korean, the language feels like a piece of home to me. I can pick it out of a busy city street. I know the curves and movements of it’s sound. I’m convinced it rests deep in my heart. It’s as if it were there in my earliest moments, God speaking it straight through my mother’s thoughts, mouth, and body, pressing it into my bones and ligaments, letting it help form my innermost parts.

Read the rest of this post over at (in)courage.