Posts tagged ‘Family’

November 6, 2011

3 Korean guys, 2 rakes, and a leaf-blower

Whenever I come home to Connecticut, my stay seems to be categorized into certain roles that I am to play for my family.  The following is a list of such roles:

    • English translator – my mom will save a bunch of letters/notices that she got in the mail from banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, car dealership, etc. since the last time I was home, and ask me to translate what they mean.  Essentially, she wants to know if the aforementioned entities are trying to bill her any random charges because she doesn’t fluently read English.  Most often than not, it’ll be spam mail or standard notices of obscure procedures the consumer doesn’t have to worry about.  You would think that my brother would be able to do this, but his response is always, “Ask Nameun when he gets home.”
    • Garlic peeler – self-explanatory, especially if you come from a Asian-/Korean-American household.  For some reason, there’s always garlic to peel when I come home.
    • Baker – I follow after my mom in that I have a huge sweet tooth.  She always stocks up on box-brand brownie, cake, and/or bread mixes in the house, so I can make them for the family whenever I come home.  It doesn’t take much to read instructions off a box or pre-heat an oven, but for some reason, “it always tastes better made by my hands” (her exact words, translated literally from Korean).
    • Cashier – being small-business owners, my parents will always take the opportunity now to station me at the store to have me close.  I don’t mind it so much anymore.  It gives them a couple hours off their regular 12-hour daily shifts, and me an opportunity to catch up on reading or watch TV (something I don’t have at school or even at home anymore).
    • Cheap manual labor – this one is seasonal.  If it’s the summer, this role manifests itself as Lawn Mower.  If it’s the winter, Snow Shoveler.  If it’s the spring, (because we live in New England) a combination of any of the two just mentioned.  And like today, if it’s the fall, Leaf Blower/Raker.

My dad told me to come home early from church today (a.k.a. no ritual golfing after service) to help clean the leaves that had accumulated on our lawn.  When my dad, brother and I get to working this afternoon, I couldn’t help but notice the work dynamic that took place.  I got outside first, grabbed a rake, and started “priming” the lawn to make it easier for either my dad or brother to blow.  My dad automatically goes for the blower first, most likely because he doesn’t trust either of his sons to carry out “Operation Clean Leaves” as was planned out in his head.  My brother stumbles out later, grabs the other rake and begins working on the front lawn (where the leaves are most visible to third parties, not worrying about the side or back lawns, because people driving by our house/guests can’t see those areas).

Eventually, my dad calls for us to stop whatever we thought was the most efficient way to go about raking the leaves, to help him execute “Operation Clean Leaves” as he devised.  More for the reason of not wanting to hear him nag, the Cho sons relent to his dictatorship.  After about an hour or so, the work gets done fairly efficiently, and we’re all pretty content with our productivity.  I know that if I wasn’t home, it would have taken them a lot longer to finish the job than desired.

Gospel Connection: The initial GC that I crafted in my head revolved around something like “teamwork” and how each member of the body of the Church plays a different role. But here’s the revised GC after reflecting on this episode a little more.

I don’t get to spend too much quality time with my family.  Given that I’m fairly reserved in my emotions and affection towards them to begin with, I’m almost rarely home for too long because of the responsibilities I have in Boston/at GCTS.  Although not very much affection was expressed in words during the course of our leaf-cleaning activity, it was still quality time nonetheless.  I know my dad appreciated my help, the time we were able to spend together, and having done so without a begrudging attitude.  Honor your mother and father.  Sometimes, it just looks different for some people.

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September 21, 2011

The Connecticut Confederates

In my previous entry I shared about why I stopped blogging back in high school/college.  This entry will articulate one of the reasons why I decided to get back into it.  Enjoy!

A couple days ago, I stumbled upon a particular blog that had me hooked from the get-go.  For sake of anonymity, let’s call this blogger PA.  Why did PA have me hooked to his blog?  Much like myself, he is involved in ministry, but is far along his life-path than I am along mine.  He is married, has five children, and is the senior pastor of a growing church.  With solely those 3 qualifications/characteristics right there, you can already tell that he would have a plethora of stories to tell… and he does.  Since day one, I’ve been glued to my screen reading countless stories (mainly about his family) that are both hysterical and horrifying.

My parents asked me on a number of occasions during my childhood and teenage years how many kids I wanted when I had a family of my own.

Without hesitation, I would reply: Six.

Their reaction: [short pause] Good luck finding a wife.

Why did I (or do I still?) want six kids?  Initially, it was because I had been caught up in volleyball fever during my high-school-heyday.  For those of you who’ve never played or seen organized volleyball, there are six players on each side of the court.  Essentially, I wanted to be able to breed and grow my own volleyball team- as if there was gonna be a professional league of family volleyball teams in the distant future, I wanted my kids to dominate said league.  I would name my team, “The Connecticut Confederates.”  Why you ask?  Three reasons:

  1. I’m from Connecticut and we’ve never had our own professional sports team.  (We’ve always had a baseball-identity crisis sandwiched between the Yankees and Red Sox, and we share the Patriots with five other states… I don’t know about you, but I hated sharing as a kid).
  2. Confederates would be an ironic mascot to represent a team from Connecticut.  God has a sense of humor, why can’t I?
  3. I was always a fan of alliteration.

Having decided to go into full-time ministry 1.5 years ago, I began to lose hope in this dream of mine.  I’ve heard it say that it takes a net worth of over $1 million to raise one child during the course of his/her life.  Let’s face it, it’s not like I’m going to be bringing in the big bucks here either on the path I’m headed.  So I convinced myself to be “realistic” and settled for the hope of having just three children. (Note: this is not to minimize the joy of having just one or two children. My argument here is not “more children = more happiness and/or value.” Please don’t be offended if you are the proud parent of one or two children!)

Then I read PA’s blog.  Given my circumstances, I may be at a very similar position to where he was at the age of 23.  Now, he’s the proud father of five beautiful children.  Lord willing, I could still have six children.  Maybe all I have is one.  What if my future wife and I cannot bear our own children?  What if I continue my ministry solo?  The Apostle Paul was celibate and actually encouraged Christians to remain single (1 Cor. 7)**.  The point is, I don’t know what my life will look like in the next 10, 20, or 50 years.  The only constant I know I will have is Jesus himself.

**This is a less common spiritual gift, so for those of you worrying about whether or not you are called to it, you’re probably not (seeing as how you’re worrying about it).  So you can stop sweating bullets now.

Gospel Connection: The Lord provides.  No matter what.  As if the Cross wasn’t enough, I am faced with countless blessings intruding my every day.