Published Works

Perspective and Winged Seeds

The Contemplative Writer (2021)

This summer is one of change.

Recently I moved my home office from a little, dark corner to my daughter’s former room, which functions now as a guest room. I transported my desk, added a small bookcase (already full!), and some odds and ends. The lighting is better, the room is brighter—and I have a view of my backyard now. Soon the backyard flower patch will be blooming and full of perennials and annuals. I have a direct view of the hummingbird feeder and the orange slices I placed for the orioles.

The new perspective and change of venue brought a fresh vigor into my writing and reading, like a like running spring of inspiration. What a difference this small change made to my mood and motivation. A room of my own, in a sense.


Churches Should Help Normalize Mental Health for Asian Americans

Sojourners (2021)

Last month, Chicago-based writer Liuan Huska tweeted that she “can’t write or talk about getting a massage without feeling retraumatized” by the Atlanta spa murders in March that left eight people dead — six of them Asian women. Huska is Chinese American and her mother is a massage therapist.

With the documented rise in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, fueled at least in part by racist rhetoric blaming Chinese people for the COVID-19 pandemic, Huska is not alone in feeling race-based trauma. Recent polling found that one-third of Asian adults in the U.S. fear physical attacks and threats, and another report found that 1 in 5 Asian Americans who have experienced racism show signs of racial trauma.

What a Plague and a Pandemic Have in Common

The Contemplative Writer (2021)

In the book of Joel, a devastating event occurs, something which will be retold to subsequent generations:

Has anything like this happened  in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. Joel 1: 2-3

What sort of calamity could this be, what sort of story so incredulous that it could be recounted to future generations? It was a plague of locusts.

Can you imagine looking up and seeing the sky turn dark as millions of these insects descended upon the land you occupied? 


Restless in Spring

The Contemplative Writer (2021)

In a Midwest spring, the sky hangs low and gray, with muted sunshine. The grass transitions slowly to a bright green when the snow finally recedes.

April is a season of change, a transition from one extreme to another, in this part of the country.  Winter winds blast us from the north, and drenching seasonal rains fall during this in-between time. While spring in the south is already dotted with lacy flowering trees, spring is still sprouting its legs in the colder Midwest.


I find the same is true for my life: it is constantly in the midst of one change or another.already dotted with lacy flowering trees, spring is still sprouting its legs in the colder Midwest.

In the Dirt

The Mudroom (2021)

“Why don’t you try listening first?” my kids asked.

Ouch. Those words struck and halted me in my tracks. I had retorted a response too soon, and immediately felt that pain in the pit of my stomach and a wave of regret.

Have you been there, too? Spoken words too quickly and wish you had not?

It was hard to admit, but it was true. I had jumped to conclusions, and responded too quickly.

Words kill, words give life;  they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
–Proverbs 18:21 – The Message

This is some kind of power we’re wielding—a power so loud I can almost hear the thunder rolling behind it, a power humbling and formidable. 

A Few Simple Words

The Mudroom (2021)

A recent Twitter thread asked for folks to respond with six words that could change the world (with the hashtag #6wordworldchange). People responded with statements such as:

“Help me understand what you mean.”

“This is hard. I need help.”

“I believe you. I’ll help you.”

“I was wrong. Please forgive me.”

“You have something to teach me.”

“Thanks so much. I love you.”

“God could not love you more.”

“What can I do to help?”

Only six words—but with kindness and grace behind them.

5 Indian American Stories that We Urgently Need

The Curator (2021)
4.4 million Indian Americans reside in the U.S, and I am part of that statistic. My parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1969 as young adults, leaving behind their large extended families as they began their own family, without any connections to or familiarity with their new country. They were following a job and a dream of a better life in America. Though I grew up here, I did not read a book written by an Indian American until I was an adult. I wonder about that lack: how many Americans still have not read books or stories written by Indian Americans? Here are 5 books to help readers understand what it is like to be brown in the U.S.

A Country With No Name: Living in Liminal Spaces

Asian American Christian Collaborative (2021)
Living in liminal spaces, particularly as an Asian American, creates a peculiar kind of loneliness.

We were out on the softball field for recess. In the outfield, no one else could hear our conversation, well out of earshot from the teacher on duty. It was another typical hot, sunny, Southern day, and I could feel the red clay burning like hot coals beneath my feet. My classmate turned to me, hatred and bitterness seething in her eyes.

“Go back to Indiana, or wherever it is you came from!” she hissed.

Loving Your Allergic Neighbor

Propel Women (2021)
When I see other parents rolling their eyes about the nut-free zone in the classroom, I’m the parent who inevitably steps in and explains that food allergies can actually kill. Reactions range from surprise to disbelief.
“You’re overreacting.
You’re severely limiting your child.
Is it really necessary to read every label?
Can someone really die from eating just one bite of food?
You’re being dramatic.”
These words echo in my head as I research streams of opinions and information on food allergies. After all, this is an “invisible” condition, similar to some chronic illnesses or those who are immunocompromised. As a parent and close friend of those with such conditions, I have an intimate glimpse of this world and am continuously learning how to love them well.

Filling the Pot: Learning to Wait

The Mudroom (2021)
Life is replete with hopeful expectations and moments of waiting. Watching means we’re often waiting for something, but waiting sounds horribly inconvenient and causes an immediate visceral reaction, a stiffening of my jaw and lines furrowing my forehead. The word “wait” feels like a forbidden, outlawed word, even though we’re all in waiting rooms of one kind or another.

Drawn From a Deep Well (winning essay)

The Perennial Gen (2020)
Writing often feels like I am pulling water out of a deep well. At times, the well seems like something out of Alice in Wonderland—is it truly there, or a mirage? Will I haul out an overflowing bucket today and will the well transform into the size of a teacup tomorrow?

Treasures from the Tree Maker

The Contemplative Writer (2019)
From a place deep within itself, the autumn tree bursts forth in glorious color, and shows a different face of its beauty. Colors emerge like hidden jewels, sparkling in the sun. The season is turning, and once again I contemplate the language of the Tree Maker speaking through the deciduous tree.

December Solstice (a poem)

The Contemplative Writer (2019)
Solstice darkness persists longer
than sun’s extended rays which reach
my fingertips eight minutes later
than when they first sizzled
out of their thermogenic home.

Open, Starry Spaces: A Thanksgiving Memory

The Contemplative Writer (2019)

When I was in elementary school, my classmates would speak eagerly of family gatherings with grandparents and cousins for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Treasures from the Tree Maker

The Contemplative Writer (2019)
From a place deep within itself, the autumn tree bursts forth in glorious color, and shows a different face of its beauty. Colors emerge like hidden jewels, sparkling in the sun. The season is turning, and once again I contemplate the language of the Tree Maker speaking through the deciduous tree.

Open, Starry Spaces: A Thanksgiving Memory

The Contemplative Writer (2019)

When I was in elementary school, my classmates would speak eagerly of family gatherings with grandparents and cousins for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Poem and Winning Essary

Exhale Journal (2019)
A Journal of the Breathe Writers Conference

Fault Lines

Red Tent Living (2019)

I think each person has a fault line. A crack-line under the skin. Maybe you remember the day it appeared to you, and it became visible to others. Perhaps it shows itself after an unexpected event. Like a death. Or a diagnosis, for example.

Long Night of Struggle

The Contemplative Writer (2019)

No one can see the internal dialogue while I sit at my desk and gaze out the window or while I sit at a coffee shop, quietly sipping a cup of coffee, while others bustle about, my laptop on the table with an empty screen facing me.

You Rock, Abigail

The Redbud Post (2019)
Once upon a time, there was a woman whose name was Abigail. Abigail not only was beautiful, but also very wise. Abigail was the apple of her parents’ eyes.

Jesus and Laughter

The Art of Taleh (2019)
I love to laugh. Who doesn’t like to laugh? Maybe an old scrooge, or a sour old person? Granted, any one of us embittered in the toils and trials of life may find it hard to laugh.

Dying of the Same

The Perennial Gen (2019)
I’m not quite sure what to do with this ache at times. I find emptiness facing me, like an abyss, and I feel as if I am staring into a black hole.

Refuge-e (poem)

Barren Magazine (2018)
Darkness scattered among bodies left behind.
We never knew if we were coming or going
or if anyone would come for us.
We were the lost ones.

Metallic Stars (poem)

The Remembered Arts Journal (2018)
IT’S the fourth of July when they
toss red, white, and blue beads
my way. They slip from my fingers,
but are caught by a five-year-old wonder
next to me.

Spring Journal, Four Poems

Relief Journal (2018)

Reaching Beyond Rejection to the Truth of His Love

Incourage (2018)
The feeling of being left out hit me in the pit of my stomach; once again, I felt rejected. I was blaming others for their rejection of me, but there was a deeper issue. I remember the day a friend named it in me, asking me why it seemed I wanted to run from her.

See, Say, Spell, Repeat

The Mudroom Blog (2018)
“Could you spell that?” My name. You ask about my name. Countless times. Almost every week, in fact, you ask me to repeat or spell my name.

How Pausing is Kindness (poem)

Evangelicals for Social Action (2018)
i will tell you now
how pausing is kindness.

pausing is the white space,
white space around words.
pausing is the margins on a page,
a space created around words.

Ask Me What I Don’t Know

The Redbud Post (2018)
What do we see when we look at others’ faces? We notice the outward appearance, whether we wish to or not. Skin color, eye color, clothing, and so on, are apparent features that are obvious and difficult to pretend we do not see. What we cannot see or know from the outward appearance is a person’s heart.

What We Have in Common

The Mudroom Blog (2018)
About four years ago, my son started a lawn business in the neighborhood. That was how we met one of our neighbors; we’ll call him Mr. B.

Top 10 Science Poems

Tweetspeak Poetry (2018)
There are those who, in expression of their various poetry-oriented anxieties, would say that poetry feels like rocket science. And sure, if you’ve been reading a lot of Hallmark cards and then pick up a sestina, it might feel like you’ve just been called to the blackboard and handed a piece of chalk in that physics class you always slept through.

Bridges & Tunnels

Tweetspeak Poetry (2018)
When I was 19
at the Fontana Di Trevi
I tossed in three coins
with the right hand
over the left shoulder

Wishes and Stars

Tweetspeak Poetry (2017)
close your eyes
let darkness fall upon blue seas

hold out empty hands
receive gift I would send

The Family Table

Tweetspeak Poetry (2017)
The family table is, for many, the heartbeat of the home. The ritual of setting the table offers a small piece of real estate for each person. This is your plate, because you matter. Utensils, a napkin, and cup are placed before your seat because you are loved. You belong here.

Regional Tour: The Milwaukee Art Museum

Tweetspeak Poetry (2016)
I make sure I arrive at the right time to see the Milwaukee Art Museum’s rooftop open its wings. Or are they waves?

Regional Tour: Grohmann Museum

Tweetspeak Poetry (2016)
The Grohmann Museum features the world’s largest comprehensive art collection dedicated to the evolution of human work—a gift to the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), which houses and curates the unique collection of 1, 000 paintings and sculptures from 1580 to the present that depict a variety of artistic styles chronicling the evolution of organized work.

Designed to Work: The Making of Bread and Tea

The High Calling/Patheos
Her hands form dough, which she rolls into flatbread. She makes tea, every single day, with a sprinkle of cardamom or fennel.

Release (poem)

Silver Birch Press (2015)
I am waiting for this single grain of sand—
drenched, beaten, bent— until
softened bubble pearl in my hands.

Gone Fishing

Tweetspeak Poetry (2014)
Watching waves crest and sink
Surfing down summer’s summit
They cast time-worn nets
Catch fleeting dreams before they slip and enfold
into deep waters

Find New Life: The Lesson of Second Place

The High Calling/Patheos
I make sure I arrive at the right time to see the Milwaukee Art Museum’s rooftop open its wings. Or are they waves?

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