Wednesday, October 25, 2017

An update a year long in the making

Hi again,
      I really need to keep this updated more frequently.  We have been living in Guangzhou, China for nine months now and I have not said anything about it.  Sorry.
     My daughter is now seven and in the second grade at a local private school.  She is the only native English speaker in her class.
     My son is four and enjoying his second year of preschool.  Sometimes (like this week) I have to carry him screaming to his class but for the most part he is a happy child even if he is not always listening.
    For me, I am in a position to help the teachers with their English language skills and I am learning a lot in the process.  Sometimes, I even mispronounce words!  I hope I have not perpetuated anything I shouldn't.
     Stephen is busy, as always, as a doctor/researcher/teacher/lecturer.  Sometimes I feel like we don't see him as often as we should.  We plan to have a family dinner out tonight so that is a good thing.  We did just finish a week-long-holiday that was well deserved.

      Lunchtime now so I will update later.

                                                 Jennifer Liang

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Back at Yale

Yes.  We are back at Yale.  But that does not mean our days of uncertainty are over just yet.  We have an apartment from mid-April to mid-Oct and still have not decided how long to be here.  We have an idea for the step after next but if we can't stay here longer we will have to decide where to go before we get our more permanent job.

In July, we suffered another, very early, miscarriage and are trying to figure out why.  The kids go to school in September and we are happy with the choices we have made for where to go.  It will be the first time they are both in school and I have the mornings to myself.

This weekend is our anniversary and a road trip for a mini-vacation.  Happy to add to our list of places we have been in the US.

That is all for now and I am doing more writing as I try to improve through Faithwriters Writing Challenges.

                                                                  Jennifer Liang

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Finally a new update!

 A lot has happening since my last post.
   Briefly, we left CT late August 2015 and drove to WA.
 September left for six months in Kunming, Yunnan, China and are now back in the US enjoying a short vacation and trying to figure out the next step.
         I apologize for the lack of communication but g-mail and all things google were hard to access in China.
       Anyways, we may end up back in CT and my Jamberry days are over.
My testimony "Rachel's Miracles" is included in the Trials and Triumphs II book put out by Faithwriters.
               Jennifer Liang

Saturday, December 13, 2014

All things Jamberry

       As of last week Wednesday (December 3) I am now an official Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant.  I find that it will not only potentially help with finances but is a good way for me to be more confident in who I am and take better care of myself.  Only one sale so far (to my mom) but I am enjoying being a part of an exciting group and looking at the potential for success.  Still learning how to apply the nails so they last and looking forward to finally having my backordered mini-heater today.  Abby is also getting into it and hoping we can finally get the stickers to stay on her nails.
       My mom and dad arrive from Hawaii next Saturday for a 19-day visit to the East Coast for the holidays.  We hope to make a trip to New York between Christmas and New Year's.

                                     Holiday Blessings,
                               Jennifer Liang

Inspirational Challenge

Small Acts, Big Differences

            “But, Lord, I will freeze while walking to my apartment.” “But, Lord, I don’t have easy access to my wallet.  Won’t they steal from me if I take it out?” “But, Lord I don’t even have that denomination of cash in my wallet.” 
            In my life I often come up with excuses as to why I don’t want to do what the gently nudge is asking me to do.  However, I have found that I am the one missing out when I don’t obey.  I don’t know how many times I have I have chosen to walk away instead of blessing someone but it seems like more often than I choose the right way.  I tell myself I will do better next time but then the opportunity arises and I still fail. 
            One encouraging example of what walking in obedience can do happened when my mentor listened to the call to support me financially in a venture she knew to be divine.  She anonymously deposited money in my bank account to buy tickets for a student trip to China.  Only later did I confirm that it was her. 
            That trip to China opened up many doors that otherwise would have

            “No way! Are you sure?  Can you please check again?  I have how much in my account?”  I asked the teller incredulously after a routine balance check.
            “It’s true.  The numbers are not lying.  That is your bank balance.  If you want I can put a hold on the funds while we check what is going on.”
            “Yes, please do.  I don’t want to be spending money that is not mine.  Thank you” I replied to the generous offer.
            “I will ask the teller who processed the transaction.  Just hold on a moment.”  With that she disappeared only to reappear a few moments later with the answer to my unusual inquiry. 
            “Yes.  The teller said that a woman stopped by earlier today and was talking about you going to China.”
            “So, that is what I am supposed to use this money for?  Thank you God for your provision.”
            Ten days later I was on my way to China for a student trip.  While there I fell in love with the culture, food, and people and felt my calling.  Returning home I tailored the rest of my university education to learn as much as I could about the fascinating country (including the language) and found a job teaching English right after graduation.  I spent more than five wonderful years there in two different cities and had many wonderful experiences.  I even met and married a Chinese doctor!  So, you can say that China is in my blood or at least it is literally in my children’s blood. 

            Too many times I find excuses for not following the gentle nudge asking me to bless someone and I am the one that misses out.  When I fail, I try to remind myself of my mentor and the small act of obedience she made that made a big difference in my life.  It changed my course! Why do I sometimes choose to walk away?  I can choose either way and the results are always better when I follow. 

Coming of Age Challenge - Memories of the Heart

I love the holidays and always have.  Thanksgiving in my family has, for as long as I can remember, been the most traditional with our crazy family gathered together celebrating in our own special way.  Relatives we rarely see gather at our huge home and divide into groups that are not always clear-cut.  Lots of racket tumbles out from the recreation room where the men have assembled to watch football.  The womenfolk chat together in the kitchen as they assemble the feast we will gorge ourselves on in a few hours.  The children always find a way to entertain themselves with only the occasional mishap or need for discipline. 
            The fall of my 16th year however was not so happy.  Having graduated high school early, during the summer I had convinced my parents and myself that I needed the independence and time to understand myself.  Living with my cousins in London seemed like the perfect solution.  I could be independent but still have the family connection to fall back on when I needed help.  It was perfect that is, until November 1st rolled around and I found my thoughts increasingly headed for home.  At first I politely ignored the path and tried to distract myself with more exciting activities I could not afford myself in America.  Those diversions only worked as long as I kept myself busy.  When I tried to fall asleep at night the memories would come crawling back becoming my constant companion as they settled on my pillow. 
Around the middle of the month I finally acclimated to the disruption of the ideally planned life I had created for myself and eventually the perpetual sobbing ceased.  Yes, I was homesick and no, I was not going to be home for Thanksgiving or the Christmas holidays for the first time in my life.  I would have to settle for video chats and connections through social media with those I loved across the Atlantic Ocean.  I was comforted by the revelation that although English people did not celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas was a universal holiday.   My energy could now be focused on making my first independent Christmas the best one ever and you know what?  Once I adjusted my attitude it was the best holiday season ever as I celebrated with my cousins and newfound friends.  We shared family traditions and started new ones together.    I had survived without my family and I was better for it. 

“So, now you understand why I get so crazy about the holidays Jack.  Family is important but so are the lessons I learned that season.  It was a season of maturity,” Laura stated matter-of-factly.

“Wow.  That’s beautiful Laura.  Thanks for sharing.  Now I’m ready to start on that famous cranberry-nut stuffing of yours so we can finish it before your parents arrive. Pass me the breadcrumbs please.”

“That’s a good idea.  I am sure they will love you just like I do.” Laura aimed the bowl of breadcrumbs to slide right into Jack’s waiting hands.  Jack not realizing her intention lifted his hands and the bowl slid right off the slick table and with a crash, landed on the floor.

Jack cried out with surprise.  “Oh honey, I am so sorry.  That was your special bowl you made when you were younger.”

“That’s okay Jack.  I also learned that November that memories come from the heart and not from material things.  Let’s clean it up and make some new memories together!”

“Yes. My first Thanksgiving will be special because I get to celebrate with you.” Jack arose from the floor, put the glass pieces on the table and took Laura in his arms to kiss her soundly. 

“Ahem,” Peter Dickenson’s patient voice interrupted the couple from the open doorway.  “Next time you want a romantic moment don’t forget to lock your door,” Laura’s father teased. 

An embarrassed Laura made the introductions.  “Dad and Mom, this is Jack Peters, my fiancĂ©. Jack these are my parents, Peter and Lorraine Dickenson.”

“Nice to meet you son.  Welcome to the family.” Peter extended his hand for a handshake. 

“Thank you.  The pleasure is all mine Mr. Dickenson,” Jack responded, grasping his future father-in-law’s hand firmly. 


Twinkles and Dimples in Paradise

            The plane skidded to a stop abruptly jolting Cynthia awake.  Could she really be there already?  Not wanting to lose any time she jumped up to claim her bag, knocking her elbow into her neighbor’s nose.  “Ouch,” he said, “Please be more careful lady.”
            “Sorry.  I need to catch my next flight” Cynthia spoke over her shoulder as she jostled to be first in line off the plane.
            Finally reaching the terminal she raced to the transfer desk only to find that it was empty and she had no knowledge of her assigned gate for the connecting flight.  Turning around she spotted a display announcing arrivals and departures. Reading the list out loud to herself she eventually came to her destination city and discovered that her connecting flight was delayed 55 minutes and the gate was just around the corner.  What a relief.  What was a 30-minute layover was now over an hour.  
            With time to spare she ordered her favorite coffee at the nearest coffee shop and settled into a chair facing her gate. 
“Final boarding call for Expedite Airlines flight 55 with service to Honolulu, boarding at gate number five.  Passengers who still need to board please come to the gate immediately.  Thank you.”
            “I believe that is you miss,” a friendly voice interrupted Cynthia’s daydreaming thoughts of Hawaii.
            “What? How do you know?” a frightened Cynthia shouted at her stalker. 
            “Your ticket is open as a bookmark” the barista apologized a little too sweetly.
 “Oh! I suppose it is. Thank you.”  Cynthia gathered her belongings and once again sprinted to the rapidly closing gate and handed her ticket to the agent.  Once aboard she collapsed in her seat exhausted from the effort of traveling alone. 
“Miss, you are going to have to gate-check your bag.”
“I can’t do that.  Is there any other way?” Cynthia pleaded with the flight attendant.
“I’m sorry but this is a full flight.  No more room in the overhead bins” he replied. 
“She can have my space.  Here is my bag,” a man interrupted handing the flight attendant his bag.

“Why thank you sir. “ Cynthia whipped around and found herself staring at the man she had elbowed in the nose.  His eyes twinkled and his mouth curved upward in such a way as to reveal the cutest dimples.  If he were willing to forgive her rudeness maybe this would not be such a bad trip to paradise after all.