Posted by: Yang | April 23, 2009

G-d at the moment…

For what it’s worth, my relationship with G-d at the moment is somewhat at a stand still. To a certain degree, I have to be honest and say that we’re not seeing eye to eye on some issues. There’s this part of me where I feel like until we come to an agreement, where He comes half way, then we can start mending this relationship.

I know that some reading this will be thinking, “you just don’t have enough faith?” And then there are those who will say to themselves, “dude, you’re weird, what the heck is he talking about?” Regardless of what your opinion is, I feel strongly about my current conviction. And let me be clear, I know where my short comings are, but that’s besides the point.

I can rant on for pages or blogs but I think there’s more productive blogging I can do that will actually have more impact on practical issues. Issues that people can actually put to use and relate to.

This blog may not make too much sense but I just wanted to let everyone know where I’m at spiritually, incase you were wondering.

Posted by: Yang | April 14, 2009

Lately…

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written here. But there’s been a lot that has been going on. Hopefully when everything starts to settle down, I’ll have more time to write.

Today is April 14, 2009. It has been over a year at least since I’ve written in this blog. Alot has happened since then. Some for the better, while others haven’t been as good as I would hope it to be. Everything is really a story in itself but I will only make short notices of them. Since it’s history, I don’t want to spend too much time dwelling on the past.

In January of 2008, I left my job of over 8 years as a Graphics Designer because we got bought out. I am currently a Teachers Assistant at a creative elementary school working with I.E.P students, (Special Ed). Although this isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I made the change, it’s provided me with new challenges for growth. In the mean time, I am getting a few freelance jobs here and there.

On another note, I have been generally fortunate with my health. It’s a surprise, given the fact that I work at a school, where there is a lot of sick kids during the winter time. I have been able to stay clear of any serious illness (not to jinks myself, knock on wood). Although I must say I have had a few scares here in there, but that did not involve the school environment.

My last visit to the doctors office was yesterday, following up on a visit to the E.R last week, for what I thought was a pneoumothorax. Turned out it was all in my mind. But what I did find out was that I might have high-blood pressure. I still have to go in next week to get it checked again to make sure. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. As having another ‘burden’ added on to CF is the least of my desire.

What else, guess I’ll try to write more often now that I’ve felt inspired and ecnouraged. Maybe I’ll write about that in my next blog. Because tonight, there’s a couple of meetings that I have to get ready for so I need to go get ready. Until then, my cyber CF community, take a deep breath, hold it, and dive into the ocean of possibilities and explore your heart out!!

Posted by: Yang | September 24, 2007

Starts With Goodbye

” guess it’s gonna have to hurt,
I guess I’m gonna have to cry,
And let go of some things I’ve loved,
To get to the other side,
I guess it’s gonna break me down,
Like falling when you try to fly,
It’s sad, but sometimes moving on with the rest of your life,
Starts with goodbye.

I know there’s a blue horizon,
Somewhere up ahead, just waiting for me,
Getting there means leaving things behind,
Sometimes life’s so bitter sweet….”

parts of a song entitled Starts With Goodbye by Carrie Underwood.

This is something that I’m going through at this point in my life. I’ve spent many nights thinking about this, that sometimes making a new start means leaving certain things and people behind. My life as a whole, whether it be my health, faith, or anything that makes me who I am – there are things I have to learn to let go inorder to make a new start. It’s a sad reality, but then those lyrics are exactly the train of thoughts that’s been running through my mind.

As for my faith, I’m at a turning point where I need to focus on my own culture, the Hmong people. For many years now, I have studied the Hebrew roots of Christianity and have learned a great deal. The cutlure, tradition, and how all that makes understanding of Scripture more real than anything I’ve ever experienced before. And the more I learned about the Hebrews, the more I am nudged at my shoulder about my own people. Our culture, tradition, and even religion. Yes religion, even though that’s something that I have chose not to practice, it is still important to know. Why? Because instead of just a no and that’s that, I would like to give an explanation and help others to understand why I no longer practice it. When people see that you have the knowledge and have made a decision base on that, there’s that respect there. Instead of just a plain o’ no, where it seems that you know nothing about the other side at all. In short, I want to learn about my culture and tradition as a Hmong believer to help me understand the path that I have chosen, where I’m going and where I come from.

And for myself, work and family have become complicated. In the sense that if I want to start seeing some real changes, professionaly and at home, I need to make some realistic moves that will enable the changes to fall into place. For instance, my commute for work has increased from 10 minutes to about 45 mins to 1 hr, one way (and that’s on a good day in the summer time). Not only that, but putting fort the effort and experienced that I have, knowingly that I am well underpaid is very discouraging. I’m tired of feeling bitter and discouraged, I know that I have two choices, stay and put up with it or find a new job. I have been applying for new jobs and sending out resumes, hopefully something will turn up.

With the family, I am working on getting a new place. I know that buying a new home is a huge investment and have undertaken some time to educate myself about making the move. I have spoken with an agent and she has agreed to work with me along the way, she was referred by friends of mine. So I know that she’s a good candidate, as far as trust and reputation goes. I plan is that within the next few months, for sure by the end of this year, I will move into my new place and settle down. With this move, it will alleviate some room around the house for the rest of the family. Remember, I do come from a very large family, 17 people to be exact. And of course, other things will fall into place as well.

And finally, my health. I have spoken with the social worker at the Cystic Fibrosis center and we both agree that my plan is a realistic one. However, it is very important to make sure that I maintain doing my treatments and keep up with my check ups so that I don’t neglect it. Because the last thing I want is to accomplish my plans only to get really sick. And that’s a real possibility to keep in mind, not in the back but in the forefront. My doctors and I have talked over the past two appointments and they are working on getting me either an inhaler or another nebulizer so that I can do the 2nd treatment during the day in my car at work. I have to do 3 treatments a day, morning, afternoon and evening. They have also given me a device that is similar to a flutter. It’s a horizontal device where I blow into and it’s suppose to shake up my lungs. Substituting the vest while I am on the road. I won’t go into much detail about it but it’s quite interesting. Anyhow, that’s the update on my health and my plans for taking care of myself.

In a nutshell, this is what I have on my plate at the moment. So keep me in your prayers and I hope that all will turn out for the best. I will keep you updated as well. Thanks.

Posted by: Yang | July 16, 2007

CF Treatment

A common question that I am frequently asked when people find out that I have CF is, ‘what is it like?’ Which is reasonable. For one thing, it usually involves treatments, generally 4 treatments a day is what the doctor would like. However, with life, work and all, it usually consists of 2, if I wake up really early in the morning and then one later on in the evening before bedtime. For each treatment, it consists of a breathing treatment called a nebulizer and vest machine.

A nebulizer is a machine where liquid medications are placed in a smoking pipe like object and smoke away. For this, I use two medications, Albuterol and Mucomyst. Each medication has its purposes, albuterol is used to open up the lung airways. Mucomyst is used to thin out the mucus in the lungs so that it can clear out easier. Recently I have been prescribed an antibiotic called Tobramyacin for my nebulizer. So now I should be doing three nebs per treatment. However, with the Tobramyacin being an antibiotic, there’s a special schedule that needs to be kept. Having one month on and one month off, so that the bacteria in the lungs do not become resistant. As with many other antibiotics, the body should only have a certain amount of it at a time.

A vest machine is quite interesting in itself. It has a machine with two slots were plastic tubes are inserted into it, with the other ends connecting to a plastic like vest that I wear. The machine has three different knobs, one for frequency, pressure control, and a timer. Generally there’s a sequence of frequencies that the doctor gives you and that’s what you stay with. For me, it’s 8,9,10, 15,16, and 17; the pressure usually set at about 15, and five minutes each setting. So in all, my treatment usually lasts about 30 minutes each. How the vest works is you put on the vest, hook the tubes up, set your settings, and then there’s a little black pressure pad that you put wait on and it starts shaking. The purpose of this is to shake loose the mucus in the lungs so that it doesn’t just sit in one place. Allowing the mucus to sit in one place in the lung for too lung is a bad thing because it gives bacteria a chance to sit and grow there. By using the vest, you are forcing the mucus to get loose and then bring it out.

With the breathing treatment along with the vest, it is a key component in trying to keep as healthy as possible. As one of my doctors told me, CF may not be curable, however it is treatable. And these two combinations are the most important, next to eating healthy and regular cardiovascular exercise.
One would think, so 30 minutes each treatment, 2 treatments a day, that can’t be too bad. It doesn’t sound too bad, actually it sounds very doable. But when you throw in in work and life, you realize that sometimes, the treatments are more of a burden then a relief. The only time that I’ve been able to actually do 4 treatments a day was when I was hospitalized. At that point, you don’t have any other obligations then getting yourself better. Plus, you’re stuck at the hospital, there’s no excuse!

Posted by: Yang | July 4, 2007

Hmong Rebellion

With the current news regarding General Vang Pao, I am even more encouraged to share about an article I wrote a while back. It’s an idea that I have wanted to share with the Hmong community at large but have not found the best time to do so. In the last few weeks our community have been in a very awkard position. What I mean is that although it should be a time for us to unite, there are some people who could care less about the situation. Let me know what you guys think about the article…

It was on a Friday evening as I was having a conversation with an older Hmong woman. She who was probably a few years older than my mom and younger than my dad, that is what makes this testimony valuable. We were talking about our Heavenly Father and how He has made a difference in our lives. As the conversation carried on, God was revealing pieces of history right before my very eyes.

It was as God was speaking to me and telling me why the younger Hmong generations are becoming more and more rebellious. The common respond to why Hmong are not Christians today is because we are Hmong and we should keep to our own ways. Besides, what has God done for me (and for the Hmong people)? Which is a very validate question. After all, God told the children of Israel that because He delivered them from the house of bondage, which was Egypt, He would be their God. As it is said, with a Mighty Arm the Lord delivered you out of the land of Egypt1. Though I am not saying that God brought us out of Laos to be His people, He did however lead most of us out into the “promise land”.

Thus, this is where my story begins. When the first Hmongs arrived here in the United States, who were the ones that helped us until we were stable on our feet? If we were to ask, we will hear this answer than most, that it was the Church who helped us. Whether it was a sponsor or a congregation, it was Gods people that He used to extend out His hands. But just as a son who relies on his Father when times are bad, and then disregards Him when things are well, so did the Hmong people treat God. When we came here, we had nothing, we knew nothing, and we were strangers in a land not of our own. And yet, here we are today as a living testimony that we have flourished and pressed on. So my question is, if He was the one who was responsible for our deliverance, where does God fit into the Hmong community? Some would argue that it was their relatives that sponsored them here, which may very well be true. Then the question becomes, how did their relatives get settled here?

I find it interesting that after we settle and learned to adapt, how soon most of us forgot what God has done for us as a people. Today, there are some of us who has turned to Him for refugee and as a Father. Still, there are many that have the rebellious genes in them. It is amazing then to see and hear of the elders criticize and scrutinize the young generations why they are rebellious and hard headed. Many of the things that they say when they are giving lectures are very interesting once you actually listen to it and imagine God speaking those very exact words to us as a people. Sometimes I have that burning in me to want to stand up and point that out to them (but then I lack the courage to J). Who knows, maybe someday someone will have that courage to point it out. Do not think that I am criticizing the older generations, that is not the point I am trying to make.

What I have seen is a pattern, just like a family oriented behavior that has been passed down from generation to generation. Our fathers did not see Gods hand when it was at work, and has passed that down to us. Fortunately some of us have been able to se that and have received His salvation. That is why I am very honored and humble to be able to share this with everyone. Because it is not only my testimony, rather it is a testimony of the Hmong people.

With all the tragedies and struggles that we have endured and are facing today, there is a real need for God. I also believe that we as children do really look up to our parents, but because they have chosen to rebel against God, so naturally did most of us. If our parents can only see what God has done for them, they can truly give a testimony of what God has done for us as a people. And like any other Hmong stories that is passed down orally from generation to generation, this can truly be the greatest story that we can pass down to our children as well. I challenge everyone who reads this to find out for your selves, it doesn’t have to be a spiritual quest. But I can say this much, the answers you find will spark that desire within you to seek out your Deliverer.

Posted by: Yang | May 27, 2007

G-d as King and G-d as Father

G-d as King is worth praising and blessings, however G-d as Father has not been that way for me. Lately I’ve been struggling with the aspect of His Father – son relationship with me. Let me explain. I have been praying on waiting for someone to come into my life. I’ve tried to do the right things and be patient about it for years. Still, when I look around me, the people who do not honor Him, has been blessed with those relationships. At first I was able to brush it off and be patient, believing that G-d will bring it about for me in my time. While in the back of my mind, I was hoping it would be soon. And you know what, it did happen where there were individuals who came into my life – who could have been potentials. They were godly women and are good people. However, I was not attracted to them. I’m going to be honest, there has to be a level of physical attraction there for me to pursue a relationship with a woman.

After a few times of this happening, I start to ask G-d, “are you kidding me… you know how much I want to be in a serious relationship and this is what you’re doing?” It makes me feel as if G-d has been playing a practical joke on me all along, and that hurts. Given the life situation that I’m going through, it would be all the more helpful to have a life companion. Not only for the sake of helping me out, but also to enjoy life with. I often tell people, “I wonder if G-d knows that we’re mortals and He’s not. Because sometimes it seems like the way He does things, He waits on it for such a long time. I don’t want to get married when I’m old and no longer in my younger years. There are different opportunities when you are at different stages in life. To sum it up, our time as human being is clicking, His isn’t, how long do we have to wait?”

That is why I feel that as Father, G-d has neglected me in that area. And to me, that’s an area that I would consider to be a heavy matter. In some ways, because of that, I feel that I am ‘following after my own heart and my own eyes’. I figured, G-d isn’t going to do for me so I’ll pursue it myself. I’m sure many will say to be patient with G-d and He will make it happen in His time. Or that perhaps I don’t have enough faith and trust in Him. Which may very well be the case. Whatever the reason may be, part of me is still waiting on Him to come through as a Father even though I’m going about it my own way.

Posted by: Yang | May 1, 2007

Inspirational Speaker

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, whether or not I should become an Inspirational Speaker. For one, I am not a public speaking person, which makes it that much harder. But I have been having that urge to bring to people that hey, I’m Hmong and I have CF, which is rare in Asians. Not only that, but I am also a Christian, not just a Christian, but a Torah practicing Christian. My faith and my ethnicity both revolves around my living with Cystic Fibrosis. Aside from the daily struggles that I go through as a person of color, I have this health issue that not many Hmong people are aware of, except for those who know my family and I. More on this later, but for now, I just wanted to share that thought with you guys.

Recently I had run into a ‘friends’ page on myspace and heard a song, De Temps en Temps ( Time to Time ) by Gregory Lemarchal. Finding out about him and the success that he’s had before his life came to an end, reminds me about how potent it is to reach out to others. Although at his level he was able to reach millions of people and share with them his story, everyone of us has that ability too. Just because we can’t reach millions, doesn’t mean we don’t reach out.

Posted by: Yang | April 15, 2007

What is Torah?

Torah is the Hebrew Scripture in a general sense. To be more specific, Torah is the first five book of the Bible, whether it be the Hebrew Scirpture or the Christian Scripture (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy). In it’s basic Hebrew meaning, Torah means to aim. Sometimes it’s translated as Law and Instructions. However it’s used, we can still detect each of it’s meaning in the context. The Torah was what was given to Israel at Mt. Sinai after the exodus from Egypt. Torah is the foundation for everything that came after, Prophets and Apostolic Scripture (if you’re a Christian).

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