Are Chinese Mothers are Superior?

For anyone who hasn't heard about it yet, read Amy Chua's article in the Wall street Journal "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior." Anyone who’s read anything in my blog knows that I can neither claim with confidence that Chinese mothers are superior, nor can I broadcast with smug self-assurance that I’ve done everything right, as Amy Chua apparently is able in her WSJ article “Why Chinese Mothe … [Read more...]

Mango Lassis

In Hawaii, where I grew up, the term pake means both cheap/miserly and Chinese. gives two examples: He no like buy, because it is not on sale, he so pake, yah? (Hawaiian pidgin English) "Eh, look at those pakes over dere playing majiang." While I don’t generally prefer to use ethnic slurs to define myself, it is true that I am pake in both senses of the word, which is why I currently only buy clothes at the Talbots Outlet when everything is 75% off the lowest price. I have a w … [Read more...]

Day-after-Birthday Rite of Passage

To mark turning 45 yesterday, I just changed my profile picture for both this blog and Facebook. I’ve been using the same 6 year old picture Scott snapped of me for everything that needed a photo, so if you Google me at “Images” that’s pretty much the only picture that shows up. When Scott took it, I thought I looked old. Now I look at it and I think wow do I look young. . . and good! This must be why they say youth is wasted on the young. There are many reasons I’ve kept using a picture of m … [Read more...]


(This short article was written for the April edition of InterVarsity "About Women" staff website, therefore only available to InterVarsity staff!)Growing in Self ClarityThe first time I directed a conference, even though it went well, I was left with bitterness, exhaustion and loneliness. Despite enjoying a growing ministry, I felt engulfed by demands and 70-80 hour workweeks. Driving home with my boss Bobby, we talked about how I felt driven by my "life parable," the parable of the talents, … [Read more...]

What’s Worth Doing?

At my spiritual retreat to evaluate my job as Area Director last week, it was St. Ansgar day. The most notable achievement of Ansgar, according to all the readings, was that he completely failed at almost everything he attempted. Although he was eventually credited with the conversion of Scandinavia, I couldn’t tell how his actions even lay the groundwork for mass revival actually. Yet according to everything I heard, what we learn from Ansgar’s life is perseverance, and the hope that our labor, … [Read more...]


I’m a tiny bit famous for my chili. Frankly, you can’t survive 20 years of campus ministry without a chili recipe that feeds the hordes. I’ve made huge pots of chili for Columbia students, staff colleagues, Harvard students, faculty from Boston, not to mention many church, family and friend gatherings. Former students tell me when they reminisce about college fellowship days, they talk about my chili—that’s how good it is. When I cook chili it grows and expands like Jesus multiplying loaves an … [Read more...]

Meeting with our youth pastor

Last Friday, Garry our new youth pastor, came over for dinner and to create a spiritual plan for our daughters. I had planned to make Mama's pork chops in cream of mushroom soup because the pork chops had been defrosting in the fridge for awhile and I was getting a lot of pressure from the kids to cook them. But in the afternoon, I had a little panic attack. It felt dishonoring to feed a new acquaintance a meal seasoned by Campbell’s--like feeding the youth pastor Campbell’s flavored food meant … [Read more...]

The Good Life

The Good Life “Of course you’re miserable!” said my advisor Dan, looking over his spectacles at me, “As a doctoral student in Human Development and Social Policy, you of all people should remember that your timing is all wrong for graduate school.” We sat in Dan’s office, and I was whining about my life—my insecure, powerless and confused life. I felt stressed, discontent and anxious. Now I also felt slightly guilty--he knew I was a follower of Jesus and I wasn’t making Jesus look very good by … [Read more...]