A blog and forum for encouragement, hope and stories by Jiming Lindal

For the last ten years, I have been married to John, my husband. Today is our 10th anniversary of our civil wedding. I still remembered the minister who joined us said “I would be the last guy between you two.” Marriage life is not the easiest, especially for two strong minded people, and it is quite a test for the heart. Sometimes your mind will give up and your heart takes over. There are so many cases, we might want to utter the “d” word, but we know the moment we go there, we would fail.

When we review the DVD of our wedding, our memory of wedding message is so drastically different from what hits us most now. Back then, we were so thrilled about the message that we joined as one; now when we watch it, the part that rings most is “even sometimes you don’t think you love the other person any more, you still need to be together.” Marriage is not for faint hearted. Who would say we didn’t meet our temptations? We did, face to face with them. Who would say we didn’t have illnesses? We did, needing to fight the worst ones. Challenges after challenges, trials after trials, sometimes we wonder whether God has just blessed us more than others or he just wants to joke with us? Either way, praise the Lord, we are here together.

I remembered our wedding song was from “Fiddler on the Roof,” a quite romantic one, about father sending the daughter away and mother sending the son away. Now I’d recall a scene of the same musical when the husband asked “do you love me?” “You’re a fool.” “I know…But do you love me?” “Do I love you? For twenty five years I washed your clothes, cooked your meals, cleaned your house, given your children, milked the cow. After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?” Now I think about the time I look at our laundry basket, putting the clothes in one by one; the time when I cut the meat and cook the meals for the whole family; and the time I am driving my daughter everywhere for doctor’s appointments one after another; I am tired, I am weary, but I know it is love that sustains me. I will continue, and one day, I would say “for twenty five years…”

An Argument

Filed Under Life

There is this argument between me and my husband, which is our view about jobs. My husband grows up in Los Angeles, lives a middle class sheltered life, I would say, and from elementary school, to graduate school and all the way to work, he really hasn’t stumbled or failed. To him, job is where his passion is.

My family, on the contrary, has been poor, and has struggled. Adding to that, I have epilepsy, come to this country alone to study and later work as an immigrant. Graduating with an MBA, I have accepted low salaries to start with and worked my way up. I am a woman, colored, and an immigrant. It takes me ten years to gradually build a career and to gain financial independence. To me, job is about perseverance, and leaving a job is quite unthinkable for me.

Though I can understand my husband, it is hard for him to contemplate my side of the story, and he looks at me like an alien. How I wish sometimes he could just understand a little of how I feel.

Cranberry Sauce

Filed Under Recipes

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 cups of fresh cranberries
Optional: pecans, orange zest, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.

Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.

You can add optional ingredients.

Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.


Filed Under Recipes

8 oz butter
8 oz sugar
8 oz self raising flour
4 medium eggs
2×6 hole muffin tins, lined with paper cases

Set the oven to 400 F.
Tip the butter to a bowl and beat until softened. Add sugar, flour, eggs and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Spoon mixture to paper cases.
Place tins in the oven and bake for 15 min.
Swap the position of tins and bake for an additional 3 min or more, till both trays of cupcakes are light golden.
Remove tins from oven.
Leave cupcakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Nature Explore

Filed Under Life

Early in the morning on Saturday, who wanted to wake up at seven o’clock in the morning? But I would. I signed up for the “Nature Explore” workshop today. The class was packed some warmth when I entered. There were scones, bananas, oranges, bagels…and coffee, yes, most people crowded on that. The class was about…nature, to create play-yard for your child or children at your backyard, and about its design and material. When the instructed introduced himself, he said “I was fortunate that I wasn’t born in a family that was full of wealth or status.” Then he talked about how he got so interested in nature, which, became his passion and propelled him to form a non-profit organization. I took a look at the couple across the table, the husband was the staff from JPL/NASA. It said on his shirt “Mars…Science…” Before the workshop started when we were chatting, his eyes were gazed when he mentioned about Mars and other planets and the possibility of life there. I had a gentle smile on my face. I was so happy that I gave up attending a grand seminar but to be here with these people: they lived a life of their passion and dreams. “My daughter saw I actually could make a living out of it, she was amazed…” the instructor said later on. Yes, we need money as one of the necessities in life, but more importantly, we follow what nature makes us; and to explore that, is part of living in harmony.

Today I just read the news about a woman who didn’t shave her facial hair and the powerful message she sent to the bullies on the internet “I am who I am.”

It is quite a process for any woman to accept herself especially physically. I believe society has certain expectations on women as well as men in terms of physical and grooming criteria, but I believe it is more so on women. Ten thousands of make-ups, fashion designs and perfumes are mostly designed for women. When you walk into a department store, the majority of the shopping crowd is women too.

I am who I am is a powerful statement. That, doesn’t mean, women shall not care about facial hair. There are some of us who like to look beautiful, some of us who are just content to be intellectually challenged, some of us who like to participate in social benefits and others like science a lot more. We vary in shapes and colors.

We are who we are.

I have been taking Heidi in and out of school to see doctors today, for her foot as well as her allergy. Now I am at home, she is watching TV, and I am finally relaxed. It is interesting how writing can just be a relaxing thing for me where you can just let your thoughts go and float among the imaginations. The reality sometimes is not so pleasing, however, the reality is also wonderful because it lets you see how human beings really work. We all have our shortcomings while sometimes our egos can overcome us and eat us live. Oh, no, that will be a really bad part. Yesterday John and I were reading the Genesis and I did a comparison study between Genesis and the new testament and found God did the same thing to human as it is to Jesus — is to throw the temptations in front of them. The difference is Jesus chose to fully depend on God as he knew that he could not fight it alone. When I grew up, as a thinker and writer by nature, I often questioned Genesis, does God really don’t want us to know truth or evil? I don’t believe a loving God would do that. I think as every wise parent will tell you, the very thing they are afraid of is for the kids to know just about enough to kill themselves. If you cannot obtain the full knowledge of something, it is actually quite dangerous to have half knowledge; as an extreme sharp sword needs to be owned by a trained master.

Now, why God throws the temptations in front of us, knowing we cannot do it without him?

MMM…let’s close our eyes and relax…

Bird: Tweet, tweet.
Heidi: Bird, I will come and help you. Tweet, tweet.
Bird: Tweet, tweet, tweet.

Money is a boy with a limited stomach, once the stomach explodes, that’s the end of him. He needs to be very careful, about everything he eats, but it never fails to see him overstuffing. Power is a man walking in companions, three makes a good team, not to joke or tease. They keep him in check and balance, but he wants to walk away from them and self-destroy. Fame is a lady, in grande style, craving for accessories and attention. Her laughter attracts a following, but don’t find her drunk, for the hang-over may be permanent. Money, Power and Fame; one day they can come to you, it is for you to know each personality, and beware. They can play well together; or else, you find yourself in a disaster you couldn’t fix.

When Heidi was in Kindergarten, she had two teachers teaching her. One day I asked a very typical “Chinese” question “which one is your favorite teacher?” She gave it a thought and said “I like them both. They are different.” As a Chinese growing up, I was often asked tricky questions like this, especially when it concerned about my parents. “Who is your favorite, your mommy or your daddy?” I didn’t know, frankly! But when I thought about it, I did believe I have some kind of preferences, though I knew they were who they were. Only recently did I start to appreciate their differences and start to learn how to like both of them.

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