#LiveWholesomely: For 2020 taught us so

Bluemont Vineyard | Virgnia

The beauty of the chaos of 2020 enabled us to see everything as “one” — not her part, his part, her job, his job, per se. We are all in this together.

For marriage, it’s like playing doubles in tennis or badminton, there is a concept of “covering” for your partner’s weakness, or whenever s/he is down. Besides having complementary strengths, it’s a reminder that we are playing the same game, on the same team. Wholeness is actually about a versatility.

And for teamwork to flourish, there has to be team strategies too.

My third principle of wholesome living: Seek Unconventional; tap into strategies

An unconventional year ought to force us to tap into the unconventional, divine strategies (if not divine interventions).

For me to turn down a conventional full-time regular job was mostly so that I can be what I need to be for Maise in my own unique way where I can still be involved in more things and be more in a time of great need in our world. To tell as many stories for as many people as possible. Multitasking is a mom’s secret weapon afterall.

For Edward, it was an unconventional full-time work arrangement that will enlarge his leadership capacity but still co-parent and serve others. After 5 years, he finally completed his MA. in Global Leadership at Fuller Seminary in 2020, and more convicted than ever to work in ministry and in advocacy.

We spent a lot of time camping on questions like “Where do we want to live if we can live anywhere (because WFH)?” ; “Where is there a great need and also a great God-solution that we can show up to serve and be a part of?” ; “What do we say to Maise when she grows up why do we do what we do?”

Edward’s WFH due to the pandemic was great help for us navigating first time parenting in a pandemic. It gave us a wholesome taste of fatherhood and a professional career, too. And so he approached his previous employer in DC to WFH permanently out of California, his request was turned down.

Well, he was given the option to either resign, or keep the status quo. In our hearts the decision was already made. The faith-decision was sealed. And right at the same time, out of literally nowhere, he was offered a new WFH job from a faith-based advocacy organization, and a leadership promotion.

Whilst, right as I turned down the full-time senior producer job, I received news that, out of nowhere as well, my feature documentary was picked up for distribution. A month later, I also got accepted to Biola’s MBA program. It was altogether a Isaiah 30:21 moment for me, to step out, walk into this.

In the summer of 2020, we decided it’s time to scale eight parables, and I will spearhead that going into 2021.

I was then prompted it’s time to sell our house in Colorado Springs. We had tenanted it when we moved to DC for Edward’s job. We now had to decide to sell it (in the middle of a pandemic) or, to turn it into a full investment property. In all the uncertainty, I took hold of the promise I was given when I put my money in to buy it.

We listed the house for sale. And true enough, we yielded a good profit from the appreciation and demand for the land our house was on (which we had no clue when we purchased it). And the profit, as promised in Proverbs 31:16, was duly channeled into planting the “vineyard” investment: eight parables.

This is why our eight parables vision is all tied back to the soul.

At the end of the day, it’s about The Vineyard. To bear fruits. Fruits that last.

It’s also not a coincidence that my word for 2020 was #BeholdTheHarvest.

What was also so assuring for me in this next stage of my life and career in navigating motherhood, MBA, media professional / indie filmmaker, ministry, etc, was even down to the “littlest” of things like how the house was sold, where we moved to that we knew deeply we were walking right in His perfect will.

Due to the pandemic, it was impossible to do open houses, but our house was sold after the second person viewed it, at the very price the Lord has given me. It was a cash offer, too, with inspection/appraisal waived! Turns out that the buyers are Christian investors buying homes to rent out to families in need. It blessed our hearts so much.

Over in San Francisco, where we moved back to, tech workers have ‘fled’ the city due to WFH. The apartment rental market crashed to an all-time low – we were given 2.5 months free rent in a 2br in the heart of FiDi, and a surprise free peloton bike that has been on the husband’s wish list for a while i.e. he’s literally rewarded for his faith, hah.

So 2020 was truly just a series of making unconventional, non-conforming choices that we could find ourselves in His perfect will for us. We wake up everyday in such awe knowing without a shadow of doubt we are right where we are meant to be, and that, may just be the most powerful feeling ever in the world to wake up to.

We spent the final week of 2020 in lockdown cutting the trailer of our first eight parables short film together — and in our 7 years together, we have never felt more aligned creatively. I always saw it as our biggest difference, and spent a lot of energy trying to separate out and ‘balance’ our marriage and individual creative work. But no longer.

When we finished the trailer, we both knew in the same way, that we may have created (or stewarded) something really, really special.

And if this may just foreshadow what eight parables is about to head into with this vineyard investment and me doing it “full-time” so to speak, I’m pretty excited.

If we really take a long hard look at 2020, it was a year of a purging, decluttering, filtering, refocusing, and a forced reduction of a whole lot of… distractions or “non-essentials” in life. A virus that is taking a lot of lives is also, perhaps, saving a lot of souls. As Jim Elliot once said: He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Or as Jesus said in Mark 8:36: “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”

Take heart.

The #LiveWholesomely Series: Hello 2021

Part I: #LiveWholesomely: Living out of Rest

Part II: #LiveWholesomely: The work-life balance myth

Part III: #LiveWholesomely: For 2020 taught us so